Jack Johnson names Merriweather as elite sustainability venue
By: Eye on AnnapolisDecember 30, 2014
BY: JOHN FRENAYE
Jack Johnson has established the All At Once Sustainability Award and announced that Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., has received the 2014 outstanding music venue award. It honors elite venues that excelled in waste reduction and sustainability measures and made every effort to meet Jack Johnson’s Environmental Rider during his 2014 From Here To Now To You Tour across North and South America.
“As an artist that is lucky enough to play at these beautiful venues, I want to send out a big thank you to these venues and promoters, including Merriweather Post Pavilion and its promoter I.M.P., for leading the music industry in being more environmentally responsible. Music venues are gathering places that have a huge influence on people, young and old. These venues are raising the bar on waste management, plastic free initiatives, healthy and local food options, alternative transportation systems and much more. The concert experience is improved exponentially for fans and musicians when venues care enough to make these important changes. I came away from my experience at these venues inspired,” said Jack Johnson.
Merriweather’s environmental leadership includes investing in a solar array that powers house and backstage lighting, installing composting facilities and an onsite bio-diesel fueling station for tour vehicles, building a new concession stand and restrooms to LEED standards, and encouraging patrons to bring empty water bottles for refilling. Additionally, the concessions sell farm-to-table meats, and the venue is moving away from petroleum-based products, among other improvements. Soon, Merriweather will go even further, capturing all storm water run-off for use as property irrigation, expanding solar capacity by 12 times, replacing all lighting with LEDs, and replacing all restroom and concession buildings to meet high efficiency standards.
Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., operator and promoter of Merriweather Post Pavilion and co-owner of the 9:30 Club said, “Jack is one of those artists that makes you feel really good about being in this business. He’s a real guy, with a real conscience that is not guided by career strategy. One didn’t have to second-guess about why he cared about this…you know he simply did. And that inspires all of us to think about what we can do today for the good of everyone.”
Johnson’s 2014 From Here To Now To You Tour brought 263,713 fans to 35 shows across North and South America. Through Johnson’s All At Once campaign, the tour collaborated with over 150 community groups focusing on plastic-free initiatives, sustainable local food systems, and other hands-on environmental projects. All At Once promoted and supported 50 pre-show community events hosted by non-profit partners, involving more than 10,800 volunteers. The Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation donated over $400,000 to these partners and an additional $650,000 was raised by these non-profits through the All At Once matching donation program.
Johnson’s 2014 tour eliminated over 18,392 single-use 16 oz. plastic bottles with water refill stations and reusable containers, supported 35 local farms with the purchase of locally grown and organic produce for band and crew catering, sourced over 10,054 gallons of sustainable biodiesel to fuel tour trucks, buses, and on site generators, and offset an estimated 2,462,600 pounds of CO2 through green touring efforts and fan participation.