Chris Martin: Coldplay ‘Not Touring’ New Album Out Of Environmental Concerns

Coldplay erfroms At Allianz Parque
Mauricio Santana / Getty Images
– Coldplay Performs At Allianz Parque
Coldplay’s Chris Martin jumps during a 2017 performance at São Paulo’s Allianz Parque.

One of music’s biggest touring acts seems unlikely to hit the road behind its new album – for now, at least.

In a BBC interview, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin shared that the band has put touring plans on hold as it investigates how to make its concerts more sustainable.

“We’re not touring this album,” Martin said. “We’re taking time over the next year or two, to work out how our tour can not only be sustainable [but] how can it be actively beneficial.

“Our next tour will be the best possible version of a tour like that environmentally,” he continued. “We would be disappointed if it’s not carbon neutral. The hardest thing is the flying side of things. But, for example, our dream is to have a show with no single-use plastic, to have it largely solar powered. We’ve done a lot of big tours at this point. How do we turn it around so it’s not so much taking as giving?”

Martin’s words echo a growing movement throughout the industry – from promoters to venues to artists themselves – to reduce the carbon footprint of concerts.

“I feel like historically artists have really driven sustainability in the music industry,” Lucy August-Perna, Live Nation’s manager of venue sustainability, told Pollstar last month.

Added Tom See, Live Nation president, venues – U.S. concerts: “It all started with the artists. The more they advocate for getting venues to participate in sustainable activities, we all win at the end of the day.”

While Live Nation has eliminated plastic straws from its amphitheaters and AEG has implemented its “1Earth” program with more than 80 venues participating, artists including Third Eye Blind have taken it a step further and instituted carbon offset programs on tour with entities such as ClimeCo. 

“For our 20th anniversary tour, we said no more straws and no single-use plastic,” Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins told Pollstar in April. “On that tour we saved 16,700-something plastic bottles, just us on that tour.”   

An act with Coldplay’s commercial clout could force true change. The band’s eighth album, Everyday Life, arrives tomorrow, and is the band’s first in four years. There’s pent-up demand for a Coldplay tour – and Coldplay tours were some of this decade’s most lucrative. The band ranked third on Pollstar‘s Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart in both 2016 and 2017, grossing a total of $479 million over those two years. The band ranked No. 4 on the same chart in 2012, with a gross of $171.3 million.

Pollstar has reached out to Paradigm, which represents Coldplay in the U.S. and Canada, for comment.