Sustainable Touring: Coldplay To Power Tour With Audience Energy

Coldplay’s new Music of the Spheres tour features some innovative new live entertainment tech that is focused entirely on sustainability. After partnering with the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and Environment at Imperial College London the band is measuring every aspect of the tour’s carbon footprint, and employing green strategies that range from offering free water refills to limit plastic bottle use to a kinetic stadium floor to capture and use energy from the audience. The measures bring new meaning to the phrase “high energy” and will hopefully lead to a new era where live entertainment can cut harmful emissions and lead the way on climate change education.

Here is some of the tech the tour is adopting.

  • Solar. Load-in will now include solar panels at every venue, on the stage and around the stadium which will recharge the show battery.
  • Show Battery. The tour will be powered from a variety of renewable sources, but the show battery is the first of its kind rechargeable power course made from recycled BMW i3 batteries
  • Fan Power. The tour is installing a kinetic floor at every stadium that will capture the energy the fans create by jumping and dancing and use it to power the show. There will also be power bikes available for those fans who want to power the show by pedalling. It’s a whole new spin on Pelaton.
  • Biofuels. Instead of diesel or gasoline, buses and trucks for most of the tour will use hydrotreated vegetable oil, a bioproduct created from waste cooking oil. Where possible, air travel will use sustainable aviation fuel and the tour will pay a surcharge to expand its availability.
  • Choosing A Renewable Grid. Where there is a choice, the tour will use grid power generated from renewable sources. For example, some US states offer energy from renewable sources but delivered from traditional power companies, and some countries, like Norway and Costa Rica, have national power grids offering up to 90% of energy from renewable sources.
  • Planting Trees. In recognition that the tour will undoubtedly still create a large carbon footprint, the tour organizers have committed to planting one tree for every ticket sold

Watch Coldplay's frontman Chris Martin talks to the BBC about making the new tour "cleaner." 

In this interview he explains that when he says to the audience, “‘I need you to jump up and down, I’ll literally need you to jump up and down, because if you don’t, then the lights will go out.”