BST Hyde Park festival organisers back carbon removals to address emissions

Image: BST Hyde Park

The venue and festival operator announced the decision this week as part of a wider package of measures to reduce the climate impact of the 10 shows, which run across three weekends in June and July.

AEG Europe is working with environmental consultancy A Greener Future to forecast and measure the emissions footprint of BST Hyde Park 2024.

Lowr, a digital platform which enables ticket-holders to log their transport options, is being used to help collect more accurate information on the emissions generated through fan travel – which is notoriously difficult to calculate yet accounts for a significant proportion of event emissions. Fans are being encouraged to use public, active or electric transport where possible.

AEG Europe will invest in carbon removal credits generated through biochar projects, equivalent to all of BST Hyde Park’s Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions. These projects involve biochar – treated organic material – being mixed with soil to act as a fertiliser and enhance its carbon sequestration properties.

Interventions have already been made to reduce BST Hyde Park’s carbon footprint, to reduce the amount of removal credits needed. This includes switching from diesel generators to electric and biodiesel options; promoting plant-based and low-carbon food with carbon-labelled menus; and enhancing reuse recycling rates.

On waste and recycling, AEG Europe is working with Keep Britain Tidy to distribute portable ashtrays and encourage responsible cigarette butt disposal. E-cigarette recycling points will also be implemented across the site. Additionally, food and drinks will be provided in either reusable cups or composable serveware.

AEG Europe’s director of sustainability Sam Booth said: “Over the course of 10 shows across three weekends, we will have the opportunity to engage with hundreds of thousands of fans. We are acutely aware of our position and believe we have a responsibility to influence fan behaviour and drive sustainable change and in doing so, we’re helping to not only preserve the planet but also the future of live entertainment.”

AEG Europe is bringing to this project experience from investing in carbon removals to more than offset emissions from The 1975’s arena tour dates at The O2 Arena in London earlier this year.

BST Hyde Park is beginning just as Glastonbury ends. At the iconic festival’s site, Worthy Farm, organisers have worked with Octopus Energy to deliver an on-site pop-up wind turbine among a series of measures to reduce the festival’s carbon impact.

Advisory committee on live music and climate change

In related news, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Environmental Solutions Initiative (MIT ESI) has convened a new advisory committee as it works to assess the climate impact of live music in the US and UK, plus how events are being exposed to climate-related risks.

“This is the first time a study like this has taken place at this scale, including all the different parts of the industry ecosystem, from artists and promoters to management and labels and I’m really pleased to support that level of collaboration,” said Ellie Goulding, one of the artists supporting the project.

More than 50 individuals will participate in the committee, representing different parts of the music industry – including managers, artists, production managers and directors, festival organisers, venue operators, academics and sustainability solutions providers.

Artists represented include Harry Styles, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Ellie Goulding, Shawn Mendes,  Lawrence, Depeche Mode and Fred Again.

Organisations with members on the committee include Live Nation, Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, WME, ASM Global and AEG.

“With the participation of the advisory committee and contributions of data from various sources, we are well on our way to producing a significant contribution to knowledge that can support meaningful actions to address climate change,” said MIT ESI’s director Professor John E. Fernandez.

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