Concerts and live events are fantastic. When given the opportunity to go see a live show or to go to a free outdoor picnic, people usually drop everything and join in on the festivities. Events like these are an essential part of community life and have usually had a positive effect on society.Unfortunately, concerts and other activities can have negative impacts on the environment. Events generate garbage, use electricity and require travel.The intent of The Live Earth Green Event Guidelines is to help venues and event organizers minimize and reduce the environmental consequences of their events.Any event can be "greened" -- whether your event is small or large scaled, a house party or large outdoor concerts, a one time event or something that is ongoing. Some examples of events that can be greened are:
- An earth fair
- Organizing recycling pick ups every Friday
- A battle of the bands
- Holding a recycling bin painting competition
- Set up a bike repair station
- Green Lectures
What are Green Events?
A "green event" is a live event that seeks to minimize its resource use and potentially negative impacts on the environment."Greening" a concert or event involves all aspects of the planning process, and this Guide will take you through the process step-by-step. The good news is that, by greening your event, you are not only having a positive impact on the environment, you are educating your community and being an industry leader.
The Benefits of Greening Your Event
Historically, concerts and live events have been a stage for protest, progressive ideals, entertainment, and inspiration across generations. The venue was where one would go to be part of a movement or cause, but the venue itself was often only the locale, and was rarely a part of the message. This will change as venues become examples of environmentally sustainable activity. Ideally, the main driver for greening a live event is to be part of the solution to combating the climate crisis:
- Implementing sustainable practices such as recycling and water conservation can have a dramatic effect on our environment. By taking simple steps such as these, concerts and live events can achieve remarkable results for both the environment and the bottom line.
- For example, the Live Earth concerts on 7.7.07 were able to recycle or compost 79 tons of waste out of the total 97 tons of waste that were generated world-wide at the seven venues. That means that 81% of all waste was diverted from landfills. Live Earth 2007 was also able to reduce potential greenhouse gas emissions by hundreds of tons by holding events in daylight at outdoor venues.
The most important thing is to . . . just start! Start from wherever you are. You can start anywhere in the process.Every step in the greening process is important. Green power reduces the amount of carbon and particulates released into our air by local electrical generators. Sustainable bio-diesel decreases pollution, and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Recycling diverts waste from overloaded landfills, slows the need for new landfills and prevents garbage from being dumped into our oceans.
How this Guide is Organized
The Guide is divided into sections related to live event planning:
Artists are role models and spokespeople to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people across the globe. Through song, action, and public statements, artists are in a position to influence the decision-making process and opinions of their audiences on a daily basis, both on and off stage.Artists can be regarded as more than simply singers or songwriters – they are spokespeople for a cause, social leaders that spearhead initiatives and shape policy, and models of empowerment and inspiration.
Advertising your event is crucial. These guidelines will explain the different ways in which you can reach out to the potential audience and help engage the artists, surrounding communities, governments, and local non-profits.
Eco Villages are where individuals and vendors join together to promote a sustainable lifestyle and/or innovative technologies. Within these villages, people can sell goods, provide entertainment to help promote a cause, and encourage others to go green. This guide will give you guidance in negotiating green practices with venues, contractors, and vendors to help make your Eco Village have a strong impact.
Food and Beverage
Food and beverage is an important aspect to any event. Venue operators have the responsibility of securing food and drink vendors. The decisions they make have environmental and budget consequences, and it is important that concert-goers have a broader selection including healthier, organic options.
Sponsors can be extremely essential for creating a successful event. Local businesses and organizations can donate money, time and/ or resources to make your event even better. Inside we will provide some insight and guidance on sponsor selection and managing sponsorship relationships.
When choosing a location, keep in mind where people will be traveling from and whom you will be working with. Introduce and encourage green requirements during the first conversations with facility managers, vendors, and other relevant parties to get them excited about the greening process as well.
The feeling you get when you attend a live show is irreplaceable. But a live show means that all the stuff that comes with the events must travel: artists, volunteers, equipment, supplies, food, audiovisual equipment, and audience members. Even if your event is located in a distinct area, guests might come from all over and, as a green host, they should be encouraged to walk, use buses, ride bikes and carpool. These guidelines will include some simple steps you can take to help minimize transportation.
The Guidelines encompasses a broad scope of areas to consider when producing a concert. Depending on the extent of the event and commitment of the organizer, you may implement one or all of the sections.
Also, the Guidelines are general, and are meant to be applicable to a wide variety of settings, from small nightclubs to multi-day festivals. Use them as a roadmap to think about your specific circumstances.
Don’t be overwhelmed; just begin one section at a time. Start there and build on your progress as time and resources allow.
The most important thing is just to start. You may find that each provides the satisfaction and encouragement to continue.