The touring side of the music industry can be carbon intensive operation. Between the fuel needed for tour trucks, the waste created by concertgoers, and the energy required to fill every corner of a music venue with sound and color, there’s lots of greenhouse gas causing factors when it comes to touring.
Sometimes bands need a little help when it comes to “greening” their operations, an undertaking that might seem like a daunting task to set into motion. This is where REVERB comes in, a non-profit organization founded in 2004 by Guster’s Adam Gardner and his environmentalist wife, Lauren Sullivan.
The goal of REVERB is to engage “musicians and their fans to take action toward a more sustainable future”.
For the Bands
The organization helps groups with various backstage greening programs including on-site sustainability coordinators, biodiesel fuel, creating custom riders with “green” requests to be sent to venues before a show, waste and recycling initiatives, and locally sourced food for catering.
REVERB doesn’t push an “all or nothing” approach for its members. It’s much better for the environment if everyone is doing whatever they can to green their operations rather than a few doing everything and the majority doing nothing. Every little bit helps!
Some big names have teamed up with the organization including the Dave Matthews Band, Phish, the Alabama Shakes, the Barenaked Ladies and the Dead & Co. (the Grateful Dead sans Jerry Garcia).
REVERB also works with major music festivals in greening their operations including Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road traveling festival, Boston’s Earth Fest as well as the 50th anniversary run of farewell shows for the Grateful Dead this past summer in Chicago.
For the Fans
Through REVERB, bands can also engage their fans and spread the word on how they can be more environmentally conscious contributors. This can be accomplished by encouraging them to volunteer for the organization, through online social media campaigns, customized tour websites, and online carpooling resources so fans can connect and cut down on greenhouse gasses getting to and from concerts.
Volunteers are a pivotal part of the organization and since its inception over 15,000 people have been coordinated to take part in various projects and tasks encouraging fans to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
For the Planet
REVERB also has several projects that go beyond greening concert halls. Their farm programs donate CSA shares to community food banks which in turn support local farmers and provide healthy, organic food to needy families. REVERB has also partnered up with Farm Aid to further support family-oriented farmers across America.
The non-profit also connects bands with their fans to take part in community clean-up projects during tour stops. Artists like the Barenaked Ladies, Capital Cities, and Jason Mraz have taken part in cleaning up parks, beaches and planting in community gardens.
The organization has also spearheaded an initiative to put a stop to illegal logging called the No More Blood Wood campaign. By getting the support of artists and their throngs of fans, REVERB has helped raise awareness about the destruction of forest and habitats from illegal logging.
Music is a powerful thing, and when artists team up with their fans and environmental organizations to help the planet, there’s no stopping us.