As global communications have become simpler but more sophisticated with new technologies, the market for entertainments such as music and sport has globalized. Add to this, the reduced profits that artists receive from recorded music (due to the increase in downloads as opposed to CD purchase) and a situation arises where musicians are just itching to get out on the road. In contrast to this, environmentalists have complained about the scale of tours that seem to travel across the world carrying huge amounts of equipment. For example, U2 have been criticized for their ‘360°’ tour with its large ‘in the round’ stage set moved from concert to concert around the world starting in 2009 and through to 2011.
A number of consulting organizations such as Julie’s Bicycle and Music Matters (a division of EFFECT) have helped to provide information for artists to make better choices on their approach to touring. This case study looks at Jack Johnson’s ‘Sleep Through The Static’ tour that crossed the world in 2008 and tried to address some of the criticisms of other tours in making his tour more environmentally friendly.