Green is the new colour of music

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Published: February 22, 2015 12:05:40 AM

An upcoming multi-city show is all set to combine eco-friendly initiatives with sound to offer a new genre in live concerts

IMAGINE peddling your way to a live concert, parking it in the designated slot, showing your bicycle key to the organiser and getting a 20% off on the entry ticket. This is what the people behind Emerge, a music festival that is making its debut in Bengaluru and Delhi, plan to do on February 28 and March 1, respectively. The idea is keep pollution levels under check, avoid traffic snarls and burn some calories in the process.

Also, the organisers plan to make everything from paper cups and plates to invites out of recyclable materials.

The ‘green’ initiatives are not without reason. While the music festival scene continues to thrive, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts spending on concerts and music festivals will reach $12.2 billion in 2016, and such events have only experienced an attendance explosion in the recent past. Sure, this is great news for the many communities that benefit financially, but it is not for the environment.

A new ‘environmental disaster’ is in the making. With their primary export being garbage and pollution and tons of rubbish created by the fans, vendors and artistes and the mass consumption of energy and the carbon footprint created by the thousands of people who drive to any given venue, these events often have a huge negative impact on the environment. A study conducted by Oxford University found some 84,000 tons of carbon dioxide are emitted at festivals in the UK each year, due to diesel-guzzling generators and trash. While these figures are distressing, the industry has begun to address the issue by adopting creative strategies aimed at developing a more eco-friendly music festivals.

Eco-friendly, it is. Now coming to music, the main component of the festival, handpan artiste Daniel Waples is flying in all the way from London to entertain crowds with his sensational solo, Hang Drum. Advaita, a fusion band from Delhi, will fuse eight distinct musical sensibilities to bring forth a truly unique sound. Another Indian band that is all set to woo its fans again is the Bengaluru band Parvaaz, whose sound is a blend of blues, rock, and psychedelic with Kashmiri and Urdu lyrics.

Debuting in the Indian market this year is the famed band, Rudimental, which was a 2013 nominee for a Mercury Prize and winners of several awards including the Brit Award. Saving the best for last is ALT J, who have established themselves as one of the UK’s most innovative new acts, breaking down musical barriers in a manner comparable with the likes of Pink Floyd and Radiohead at their peak periods.

Outlining the background of the show, Jaideep Singh, business head and vice president, Integrated Network Solutions, a division of Viacom18, says: “Emerge was one of the first properties of LiveViacom18, which was started in August 2013. Till now we have got 14 acts from across the globe panning South Africa, the UK, and other

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