Greener venues: L’Aéronef (FR) makes attending concerts more sustainable with Aéro Easy Go
In our quest to explore how music venues are fighting against climate change, we interviewed three Liveurope members to learn about their efforts to reduce their environmental impact.
A recent study by A Greener Future shows that, on average, 41% of carbon emissions from live music events come from audience travel. This percentage can go up to 79% depending on the scale of the event.
In the face of this challenge, L'Aéronef started looking for ways to encourage their audiences to find alternative means of transport to reach the venue. In this interview, Marcus Carbon explains these initiatives and the intricacies behind their implementation.
Since when has L’Aéronef been working on sustainability? Why did you decide to engage in this topic as a music venue?
Why do we work on greening our activities? Because we must. It’s about taking care of ourselves, the planet, the audience, and the artists. It’s about being aware of what’s happening in our world and taking concrete action. We have been working on making our venue more sustainable for a while now, but we have intensified our efforts since 2018. Acquiring the international iso 20121 certification was part of this strategy, as it provided us with best practices on how to manage the sustainability aspect of our events.
What are some of the challenges venues face when going green?
It costs a lot of money, and it takes time to change things. In addition to our daily work organising concerts, you have to fit a whole new range of actions in place and change how you do things. It’s not only about switching to LED lights, but also about having an energy-saving system everywhere in the workplace. For example, having automatic light switches in every room or using a heater for only a few hours during the day. But some of these changes can be expensive and can’t be done overnight.
Can you tell us more about your initiative Aéro Easy Go?
After doing an audit, we learned that 62% of our carbon emissions were coming from transportation. Out of these emissions, 95% were coming from the audience and only 5% from the artists. We decided we had to act and help our audiences discover new and more sustainable ways to reach L’Aéronef. We launched our Aéro Easy Go tool earlier this year to promote sustainability and make attending our gigs more accessible, with potential cost savings for the audience. The tool is built directly onto our website to ensure everyone can easily find it.
How does it work concretely?
Through Aéro Easy Go, we've set up a system where we reimburse people who use public transportation to reach the venue. If they arrive by bike, they can enjoy free and secured parking. Plus, if they have problems with their bikes, they can take it to a nearby bike shop to get it fixed at no cost. For those who choose to walk, we've introduced a "foot-sharing" concept. Since the venue is located near a train station and it can sometimes feel uneasy at night, the concertgoers have the option to walk together back home and maybe make a new friend in the process. For those traveling from further away who need a car, we encourage car-sharing and cover the parking fee for those who choose this option.
This is possible thanks to funding from the city and the regional government who are supporting the project.
What were the reactions to Aéro Easy Go so far?
I think we are the only venue carrying out such a project at the moment and our audience has received it very positively. Many venues in the Liveurope platform also showed interest in learning more about it and checking if it would be feasible to implement something similar for their audiences.
Sustainability is a top priority on Liveurope's agenda. What’s the importance of having an open forum to discuss this topic with other European venues?
Exchanging with other like-minded venues allows us to hear different ideas and learn. We are all based in different countries, we don’t necessarily work the same way or have the same resources, but good practices can come from anywhere. It’s no longer enough for venues to simply implement a reusable cups system and call it a day. We can all do better and it’s through exchanges that we can learn other practices and set our aims higher.
Aéro Easy Go is a very concrete way to raise awareness about sustainability. Should music play a bigger role in raising awareness in the fight against the climate emergency?
The music sector has a responsibility to address the issue of carbon emissions and promote good practices. We should strive to lead by example and raise awareness.
L’Aéronef is one of the many Liveurope venues working to reduce the carbon footprint of their audiences. Posthof (AT) and Ancienne Belgique (BE), for instance, offer free or discounted public transport for ticket holders; FZW (DE) added a car sharing feature to their ticket system; and other venues like Stodola (PL) collaborate with their local public transport company to encourage concert-goers to take the bus or metro.