Last month, Coldplay declared that it would cease all touring, at least until concerts could become ‘environmentally beneficial’.
But perhaps a few one-off shows won’t kill the planet?
Accordingly, Coldplay has now signed onto iHeartmedia’s ‘Alter Ego’ mega-show, happening at the Forum in Los Angeles on January 18th. The mini-festival will also feature Billie Eilish, The Black Keys, blink-182, and The Lumineers, among others.
The entire star-studded affair is being sponsored by Capital One, which is probably writing a huge check to attract the likes of Coldplay (which of course will be used to plant trees).
In the band’s announcement that it was ceasing touring, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin pointed a raft of environmentally-unfriendly issues with live concerts.
That includes culprits like single-use plastic bottles, thousands of cars driven by attending fans, trucks to haul equipment from venue-to-venue, and airplanes needed to shuttle band members and crew between various cities. Attendees at Coldplay’s last major tour were all handed plastic, lighted wristbands that generated a fabulous light show in the crowd — but also produced thousands of pounds of environmental waste.
“We’re taking time over the next year or two, to work out how our tour can not only be sustainable [but] how can it be actively beneficial,” Coldplay frontman Chris Martin stated in late November. “We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral.”
It’s unclear if Alter Ego will have an eco-friendly focus.
So far, it seems like an afterthought, at best: just this morning, iHeartMedia emailed Digital Music News with news of Coldplay’s inclusion. But the announcement didn’t mention anything about single-use plastics, carbon-offsetting, or any other steps designed to reduce the show’s environmental footprint.
Whether Martin will insist on those things is unclear, though he seemed concerned about it a few weeks ago. “Our dream is to have a show with no single-use plastic, to have it largely solar-powered,” Martin relayed. “We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around, so it’s no so much taking as giving?”
Most likely, Coldplay — not to mention other performing acts and their crews — will be flying airplanes to get to the gig. And so will a few fans, with the rest likely driving. Elsewhere, festivals like Glastonbury are banning single-use plastics, though plastic is still in abundance at most shows these days.
Ironically. Martin issued the above statement from Jordan, which almost certainly requires airfare (most likely in first class). Coldplay even followed their Jordan performance with a gig in London, though proceeds were donated to an environmental charity.