At two sold-out performances this week in California, Jack Johnson gave each and every concert-goer a souvenir stainless steel cup to eliminate single-use plastic and build on his legacy of greening rock-and-roll.
Fans at the Santa Barbara Bowl shows could fill up for free at any water station and will enjoy a $1 discount on all beverage refills – for the life of that pint at any future concert in the outdoor amphitheater.
Before agreeing to play somewhere, he hands over a list of environmentally-focused demands in his rider, including a 100% recycling requirement and a request for energy-efficient light bulbs to be installed throughout the facility.
“After a show, I look out and see a sea of plastic – the industry I’m part of is contributing in a major way to this problem. I feel a responsibility,” Johnson told Rolling Stone.
For the picturesque Santa Barbara Bowl, the drive to go green was already embedded in their ethos. They’ve made it their mission to divert as much of their waste from the landfill as possible — going far beyond the California requirement of 50% by reducing 90% of their waste after sorting recyclables and composting the rest.
Johnson awarded the venue, which is 90 miles north of Los Angeles, the All At Once Sustainability Award in 2014 for being one of the greenest venues on his North American Tour and donated a water refill station in 2015 that has been used at every Bowl event since.
The new campaign is an expansion of the Bowl’s Reusable Pint Program launched in 2014 in coordination with Johnson’s “From Here To Now To You” Tour that began striving to remove single-use plastic from concert venues.
His disdain for plastic led the 42-year-old singer songwriter on a voyage with scientists through the North Atlantic for a documentary about plastic pollution in the ocean. He contributed an original score to the film, The Smog of the Sea, including the song Fragments, which laments the small shards of plastic they discovered wherever they went. (They confirmed that the huge pile of floating trash is indeed a myth, and the real scourge are these “fragments on the sea.”
Johnson has extended his sold-out U.S. tour to support his new album, All the Light Above It Too. The LP, his seventh, which includes Fragments, is set for release September 8th via his own Brushfire Records.
Like the Dead & Company tour this year, which is erecting tents to feature the work of nonprofits, like the Jerry Garcia Foundation, Johnson’s tour dates at the Bowl hosted the All At Once Village Green, with local environmental non-profits and fan engagement to support sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives.
(CHECK out the soundtrack of Fragments…and SHARE below)
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