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Reverb: The Music of Change

by admin on December 1, 2016

Each year, music festivals and tours produce thousands of tons of waste, along with the substantial carbon footprint associated with thousands of attendees driving from place to place. Once the festival is over, people abandon their campsites leaving trash, and even tents, behind. Tucker Gumber, a frequent festivalgoer and blogger stated; “Sasquatch [a music festival in the U.S.] was more like ‘Trashquatch.’ It was awful. The grounds are so pretty, but inside them there weren’t enough trash cans; there were no cleaning crews coming through; and the trash next to my campsite didn’t get emptied all weekend.”

To mitigate this emerging problem, organizations that focus on reducing the footprint of festivals and shows have started to spring up around the country. One such organization is Reverb—a business that works with artists such as Dead and Company, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, etc. to reduce the negative environmental impact of shows. This past summer, on the Dead and Company tour, Reverb diverted over 1,500 gallons of backstage waste and over 50,000 single-use water bottles from landfills, distributed 2,376 reusable water bottles, and raised $165,832 through charity auctions. The company also provides solar charging stations, free water refill stations, and a space called the Eco Village. The Eco Village connects fans to local and national non-profit groups such as NOAA and the Sierra Club, provides information on green products and technology, and calls on fans to protect the environment.

Reverb not only works with fans, but also with college campuses and with actual bands and artists. One project that Reverb does is called the Campus Consciousness Tour. The tour features artists such as Drake, Walk the Moon, and X Ambassadors and goes across the country playing at college campuses. Along with the show, Reverb provides students with information about environmental issues and helps students to connect with school administration to enact change. Reverb’s Farm-To-Stage program works with local farmers, tour chefs, and local caterers to provide the artists and their crews with locally sourced, sustainable food. They also arrange biodiesel fueling for the drivers and works to offset the carbon emissions associated with the tour.

Reverb works on the belief that “ … being green is not all or nothing; many people doing some things will have more impact than a few people doing everything. All of us can be active participants in protecting the environment and creating real, large-scale, and measurable change.” In the world of music, Reverb’s idea is one that seems to be fostering large-scale action while helping people realize their environmental impact can be reduced by making small changes to their daily lifestyles.

By Madeline Allain

Anna Lee Skinner December 6, 2016 at 5:43 pm

This article is concise and intelligent and I really enjoyed reading it. I was pleasantly surprised that you didn’t spend the whole time bagging on how bad concerts are for the environment. I also really appreciated the notion that there’s hope and the part about it not being “all or nothing.”

Christian T Smith December 6, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I was really surprised and pleased that this article was about the positive impact of Reverb as opposed to the negative impact of large concerts, it made the article much more fun to read. I thought that the article did a good job of being both informative, and entertaining and it felt very journalistic. I also really enjoyed the campus consciousness video.

Catherine Allen December 6, 2016 at 12:51 pm

I found this article very interesting to read, as it included so many facts about the large carbon footprint at music festivals, and what reverb is trying to do to lessen it. I thought that it was super informative and I really enjoyed learning about such a great organization. I thought it was really great how reverb is just asking everyone to do something small. As stated in the article, this can prompt a lot more change than just a few people doing everything to help the environment.

Kailey Hackett December 6, 2016 at 1:12 am

I was highly intrigued by your article and thought that it was awesome how you were able to take something that is so prevalent in today’s society (and something from class) and make it interesting for us to read. I was shocked to hear about how much waste and garbage was at these music festivals and how much Reverb’s efforts were able to help conserve waste and stop this garbage. I thought the article was fascinating and left me wanting to know more about what we can be doing to stop this disastrous waste that accompanies concerts alongside organizations, like Reverb, like you said in your closing statement.

Emma Berg December 4, 2016 at 11:21 pm

I like how you took a topic from class and made it specific through examples of companies working with artists to reduce concert waste. Specific facts that Reverb accomplished such as keeping 50,000 single-use water bottles from landfills is really amazing and puts what the company does into perspective. People don’t often think about the environmental affect that concerts have and helps make people more aware of their actions. Also, once people start to realize the environmental consequences of concerts more artists may be pushed to team up with a company like Reverb.

Lea Gilbert December 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm

This article is super interesting especially the note that at a Dead and Company Tour, Reverb diverted 1500 gallons of backstage waste and are using biodiesel fueling for the trucks on tour. It would be interesting to see how much waste and average carbon emissions a touring band produces and then see the percentage of which they are able to “clean up.” Reverb is definitely headed in the right direction though with Campus Consciousness Tours educating college kids on how to keep Mother Earth just a little bite greener.

Sarah Chao December 4, 2016 at 12:05 am

Love this short and sweet article. I like gaining insight on organizations that truly do good work and not greenwash their brands to make more money and attention. Your opening sentences drew me in with a relatable, understandable situation in the aftermath of concerts. Mentioning the statistics and detailed work Reverb does builds your argument! Conclusion wrapped it up beautifully–little things do make a difference day by day.

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