The Green Tour
As a musician I try to run my musical enterprise as green as possible. I started out with making the cover of my debut album out of 100% recycled paper and having it printed with an ecofriendly waterless offset printing technique. Next I came up with bandshirts made of bio-cotton and bamboo. I went even further when I came up with the idea of playing shows on green energy. In the music world, venue and festival shows cost a lot of power. Why not use solar and wind energy instead of cole or nuclear generated power? And while we're at it, can't the crowd deliver some as well?
That's how the Green Tour was born. A tour from festival to festival with a mobile stage, transported by a truck on bio fuel, using nothing but energy from the sun, the wind and the crowd.
I wrote down the concept and started submitting it to several possible collaborating companies. At that time I had already met sustainability artist Erik Groen who creates installations and other creative stuff out of recycled solar panels and such. We hooked up and he got us the solar panels, windmill and bicycle installations used by the crowd. Peter van der Sterre from transportation company VDS Logistics went nuts on the idea and offered his truck on bio-fuel. Audio company Holland Audio Service also jumped right on to the project and delivered an energy sufficient soundsystem that was adjusted to the power output of Erik Groen's material. The stage itself and the LED lights we're rented local per show.
Eventhough this concept was quite unique and the organisation of a green gig quite a challenge, my manager Martijn Crama and booker Ilana Goldstoff managed to get us some gigs. In 2010 we did several bandgigs learning and developping the stage everytime we played. We concluded the tour at the Lowlands festival on the special green area Llowlab, which was a dream come true.
The Green Tour turned out to be a great chance of entertaining and inspiring people in a green way at the same time. And for me personally, it satisfied me in my aim for running my musical enterprise in harmony with the world around.
Since 2010 the Green Tour has evolved and the green belief has digged its way deeper into my actions. I asked Erik Groen to build a green solo set-up, so I could also play my solo gigs in an eco-friendly way. This new installation is based on a trolly, hooked up with a car battery, a transforer, a speaker and a electric bicycle axle. When the trolly is layed down flat on the ground it actually looks like a recumbent. The crowd may cycle to produce energy for my solo loopstation performance. I named it the Green Machine and have been doing a lot of shows with it already.
Also the idea of the green stage got picked up by the Delft Technical University who have made the project into a study object. 10 students from technical and industrial design started working on an improved and innovated version of the Green Stage. This gives us the chance to bring the project to a higher level and find bigger partners who could support the development of the stage and its function as a role model for a more sustainable popculture. Already ID&T and Jan Douwe Kroeske from Double 2 have shown their interest. Also the provincial government of Friesland are enthousiastic about the development and may possibly support the project with subsidy for innovative purposes.
I feel it as my mission to keep striving for green innovation within the popculture and my own musical activities. It's wonderful to see so many people being inspired and surprised by the possibilites modern day sustainable technology has shown in the Green Tour. Eventually sustainability goes way beyond rocking with my band on a green stage, but it's a way of making a change within my range. With music as my tool to connect all the pieces of the puzzle. I hope you will find a way to make a change too.