Billie Eilish's Headlining Lollapalooza Set Was Solar-Powered

Billie Eilish smiles as she performs on stage

Billie Eilish has been on repeat across our social media platforms the past few weeks, crooning her soundtrack song “What Was I Made For?” 

Well, one answer to that question is: To fight climate change.

The singer has long prioritized environmental justice in her work. Between hosting a conference in the UK about the climate crisis, educating concert-goers about protecting people, planet, and animals, and advocating for organizations like Support & Feed, she consistently demonstrates what it means to use a platform for good.

The most recent news is that her headlining Lollapalooza set integrated solar-powered battery systems, indicating a shift toward clean energy in the music sector.

These efforts are done in partnership with REVERB, an environmental nonprofit, and were managed through a temporary onsite “solar farm” at the festival, overseen by partners at Overdrive Energy Solutions.

This initiative also comes out of the Music Decarbonization Project, a campaign that Eilish and REVERB helped launch and fund — and includes other artists like The Lumineers, Dead & Company, and Tame Impala. 

What is the Music Decarbonization Project?

The Music Decarbonization Project is a campaign intended to advance climate solutions that directly eliminate carbon emissions created by the music industry. 

Funding from the project helps develop and standardize shifts towards clean energy, greenhouse gas reductions, and more. 

While many of us might imagine the impact of other industries when it comes to climate change, Eilish and REVERB developed this project to focus on the unique impact of live music on the planet. 

Some projects under the Music Decarbonization Project umbrella include solar-powered sets (like Eilish’s Lollapalooza performance); next generation festival lighting; and a Fan Travel Study, which gathers data from concert-goers to better understand the carbon footprint of travel to and from music events. 

A sign is displayed in front of a concert stage: "This stage is decarbonized."
Photo courtesy of the Music Decarbonization Project

While REVERB sets up “Eco-Villages” at tours across America to increase awareness about the climate crisis and engage fans to take action, these initiatives are not one-time events. The goal is to expand them broadly.

For instance, data from those Fan Travel Studies will be shared with data scientists at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst to analyze and contribute to a report in 2024 that outlines results and strategies for the music industry to help reduce the climate impact of fan travel. 

And this was the first time that the Music Decarbonization Project partnered with Lollapalooza. 

“We hope and believe this will be a watershed moment for the music industry,” Adam Gardner of REVERB, said in a statement

“There are real climate solutions available right here, right now. By showcasing this technology with one of the biggest artists in the world, on one of the most revered festival stages, we’re accelerating the necessary transition toward a decarbonized future, for music and beyond.”

Header image courtesy of Lars Crommelinck Photography (CC BY 2.0)

Article Details

August 2, 2023 1:30 PM
August 4, 2023
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