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Lauren Cirkot MCO 275 Professor Callahan December 15, 2011 Music Festival Shows Eco-Initiative Vans Warped Tour punk rockers may be throwing caution to the wind when it comes to most things, but are serious when it comes to the environment. Millions of people enjoy and look forward to concerts and music festivals every year, but has anyone stopped to think about the environmental impact these festivals leave? Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman does each year. “Touring will always leave a footprint, but because music is so important for people, you can’t eliminate live music. How do we minimize our footprint?” Kevin Lyman said in an interview in November of 2011. Vans Warped Tour has been providing a place for 18 years where music, athletes, and lifestyles come together in an atmosphere dedicated to fans of punk, alternative, hip-hop, ska, electronica and more as described by the website. Over 80 bands perform on eight stages each day. From day one, Kevin and the Vans Warped Tour staff have been finding new ways to reduce their footprint each year on the tour. Lyman and his crew officially founded the Warped Eco-Initiative seven years ago. Vans Warped Tour produces 44 shows in 52 days during the months of June


Cirkot 2 through August. According to 4Fini, the tour’s marketing company, the total attendance in 2011 was 550,282 with an average of 12,507 people a day, and involved over 800 crew and band members on the road. Warped 2011 aimed to reduce the footprint by way of solar powered stages, volunteer-driven recycle programs, biodiesel fueling, waste reduction programs, tour volunteer days, and educational contests for bands. Incredibly Green, an organization that helped with the Warped Eco Initiative, explained to Buzznet that the Warped Eco-Initiative gathers around 20 local volunteers in each city to collect recyclables and trash around the grounds of the venue. They also work at the Warped Eco Initiative booth to inform and spread awareness about the environment. This past summer, the Warped Eco-Initiative volunteers collected 36,110 pounds of recyclables that were diverted from landfills, averaging about 820lbs a day. This calculated out to 113,600 pounds of carbon reduction as reported by 4Fini. The initiative teamed with New Leaf Biofuel as well as other national biodiesel distributors and used 90,000 gallons of bio-diesel blend pumped into 18 buses, 14 trucks, 2 mules, and all generators, which calculated out to 15.69% carbon footprint reduction from the previous year. “Our company focuses on local sustainability,” Jennifer Case, CEO of New Leaf Biofuel said in an interview in December. New Leaf Biofuel sponsored the west coast part of Warped Tour with biofuel and worked to find other reputable companies


Cirkot 3 around the country to help fuel the tour. New Leaf Biofuel works on local sustainability. Case explained that they do not want to expand the company because shipping fuel across the country would only do more harm to the environment. Greenvans, one of the sponsors on this past year’s Warped, is the first alternative fuel van rental company started specifically to meet the needs of touring bands according to their website. The vans that they rent run on Bio-diesel and Vegetable Waste fuel. “It was great to be part of such a unique business, and all of our fans were thrilled by the fact that we were traveling in a veggie-powered van,” said Michael Banos of KKBB Apparel on Greenvans’ site. The clothing company used Greenvans for Warped 2009. Greenvans sponsored the Vans shuttle that would take bus drivers to and from their hotels. “The biggest thing to remember is be sustainable yourself by using less,” said Andy Reitz, co-founder of Greenvans, in an interview in December. The 2011 tour was the first festival to utilize two solar-powered stages, the Kia Kevin Says Solar Stage and the Skullcandy Stage, producing 662 kWh of solar power. This avoided emitting 88,000 pounds of carbon monoxide into the air. In addition, Warped further utilized solar power for solar canopies over eight merchandise and non-profit booths according to Lyman.


Cirkot 4 Treehugger.com reported that the solar canopies produced over 200 kWh of solar power saving 380 gallons of diesel from being used. This reduced the tour’s carbon footprint from releasing over 8,630 pounds of carbon dioxide. Incredibly Green also told Buzznet that Cell Funds, another sponsor this past year, started a cell phone program where Warped Tour attendees would bring used cell phones to Feed Our Children Now tent or the Warped Eco Initiative tent in order to get a cut pass for the line at the door. Over 1,200 batteries and hundreds of cell phones were collected keeping them out of landfills and groundwater. Klean Kanteen joined the list of environmentally-friendly sponsors for this past year’s 2011 Vans Warped Tour. The founders of Klean Kanteen were concerned about the environmental and health impacts of widespread plastic use. Through their Facebook page, Klean Kanteen expressed that their mission was to give out free water to those who either bought their Klean Kanteen bottles made from food-grade stainless steel (a safe alternative to plastic) or to those who brought their own refillable water bottles to the station to reduce on trash and recyclables. Kristall Lutz in February 2011 reported on OpportunityGreen.com that the tour demanded that mass product suppliers, like Sysco Corporation, offer biodegradable and compostable catering supplies so that the 800 or more tour members each day could leave as little waste behind as possible. The tour even makes an effort to be environmentally responsible on their off days. In 2008, Treehugger.com reported that Warped partnered with Phillipe


Cirkot 5 Cousteau's Earth Echo International to host a cleanup bringing together over 150 bands and crewmembers to cleanup and restore the beach area around Monterey. Over 300 trees were planted and anti-littering signage was placed throughout the area. Service day 2011 was dedicated to Blue Water Baltimore, an organization that uses community-based restoration, education and advocacy to achieve clean water in Baltimore’s rivers, streams, and harbor. 4Fini reported another 150 volunteers from the tour including sponsors, production, non-profits and bands dug up the back lot of the Academy for College and Career Exploration and replaced it with conservation landscaping, began constructing a rain garden, painted a mural behind the public, privately run school. Their efforts will help prevent 830,000 gallons of storm water and pollutants from draining into the Chesapeake Bay each year. “The day fell right in the middle of a nearly 21 day run of shows. (7 shows, day off, 13 shows.) There were 6 school buses full of tour folks (and 90 degree weather). This opportunity provided a great bonding experience not only on the tour, but amongst the local students and staff that pitched in. I cannot express enough gratitude to those who generously spent their free time with us,” Renee Sharpless of the Warped Eco-Initiative enthusiastically recalls in an email interview in November of 2011. Sumner Komro, manager of the non-profit booths for Warped, told PlanetGreen.com that band members also are encouraged to get involved. “Some stop by the tent and run meet and greets. Artists can always include


Cirkot 6 messaging at their merch booths and on stage. Still, the most important thing any of us can do is take it home,” Komro said. Artists such as Big D and the Kids Table, a ska/punk band from Boston, are big supporters of the Warped Eco-Initiative and actually won this year’s contest for Warped’s Greenest Band. In a video interview with Kia, Big D’s lead singer David McWane explained that during their short half hour set they let kids know about the program and actually hand out bags to collect recyclables in exchange for a free CD or grab-bag from the band’s merchandise table. Artists can further support the eco-initiative by starting a recycling program on their bus. They can also sign up to receive biodiesel fuel for their bus. For their merchandise, bands have an option to use organic and sustainably produced fibers for their t-shirts. “It's easy to get involved, all you have to do is care,” Komro said. Other bands and sponsors that helped out this past tour included Kia Soul, Enter Shikari, and 3Oh!3. Even if Warped Tour attendees do not want to volunteer for the Warped Eco Initiative program, there are a few things that they can do to help Warped be environmentally responsible. “CARPOOL! Number one thing is carpool,” said Komno.


Cirkot 7 Warped 2012 is currently putting the funding together for another stage to be run on solar power. “I’m always learning new ways to make Warped a little better each year,” Kevin Lyman said. According to Sharpless, along with The Vans Warped Tour, 4Fini also produces Country Throwdown and Mayhem Festival. All three tours each have their own Eco program, which runs the same way, and is often run by the same people including 4Fini and Kevin Lyman. Renee Sharpless also has run the eco-initiative for Country Throwdown. Sharpless added that she and Kevin are working to develop ways to gradually eliminate the overuse of plastic bags and replacing them with Warped Logo reusable bags. “In addition, I (as always) aim to raise awareness amongst the tour by working with new bands that are either newbies on Warped, or up and coming bands developing a following,” Sharpless added. Kevin’s advice for other companies looking to mirror their efforts is that “you can’t just look at the expense. Just commit to it, don’t be afraid and keep an open mind.” More information about volunteering and the Warped Eco Initiative 2012 plans will be available after the New Year. To learn more visit vanswarpedtour.com/ or follow @warpedeco on Twitter.


Cirkot 8 Warped Sources Phone interview with Kevin Lyman on November, 21, 2011. kevinwarped@aol.com. 4Fini, Vans Warped Tour Deck 2011. Received via email from Kate Truscott, kate@4fini.com on November, 21, 2011. Buzznet interview with Incredibly Green. (June, 29, 2011). http://vanswarpedtour.buzznet.com/user/journal/9610551/2011-warped-ecoinitiative-all/ 4Fini, Vans Warped Tour Deck 2011. Received via email from Kate Truscott, kate@4fini.com on November, 21, 2011. Phone interview with Jennifer Case of New Leaf Biofuel (December 9, 2011) Jennifer@newleafbiofuel.com Greenvans http://rentgreenvans.com/testimonials.php Phone interview with Andy Reitz of Greenvans (December 9,2011) andy@rentgreenvans.com “Warped Eco Tour Needs Some Green Love” (November 30, 2008). http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/11/warped-eco-tour-needs-some-greenlove.php Buzznet interview with Incredibly Green. (June, 29, 2011). http://vanswarpedtour.buzznet.com/user/journal/9610551/2011-warped-ecoinitiative-all/ “Warped Eco Tour Needs Some Green Love” (November 30, 2008). http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/11/warped-eco-tour-needs-some-greenlove.php Klean Kanteen https://www.facebook.com/kleankanteen Kristall Lutz, Using Music to Inspire a Greener Future (Feb 2011) http://www.opportunitygreen.com/green-business-blog/2011/02/17/using-music-toinspire-a-greener-future/ “Warped Eco Tour Needs Some Green Love” (November 30, 2008). http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/11/warped-eco-tour-needs-some-greenlove.php http://www.bluewaterbaltimore.org/about/mission_history/ 4Fini, Vans Warped Tour Deck 2011. Received via email from Kate Truscott, kate@4fini.com on November, 21, 2011. Email interview with Renee Sharpless on November 28, 2011.


Cirkot 9 warpedecoren@gmail.com. Warped Tour Gears Up For a Green Summer, Sumner Komro, a driving force behind Warped Tour’s co-Initiative, takes a moment to chat (June 2009) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/warped-tour-green-summer.html Kia vlog August 9, 2011. http://vanswarpedtour.com/media/id/11698464 Warped Tour Gears Up For a Green Summer, Sumner Komro, a driving force behind Warped Tour’s co-Initiative, takes a moment to chat (June 2009) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/warped-tour-green-summer.html Warped Tour Gears Up For a Green Summer, Sumner Komro, a driving force behind Warped Tour’s co-Initiative, takes a moment to chat (June 2009) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/warped-tour-green-summer.html Phone interview with Kevin Lyman on November, 21, 2011. kevinwarped@aol.com. Email interview with Renee Sharpless on November 28, 2011. warpedecoren@gmail.com. Phone interview with Kevin Lyman on November, 21, 2011. kevinwarped@aol.com.

Warped Green Initiative News Story  

This is my final project from my Journalism class. We had to research a topic, interview people and write a 1500 word news story. We also pr...

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