Adam Gardner is the lead singer of the band Guster and co-founder of Reverb, an organization dedicated to making the music industry more sustainable. Reverb has led the green music movement, partnering with major artists like Billie Eilish and Odesza to reduce the environmental footprint of touring, raise money for climate nonprofits, and inspire fans to take action. This year Reverb launched its Music Decarbonization Project to eliminate carbon emissions created by the industry.
What is the single most important action you think the public, or a specific company or government, needs to take in the next year to advance the climate agenda?
Musicians and the music industry have an unprecedented opportunity to affect widespread change in the public, corporate, and political realms. That’s why for 20 years, my organization Reverb has been engaging millions of fans at shows and working to make music more sustainable. The music industry is uniquely positioned to “walk our talk”—shifting our industry from within while using our massive voice to empower individuals and influence leaders in business and government. We need to unite in the fight against the climate crisis, share best practices, spur each other to further action, and inspire hope.
What sustainability effort do you hope will gain popularity with the general public this year, and why?
I hope decarbonization becomes a larger focus this year because there are real climate solutions available right here, right now. This year, Reverb started the Music Decarbonization Project to accelerate music’s shift away from fossil fuels. As part of that effort, we replaced antiquated, highly-polluting diesel generators with solar-powered intelligent battery systems at Lollapalooza for Billie Eilish’s headline performance and Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion festival during SXSW. We’re hoping high-profile examples of real, immediate clean power solutions will inspire and accelerate both music’s and individuals’ efforts to decarbonize.
Where should climate activism go in the next year?
Our best chance to create meaningful, sustained climate action is to build as strong and diverse a coalition of engaged people as possible. The climate crisis affects everyone, though disproportionately, so it’s vitally important to empower everyone to take action. For 20 years, my organization Reverb has been using music’s unmatched power to bring people together as a starting point to take action for urgent environmental issues, like the climate crisis. Engaging with people where they’re at, talking about the things they care about, and providing a path toward creating positive impacts for people and the planet can really help push the climate movement forward.
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