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Links for sections: Solidarity (pole/flag area) / Activism (stage) / Green_Rider (green room) / Waste (bins) / Transport (Free shuttle; buses) / Food (food truck) / Fashion (merch tent)
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Musicians are working in all sorts of wonderful ways to harmonise their arts practice with the environment. We invite you to explore and be inspired.

Not an artist? Click for our resources if you're a music lover or you work in the music industry.

1. First Nations solidarity 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been caring for Country and the environment for over 60,000 years in Australia. We need to ensure their voices are listened to and amplified in our fight for the living planet.

  • Make an Acknowledgement of Country at the start of shows. This is a way of standing in solidarity with First Nations people by respecting and acknowledging their ongoing resilience and strength as traditional custodians. Our suggested wording:
    'I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land that this event takes place on, the (people) of the (nation), and pay my respects to Elders past and present. Sovereignty has never been ceded and this performance takes place on stolen land.'
    Check out this map to see whose land you’re on. Make your Acknowledgement personal in some way - reflect on what the Country you’re on means to you in addition to the above wording.
  • Raise Indigenous work and voices through your online platforms. 
  • Pay the Rent by donating a portion of ticketing profits to a body led by Indigenous Elders. Use this guide to choose a group that’s genuinely controlled by the community.
  • Get cultural awareness training like Black Card
  • Educate yourself: Learn about the history of this continent and about how to be a good Indigenous ally

To read more on solidarity, useful resources and centering First Nations voices, get the full guide →

2. Be a climate leader

  • Don’t use throw away plastic bottles on stage
  • Go to peaceful and legal protests
  • Sell ethical merchandise
  • Tour responsibly
  • Offset your carbon
  • Speak up about issues to media
  • Have transport guides on your ticketing information
  • Donate part of your ticket sales / merch to a cause you feel strongly about
  • Wear your heart on your sleeve and talk about climate action at your shows
  • Sign our Music Scene Climate Change Declaration 

To read more on activism, education and mental health, get the full guide →




3. Clean up your drinks rider

Use our Green Drinks Rider Text for all of your shows and festivals:

We travel with our own reusable water bottles, in order to cut down on the unnecessary waste and environmental  damage caused by disposable bottles. Please ensure that jugs or refilling stations with cold and room temperature water are made available for us to use. We encourage you to consider phasing out disposable water bottles across  our business and providing free water refilling stations to punters, staff and artists. Green Music Australia is happy to help: [email protected]

Using this text tells venues and festivals loud and clear that you do not want disposable bottles provided as part of your drinks rider, but you do want jugs, taps or refilling stations made available. By doing that, you not only avoid using them yourself, but you also draw the issue to the attention of the venues and festivals you play at. Simply cut and paste the text in and start using it straight away! See more about our BYO Bottle campaign here.

To read more on working with venues, getting rid of plastic on your tours and advocating with festivals, get the full guide →

4. Reduce your waste

Every bit of plastic that’s ever been created still exists somewhere on the planet. So, instead of dealing with the mess, try to avoid creating it in the first place. In the words of one of the world’s greatest singing activists:

“If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, designed or removed from production.”

- Pete Seeger

But when that's impossible...

  • Make sure you BYO reusable bottle (we love Ocean BottleFrank Green and EarthBottles), as well as other reusable items like bags, straws, keep cups and foodware/cutlery
  • Aim for less or no packaging on items like food and cosmetics (check out this guide for zero-waste beauty)
  • Ask your venues to help you make your shows green and use our green rider
  • Compost and recycle as much as possible
  • Buy second-hand where possible, and repair broken gear before you replace it

To read more on our recommended products, how to compost and upcycling, get the full guide →





5. Transport

In Australia, touring large distances is unavoidable - the average tour of Australia with 15 shows creates 28 tonnes of carbon emissions, and how your audience gets your shows is the biggest contributing factor! Encourage low-impact transport, carefully plan your route, and offset emissions to reduce your environmental impact.

Our top tips include:

  • Collaborate with our awesome friends over at FEAT. to offset your emissions and invest in renewables 
  • Encourage fans to take public transport, ride or carpool to your gig through venue selection and ticketing incentives - work with ethical, non-profit ticketing providers like Humanitix if you can, whose profits go to sustainable projects like literacy programs for young girls!
  • Tour with as little flying as possible

To read more on carbon offsetting, ticketing and carbon footprint calculation, get the full guide →

6. Food

Our food choices, including where we source produce from, what type of food we consume, and how much we order, are hugely important to our environmental footprint. Nasty agricultural practices spread toxins, damage land, and hurt animals, and food waste is a major contributor to global warming. 

You can change this by eating less meat; buying locally from farmer’s markets and bulk food stores; and reducing your food waste. At shows, choose catering companies and food concession stands that can provide local, mainly-vegetarian food, and work with organisations like OzHarvest if waste is unavoidable.

To read more on packaging, food vendors and ethical eating, get the full guide →






7. Fashion & Merchandise

Australians buy an average of 27 kilograms of new textiles each year, and then discard about 23 kilograms into landfill, two-thirds of those being predominantly plastic fibers that don’t break down, and contribute to the microplastics in our oceans. To change this fast fashion trend, both personally and in your merch sales, consider:

  • Shopping/sourcing clothes locally, from recycled materials and/or ethical brands if you can
  • Scrutinise the necessity of your consumption
  • Shop second hand in op-shops, and remember to mend instead of throwing out (there are endless online tutorials on how you can get creative with old clothes, trust us.)
  • Look for fair trade certification and boycott brands that harm the earth!

To see our merch company recommendations, guide to personal shopping and facts on fast fashion, get the full guide →