Image: Frank Schwichtenberg / Wikimedia Commons

Viva la vida verde: Coldplay’s climate-friendly concerts

In 2021, British rock band, Coldplay, made a ground-breaking announcement. In a statement on their website, they pledged to make their next tour, ‘Music of the Spheres,’ “as sustainable and low-carbon as possible.” They promised to reduce their consumption recycle extensively and cut their CO2 emissions by 50%. They also promised to reinvent support new green technologies and develop new sustainable, super-low carbon touring methods. And they agreed to restore  make the tour as environmentally beneficial as possible by funding a portfolio of nature and technology-based projects. Did they keep their promises? Indeed, they did! 

In an interview with TODAY, the lead singer of Coldplay, Chris Martin, explained his very first thoughts on increasing the sustainability of his concerts: “We grow up thinking that ‘they’ will take care of it. There’s always a ‘they’, and then you realise there is no ‘they’ in the world really; ‘they’ is you. So, we felt like rather than finger-pointing at this organisation or that company, let’s just try and change what we can within our own sphere.” 

Coldplay truly prove that their concerts aren’t just about music, they are about raising awareness

I vividly remember going to see one of these concerts in August 2022. One of the first things I noticed when walking into Wembley Stadium were the kinetic dance floors and bicycles – not something you’d expect at a concert. These kinetic floors were dotted around the stadium, converting fans’ dancing into energy to help power the show. Electricity-generating power bikes also actively charged the show batteries. From where I was sitting, it was quite amusing watching everyone pedal as hard as they could to power the concert.   

Another part of the show that truly impressed me were the LED wristbands. Videos on YouTube will not do it justice, but the sight of 90,000 wristbands lighting up in synchronisation was utterly breathtaking. Upon skimming their website, I found that these wristbands are made of 100% compostable, plant-based materials, and by collecting, sterilising, and recharging them after every show, their production has been reduced by 80%. Coldplay truly prove that their concerts aren’t just about music, they are about raising awareness.  

The band states they “‘avoid fossil fuels wherever possible”

Along with the wristbands, confetti used during the show is 100% biodegradable and the pyrotechnics used have less explosive charge everything involves new formulas, which greatly reduces the use of harmful chemicals. The stage production itself is powered by renewable, super-low emission energy as the band states they “‘avoid fossil fuels wherever possible.”

Not only do they engage in sustainability, but Coldplay also encourage their fans to do their part. In their app, Coldplay offers discounts for fans who commit to low-carbon travel and carefully monitor the total carbon footprint of travel to and from shows. Their merchandise is also sustainably and ethically sourced with all plastics and polyesters being replaced with natural alternatives like organic cotton. 

Hopefully, more and more artists will follow in their footsteps

It was very admirable to learn that Coldplay puts 10% of everything they earn into a good causes fund. These include charities such as ClientEarth, The Ocean Cleanup, One Tree Planted (for every ticket sold, they plant a tree), and EarthPercent. As I was waiting for the show to begin, these charities were promoted on the screens across the stadium, while people jumped on the kinetic floors and cycled on the power bikes. It’s incredible how much Coldplay had done before even stepping on stage! 

So, whether you’ve seen their concerts or not, it’s hard to deny that Coldplay are one of the most progressive bands in the world in terms of sustainability. Hopefully, more and more artists will follow in their footsteps and will be just as environmentally friendly as they are. I think Chris Martin sums it up perfectly: “It’s just about trying to prove that being clean and green can be part of any successful business.” And so it should be. 

Comments (1)

  • What a great article and what a great band! As you say, I hope many more artists take inspiration from Coldplay and learn that the responsibility for a more sustainable future starts with us and it starts now! 🙂

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