As befits musicians with a reputation for being the wokest band on the planet, Coldplay have set themselves the ambitious goal of making their world tour sustainable.
So committed are they that they claim to be determined to make it net zero – cutting greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and using an electric battery system that allows them to use 100 per cent renewable energy efficiently.
However, their decision to add two lucrative dates to the schedule in Perth, Australia, has prompted questions over whether things are always as environmentally friendly as singer Chris Martin and his bandmates like us to believe.
Eyebrows have been raised in the music industry about the detour from Asia to Oz where they will spend just two nights performing – but potentially make millions.
Because, despite repeated claims in a very lengthy statement, it appears that the self-professed gods of green are racking up quite a carbon footprint.
In their mission statement, posted on their website and Instagram account, Devon-born Martin and his co-stars claim their Music Of Spheres World Tour will be as ‘environmentally beneficial as possible and reduce our direct carbon emissions (from show production, freight, band and crew travel)’.
The band are making a detour during the Asian leg of their tour to fly 2,000 miles from Jakarta, Indonesia, where they play on Wednesday, to Australia – and then another 2,600 miles back to Kuala Lumpur in time for their gig on November 22. All, it is believed, on private jets.
One insider said: ‘Of course, Australia wants to see Coldplay and they need to get there somehow but to bleat on about reducing carbon emissions and then travel those distances does make you question whether that was the right decision to make.’
Both concerts at Perth’s Optus Stadium are sold out – with 120,000 tickets sold and the band looking at a return of around £12million.
And Coldplay fans have been promised a ‘spectacular show’ which will be ‘bursting with lasers, fireworks and LED wristbands’.
While the band insists the laser lighting is from an electric battery system and therefore energy efficient, the combustion of fireworks emits greenhouse gases. And while Martin and his bandmates – guitarist Jonny Buckland and bassists Guy Berryman and Will Champion – have stressed the LED wristbands can be returned and re-used, industry insiders say fans don’t usually do this.
A Coldplay spokesman said: ‘The flight distance from Jakarta to Perth is 200 miles less than Perth to Sydney, which is why Perth was included on the Asian leg of the tour. For all band and crew flights, more than 80 per cent of emissions are negated by the use of fossil-fuel free Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
‘For fireworks, Coldplay use a new generation of sustainable pyrotechnics that have less explosive charge and new formulas that greatly reduce harmful chemicals.
‘All confetti used is 100 per cent biodegradable. Coldplay have reduced their CO2 emissions by 47 per cent compared to the last tour – verified by MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative – and aim to continue improving on this as the tour continues,’ they said.