Update

Iconic Melbourne music venues join 120+ Australian artists in the fight against plastic pollution!

Yah Yah’s owners, Nicholas Jones & Darve Smith, celebrate the BYOBottle announcement.

Green Music Australia is kicking off Plastic Free July with several iconic Melbourne music venues in tow! The Corner Hotel, Yah Yah’s and Northcote Social Club have all joined the fight against single-use plastics, pledging to cease using plastic water bottles in each of their venues and advocating for the #BYOBottle movement within the community. Supported by Creative Victoria and VicHealth, these new plastic-free partnerships will see water refill stations and reusable water bottles stocked in all venues and made available to venue-goers, artists and staff. Ultimately this will help increase supply, access and promotion of water as a drink of choice in live music venues.

Plastic Free July is a global movement reducing the use of single-use plastic for cleaner streets, oceans, and more beautiful communities. Green Music Australia’s #BYOBottle campaign supports the cause year-round, mobilising over 120 Australian #BYOBottle artist ambassadors who have already pledged to swap single-use for reusable in the fight to reduce waste and help the planet.

Georgie Martin, Assistant Venue Manager at The Corner Hotel, said “The Corner is committed to reducing our environmental impact, in the last year we have installed solar panels, stopped offering plastic straws with every drink, halved our cleaning chemical use by introducing E-Water and introduced an organics composting system, reducing our use of single use plastic water bottle use is the next step in this great challenge.”

 The Corner Hotel staff, showing off their reusable drinking-ware.

Nicholas Jones, Managing Director at Yahs Yahs, is equally enthusiastic about the initiative. “At Yah Yahs we want everyone to be able to enjoy a great night out without the negative consequences. We also interact with thousands of young people every week so have a part to play in being good role models. Encouraging guests to drink more water is a key part of us serving responsibly, so to be able to phase out single use plastics for self-service stations isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for business too and for everyone to be able to enjoy their night out.”

Green Music Australia’s Co-CEO, Berish Bilander said, “It’s so exciting to see the music industry band together to turn the tide on plastic pollution. Live music venues are the lifeblood of our scene and engage millions of fans each month. What better place to shift our throw-away culture, and instil important sustainable values around reuse. We’re delighted to work with VicHealth to get this program – that’s both good for people’s health and the planet, off the ground”.

In 2018, Max Watts House of Music was the first venue to enter into partnership with Green Music Australia to provide reusable bottles for staff and artists and work to educate punters on the #BYOBottle initiative. They’ve since seen great success with positive feedback from the performer community and over a 70% reduction in the amount of single-use plastic bottles purchased by the venue, primarily for sale to the public.

“We’re really proud of the initiative, of the reduction in waste, and the fact that it’s saving us money.” – Leroy Martin, Venue Manager at Max Watts House of Music

This overwhelmingly positive response has stirred other venue owners around Melbourne and Australia to explore opportunities for how their venue can be a contributor and leader in this rapidly growing community movement.

The cultural change to ditching plastic bottles has expanded significantly into the live music scene, notably when Jack Johnson launched the international version of #BYOBottle with Green Music Australia and the Sustainable Concerts Working Group in April earlier this year. Receiving support from artists such as P!nk, Flume, Maroon 5 and Bonnie Raitt, it sent a strong message to music venues, festivals and other artists that the music scene is committed to moving towards a sustainable future.

You can get involved in changing the narrative of music and the environment by taking part in Plastic Free July (yep, especially at gigs!) and tagging @greenmusicau, #BYOBottle and #PlasticFreeJuly to help spread the word!

If you’re a venue, artist, promoter or label and would like to make the transition to single-use plastic free materials then we encourage you to pledge to #PlasticFreeJuly and #BYOBottle and get in contact with Green Music Australia for further support and resources.

Venue photos can be accessed here.