Sustainability: Engaging live music audiences on travel choices
A major part of the carbon footprint for live music events is how the millions of fans travel to and from gigs and festivals. This report gives recommendations on how to positively influence audience travel choices. Written by researchers Dr. Adam Corner, Climate // Communication // Culture, Briony Latter, Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST), with inputs from Chiara Badiali from Julie’s Bicycle.
Five recommendations for positively influencing audience travel choices
1. Audiences can be powerful agents of change: Partnerships with external agencies — public transport providers or local authorities — are central to overcoming the structural barriers (e.g. lack of late night public transport in cities) that prevent live music audiences making more sustainable travel choices. There are some examples (such as venues coordinating set times with public transport availability) of partnerships delivering positive changes, but there are also many examples of live events trying unsuccessfully to bring about the changes that would facilitate more sustainable audience travel. Festivals and much-loved live music events are not ordinary businesses. They have an opportunity to ask their audiences to create change with them - to bring about the partnerships with local authorities or public transport providers they need. Organisers of live music events can also work together through networks and trade associations to call for greater policy support, backed by the combined social, cultural and economic muscle of their collective audiences.
2. Focus on collective efficacy/agency (what ‘we’ can do; the combined impact ‘we’ can have) and solutions-focused frames so that travel decisions are active/positive choices made by the audience as a likeminded group, not sacrifices or inconveniences made by individuals acting alone: don’t apologise for inviting audiences to be part of positive change. Find creative ways (see page 5 of attached full report) to visualise and communicate the collective impact of behaviour change at scale.
3. Find and amplify human stories that ‘show the change’ rather than focusing on facts and figures. Show examples of real people (audience members) modelling positive choices, rather than persuading people through appeals to emissions savings. What are the audience values that you can use to frame climate communications for them (examples on page 7 of attached full report)? Grounding communications in shared values will be more effective than throwing around big numbers - tell a human story.
4. Focus on fairness and feasibility: Fairness is a crucial component of communicating sustainable behaviour messages, and wider engagement with climate change. When people perceive a climate policy or a behavioural ‘ask’ to be fair, they are much more likely to support it. At a time when so many people are facing serious cost of living challenges, ensuring conversations with audiences around sustainability are seen as fair is crucial.
5. Our research findings suggest that for the most part, audiences think it is fair for festivals/live events to invite audiences to make more sustainable travel choices. Safety and accessibility have to be integral to travel policies and campaigns so co-developing them with the most-impacted groups is part of making them fair and feasible (see page 8 of the attached full report ). Organisers of live music events also have a key role to play in making the more sustainable travel choices feasible through ‘carrots’ (incentives), ‘sticks’ (financial or other penalties), and putting in place infrastructure and audience journeys that make the low carbon option the most obvious.
Download the full report. From Carbon Footprints to Cultural Influence: Engaging Live Music Audiences on Travel Choices (PDF)
Written by researchers Dr. Adam Corner, Climate // Communication // Culture, Briony Latter, Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST), with inputs from Chiara Badiali from Julie’s Bicycle.
A webinar to support the launch of the report 'From carbon footprints to cultural influence: engaging live music audiences on travel choices'. The webinar is presented by researchers Dr. Adam Corner, Climate // Communication // Culture, and Briony Latter, Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST), and Chiara Badiali from Julie’s Bicycle. This webinar took place on Thurs 30th November, at 10am GMT.