Music Sustainability Alliance Holds Inaugural Summit, Bringing Together Industry To Take Action

The Music Sustainability Summit, Los Angeles, California, USA 05 Feb 2024
Kurt Langer, board member of MSA; Joel Makower, chairman and co-founder of GreenBiz; Amy Morrison, president and co-founder of MSA; Eleanor Anderson, director of MSA; and Michael Martin, CEO/founder of r.World & Effect Partners and co-founder/board Member of MSA. Photo by John Salangsang/Shutterstock

As part of its ongoing mission to bring the music industry together to “learn, innovate, and collaborate to advance climate action,” the Music Sustainability Alliance put on the inaugural Music Sustainability Summit on Feb. 5 at The Novo in downtown Los Angeles.

The event, which was hosted by the GreenBiz Chairman and co-founder Joel Makower, highlighted issues related to sustainability within the music industry with panel topics including artist activism, waste reduction strategies, transportation emissions, collaborative approaches towards sustainability and sustainable food practices. 

An announcement from MSA noted that the conference also “celebrated ongoing solutions-based work and outlined future initiatives, including MSA initiated research projects with the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management focusing on extreme weather impacts and regulatory effects on business operations and the bottom line, and a mapping project with MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative.” 

The summit drew attendees from all sectors of the industry including executives working at labels and production companies, as well as managers, agents, promoters, NGO’s and artists. The panels also included insight from scientists and academics.

One such panel was “What We Eat Matters,” featuring Maggie Baird, founder of nonprofit Support + Feed (and mother to Billie Eilish and FINNEAS); Janine Rubio, the Chef de Cuisine at Kitchen Mouse Cafe & Catering; Lesley Olenik, the VP of Touring at Live Nation Entertainment; and Dr. Jonathan Foley, a leading climate scientist.

“Food is across everything everyone does in the music industry,” Baird said in a statement. “Addressing what is on our plates and providing primarily, if not entirely, plant-based food offerings can be a massively impactful step the music industry can take to nourish both people and the planet.” 

Baird also took part in a panel discussion at Pollstar Live! last week which examined the success of a zero-waste Dave Matthews Band show at Enmarket Arena in Savannah, Georgia.

Looking ahead, the MSA is continuing to help the industry become more sustainable with tools and resources on its website, “Working Groups” to foster community engagement and by hosting monthly educational webinars and ongoing research initiatives.

The first webinar is scheduled March 28 at 10 a.m. PT with a focus on voting and how “the industry can leverage its platforms to encourage audiences to become climate-minded voters.”

MSA’s working board includes Eleanor Anderson (director of MSA), Kurt Langer, Michael Martin (co-founder) and Amy Morrison (co-founder). The organization made its official launch in October 2021 at the VenuesNow Conference in Seattle. 

In 2023, Anderson was named as one of the up-and-coming executives on Pollstar’s Impact: NextGen list. She also penned a guest post for Pollstar sharing the Gen Z perspective on sustainable touring.  

“I am energized by the incredible turnout and engagement at our inaugural summit, a clear signal that this community is primed to take collective action to combat climate change,” Amy Morrison, President and Co-founder of MSA said in a statement. “Climate Action is not just about the industry reducing emissions, but also about lifting up our artists, audiences and the communities around the world who look to us for inspiration.”

MSA’s founding partners include Clair, Nighthawk, PRG, REVERB, Rock-it Global, Rock Lititz, r.World, Solotech, TAIT, and Upstaging. The summit was sponsored by AEG, ASM, Circular Unity, Moxion, and Everywhere Apparel.

The Most Impactful Show Possible: A Look at Sustainability and the Live Music Industry (Pollstar Live! Panel Recap)

Impact NextGen: Eleanor Anderson

Guest Post: A Gen Z Perspective On Sustainable Touring