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REVERB: Decarbonizing Live Entertainment

by Oscar Areliz in Pollstar

There are a number of contributing factors and inspirations to a cultural movement, and a prominent one tends to be found in the form of art — music, especially. The composition, words and sounds have a way of sparking something in people, whether it’s an idea, emotion or a sudden urge to dance. It is one of the most influential mediums around, especially in a live setting, and musician/activist Adam Gardner hopes music can be the driving force for change on one issue that affects everyone on this planet.

“It’s hard to read the news about the climate crisis,” Gardner, frontman for the band Guster, tells Pollstar. “… I think music has an opportunity [to inspire change] because there is a willingness now to probably move faster than our government and help in some ways.”

Gardner has been doing his part with REVERB, a nonprofit he and his wife Lauren Sullivan founded in 2004 that aims to reduce the carbon footprint of live entertainment by working with artists, executives and labels. His organization, which has worked with artists such as Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer and Maroon 5, had one of its biggest successes last month at Luck Reunion. REVERB got in touch with Matt Bizer, CEO and founder of Luck Presents, and the two parties partnered up to reduce at least 75% of emissions from fossil fuel power for the single-day music festival held in Willie Nelson’s backyard.

“Diesel generators are dirtier than coal power from the grid. That’s a problem if you think about all the festivals that use diesel generators,” Gardner says. “It’s a very immediate and obvious place to start the work, and that’s what we did.”