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The Carbon Footprint of Art: My Reflections After U2 Sphere Concert

A few years ago someone told me about the carbon footprint, with a target of 2 tonnes per person. This influencer listed a few ways I could reduce my global footprint.
Since then I have changed a few things in my life to reduce my carbon footprint. I have made my home colder, eaten less meat, cycled to work, driven less, shared car journeys and used green transport.
In reality, nothing really changes as I still drink wine and beer, eat cheese and exercise.😋

Last summer I went to a local music festival and someone was talking about the carbon footprint of art.
But I had never thought about the carbon footprint of art before, and it really came to my mind with the U2 concert series that started at The Sphere in Las Vegas.

The visuals of the concert are amazing. But it made me think again about the carbon footprint of art. So I decided to get an average idea of the carbon emissions of the U2 concert from the travel of the attendees.

When I compared this with the annual CO2 emissions of some small countries, I found that the emissions from the U2 concert trip were a big number. For example, for a small country with annual emissions of less than 5 million tonnes of CO2, the emissions from the U2 concert trip is about 2% (2.29%) of that country's annual emissions.

This made me realise that big events like concerts also have a big carbon footprint. It's not just our daily activities that contribute to carbon emissions, but also the way we enjoy entertainment and the arts.

Please help me check if these calculations are correct. I hope this will help me to better understand the carbon footprint of the arts.

Also, how can we, as consumers of art and entertainment, contribute to reducing the carbon footprint associated with these events? I'd love to hear your thoughts

Using an AI to calculate and write this post, I used this formula to estimate the carbon emissions from attendee travel,

Total CO2 Emissions=Number of Shows×Venue Capacity×(Percentage Flying×Average Flight Distance×Flight Emissions Factor+Percentage Driving×Average Driving Distance×Driving Emissions Factor+Percentage Busing×Average Bus Distance×Bus Emissions Factor)
- Number of concerts: The total number of concerts.
- Venue Capacity: The number of people attending each concert.
- Percentage flying, driving and bus: The proportion of attendees using each mode of transport.
- Average distance: The average distance travelled by attendees.
- Emission factor: The amount of CO2 emitted per kilometre for each mode of transport.

Let's put the numbers together:
Air travel:
National: 25×17,500×(40%/2)×400 km×0.155 kg CO2/km=8,925,000 kg
International: 25×17,500×(40%/2)×3,000 km×0.115 kg CO2/km=50,312,500 kg
Car trip
25×17,500×40%×300 km×0.236 kg CO2/km=49,140,000 kg CO2
Bus trip:
25×17,500×20%×200 km×0.068 kg CO2/km=5,950,000 kg CO2
Total CO2 emissions = 8,925,000+50,312,500+49,140,000+5,950,000=114,327,500 kg CO2

Acknowledge limitations
These calculations are based on averages and assumptions and actual emissions may vary. A more accurate analysis would require detailed data on attendee travel and carbon offsetting by event organisers. However, this exercise sheds light on the environmental impact of major events and invites further discussion on green entertainment.

Text written with the help of ChatGPT, Deepl write and images generated by
- - co2-emissions-by-country
- Youtube: search u2+live+sphere+las+vegas


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