Green Noise is championing a more sustainable music industry
15.10.2019

Green Noise is championing a more sustainable music industry

Words by Anna Rose

AMPLIFY is Darebin Music Feast’s event producer mentorship. Where AMPLIFY aims to give voices to those who don’t have one, its mentorship recipients, Winnie McQuinn and Acacia Coates, will give a voice to a cause that isn’t often thought about.

The pair will co-produce the Darebin Music Feast closing day with a very special event, Green Noise. Inspired by green initiatives within the music industry and the FEAT (Future Energy Artists) initiative, this project is one Coates is extraordinarily passionate about.

“We were seeing a bunch of different initiatives, with the music industry specifically, inspiring us to green up our practices,” she says. “When we saw this event come up and the core aims of the Darebin council, we thought the two married well.

“Touring musicians create high amounts of carbon emissions – we wanted to celebrate and spotlight initiatives like [Green Noise] to fuel this movement, to encourage change for greener practices within the industry and other events.

“It’s also exciting to see recent announcements like Billie Eilish’s commitment to sustainable touring and plans to educate her fans on environmentalism at her shows. The strategies and ways musicians can incorporate environmental sustainability into their practice seem to be evolving rapidly right now, in response to greater social outcry over climate issues.”

The way in which Coates and McQuinn have merged lessons about sustainability practices with a fun day out are far from preachy, so you can head along to this all-ages event and have a great day as well as creating a greener footprint when you attend.

“We’re definitely not trying to preach or alienate anyone from the event, but trying to show people through our actions and how we plan the event how you can create change in small ways to have a big impact.

“We can be a vehicle for creating change by creating a great event for the community and community bands, educate people through a fun event and music they love. It’s an out-of-the-box way to get people thinking about activism without necessarily shouting at them about it.”

Green Noise is an amazing concept and a great cause. It’s not just about spreading the word on environmental issues, but highlighting ways in which members of the music industry, from all facets, can be more environmentally conscious.

“Green Noise aims to celebrate and spotlight these kinds of initiatives and, in turn, showcase what musicians and individuals can do themselves,” says Coates. “We are also striving to make our event as sustainable as possible, from booking like-minded local acts, to organising waste and plastic-free artist catering and food and drink offerings, and offsetting the carbon emissions created through our event.

“It’s been a big journey and learning experience for us, seeing different facets to make the event as green as possible – catering, reducing plastics, offsetting the carbon emissions created has been important, as well. There’s not a clear cut template for organisers putting on community gigs, so learning how to apply these emissions to specific events, it’s got us thinking about how, post-event, we can get other events to take a resource or database to empower other event organisers to reduce emissions. That kind of knowledge that we can pool could make a massive difference.

As producers of the event, it was important for Coates and McQuinn to invite musicians who are already upholding these methods within their own artistic practices.

“Initially, at development of the concept, we were thinking of bands who were really active within environmental causes,” says Coates. “The Vovos are on board – [they’re] an underage band who came out of Girls Rock! Melbourne, but they’re also very active student climate strikers involved in all the recent weekday student driven protests – it ties into the event being all-ages – they’re involved in extinction rebellion protests.

“We’re excited to get artists with that like-minded vision on the lineup. It’s important that it is all-ages, because the current push for climate justice is being pushed by young people.”

Green Noise promises to be an event where not only attendees can learn and contribute, but where performers can learn from one another about how they can further their own initiatives.

“We’re hoping the whole event can be an opportunity – we’re learning through the whole process of organising the event. The environmental vendors can also be an amazing way to educate. Stalls from Friends Of Merri Creek, AYCC [Australian Youth Climate Coalition] and Seed will be present as well.

“For us, it’s a journey exploring the various ways we, and the music and events industry, can make these experiences greener. We plan to keep educating ourselves and staying connected with environmental community initiatives and encourage others to do so too.

“We want to continue Green Noise projects in future, both in the form of events and also creating resources/guides to help others make their music and events greener!”

Green Noise is happening as part of Darebin Music Feast on Sunday October 27 at The Thornbury Theatre. Darebin Music Feast runs from Sunday October 20 until Sunday October 27. Head to musicfeast.com.au for more info on the event.