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Backstage at the Rolling Stones Concert

The idea behind organizing an environmentally friendly tour across Canada for me to lead workshops and play music started after I worked as local crew in Vancouver for the Rolling Stones in November of 2006. They used huge amounts of gear transported in semi-trailer trucks, gigantic production and massive energy use. I want to be a successful musician, but I did not want to do that.

So what should I do?
Massive staging and transportation of Stones show
Rolling Stones Concert 2006 Vancouver These are photos of the tear down process from the November 2006 concert in BC Place Stadium. Front of Stage Area Stones Tear-down 2006

Massive equipment to move and transport the Rolling Stones gear.

My performing experience has usually been in intimate settings and in many cases, has involved a certain amount of audience participation. I decided that the most environmentally friendly thing I could do is to continue to work locally and think globally. I would continue to try to reach people in comfortable, low energy use settings, but I would webcast to large amounts of people on the internet. Some of my co-performers can be even more environmentally friendly by staying at home! Some will be interacting with me in performance over the internet and some of them will meet me when I arrive at their home city or town and we will play together in a local performance.

When I was watching the Rolling Stones, I found that my unconscious choice was to pay attention to the giant screens rather than the small live people on the stage. I had to keep reminding myself that I could watch a Stones video anytime, but this was probably the only time I would be able to watch the real people. Huge Screen Live at Stones Concert 2006My focus on the huge screens led me to think that my large audience might as well watch their own screens in the comfort of their own home and be able to interact with other “virtual concert attendees” by posting comments and by whatever other means I can provide. Then, when I visit a place that is close to them, they can come and see me. A recognizable me, not a tiny figure, a me who will see them as a person, not as a blur in a sea of anonymous faces.

I know that my motorcycle burns gasoline, which is not the cleanest fuel, but it uses very little to transport me and my computer gear. I will try to offset that carbon debt by some means, but I will have to research the best method. I think some carbon offset plans are better than others, so suggestions are welcome. I don’t think it is right to claim things I would do anyway as a carbon offset, so I have to have something that I would not normally do or an extra payment to make. Otherwise, I would not feel that I truly can apply a carbon offset.

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  1. November 16th, 2007 at 09:27 | #1

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  2. ChrisB12Many
    December 10th, 2007 at 22:38 | #2

    See footage of that moving stage at BC Place:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8kH52LkLAPQ

  3. December 24th, 2007 at 10:57 | #3

    It must be addictive to have thousands of people cheer when you step out on the stage or sing a hit song. I don’t think the Stones are going to retire anytime soon. Backstage, after the show, the manager of the Vancouver crew was defining his moment with the thought that Vancouver was the last stop in what could be the Stones last tour, and we had worked the show. When he asked me why I disagreed, I said, “Tutankhamen is still touring ….”

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