Chris Martin on how Coldplay is using batteries, bikes, and solar power to make touring sustainable

'It's not perfect yet, and some of it has to be improved, but we feel like we're trying our best'
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin
Photo credit (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Audacy)

Coldplay is currently in the midst of their Music of the Spheres tour and has one goal in mind outside of treating their fans to a lovely night of music. Making their tour as sustainable as possible and leaving a low carbon footprint.

LISTEN NOW: Chris Martin discusses Coldplay’s sustainable tour with Audacy’s Marty Lennartz

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin spoke with Audacy’s Marty Lennartz about the initiatives the band has in place as well as the struggles they’ve encountered thus far. For one, Martin said plans for this tour had been in the works for several years.

“We did an interview on the BBC in 2019 talking about not wanting to tour until we can do it a bit cleaner and greener,” he said. “What happened after that was a real blessing that people heard about that. Some of them were environmentalists, or inventors, or energy experts. Many people reached out wanting to help out with ideas and inventions.”

That period of discussion and collaboration has come to fruition on this tour. “This tour that we’re on right now, Music of the Spheres, is powered by all these inventions — batteries, kinetic floors, bikes that you can pedal during the show, and solar draping — it’s so cool,” Martin said.  “We’re like a sort of expo for new technology. It’s not perfect yet, and some of it has to be improved, but we feel like we’re trying our best.”

Martin did acknowledge that Coldplay is in the unique position of being able to try something like this out. Creating a sustainable tour can be an expensive production and is something that not a lot of artists are able to do. “We’re really lucky that we afford to try it, because this is a really expensive tour to put together because of the new things,” Martin said. “Any new invention tends to be more expensive in the beginning, and then when everyone in the world has it, the price goes down.”

The Coldplay frontman then touched on the difficulties the band has faced thus far. “It’s quite a stressful backstage tour in terms of how to make it possible financially. It’s been really difficult and especially now with moving things around the world [being] harder and more expensive,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s that other people want to try it, we’re just lucky that we’re on a tour big enough to try it, at least for a while. We have to try and prove that it can work so that it’s easy for everyone else.”

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One initiative the band is taking on this tour is that for every ticket sold, a tree will be planted. “Well, not personally [by] myself,” Martin said with a laugh. Martin then recalled a recent experience he had with planting a tree. “I did plant a tree a while ago in South Africa. It’s harder than I thought,” Martin says, “more tiring than I thought.”

The ever humble Martin downplayed the band’s sustainability efforts and spoke about how it’s still a work in progress. “I don’t think it’s admirable,” he said. “I think it’s just, like so many humans right now, are thinking, ‘what can I do in my life to be on the right side of this?’ We haven’t by any means completely succeeded yet. I think on our last tour we were starting to feel a bit guilty for how much energy this thing consumes.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Audacy)