Jack Johnson Tour Neutral For Mother Earth, Less So For Audience

Dan Gibson | March 3, 2008 9:30 am

When you wake up at six in the morning (right around the time the freaks in the living room get their stuff and leave) and roam the Web for news items to make pithy comments about, your sense of humor can be a bit compromised. So, when I saw an article titled “Johnson Steps Up Green Efforts On Tour”, the immediate options were either “homicidal rage” or “snappy blog post”. Guess which option won out, friend-o?

When will the madness stop, already? Jack Johnson, you ruined Coachella for me, wasn’t that enough?

Already at the forefront of environmental activism within the music business, Jack Johnson is stepping up his efforts on his summer tour, which begins June 13 outside Indianapolis.

The artist, who is in his third week at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 with the album “Sleep Through the Static,” is launching the All At Once online community in conjunction with the tour. Fans can visit the site to learn about environmental causes and sign up to carpool to shows.

When tickets go on sale March 15, fans can choose to pay an extra $1.50 fee to offset carbon emissions associated with traveling from the show. Offset “stickers” will also be sold at venues.

First of all, I understand that Jack Johnson goes without shoes for the environment or something already, so this probably isn’t too much of a stretch for him, but why is the burden on the fans here? So, I can pay $49.50 for my ticket to the Susquehanna Bank Center in beautiful Camden, New Jersey (not including Ticketmaster fees), the inevitable parking fee, be assaulted by tables for various non-profits and $30 t-shirts on the way to the grotesquely overpriced concessions area and the onus to make the show carbon-neutral is on me, the consumer? Isn’t it enough to be soothed musically for an hour and a half, is it now a requirement to soothe my conscience as well with an additional $1.50 and a sticker?

If you want to encourage people to carpool, great. Coachella did this remarkably well one year by giving free tickets for life to a carpooler each day. (Then again, those winners would have to suffer through this year’s lineup, so maybe the prize wasn’t as great as previously advertised.) But why is it the audience’s environmental problem when you embark on, what I imagine, is a very profitable tour?

(Even so, I doubt the offset calculations took into account the smoke production coming from the lawn section. No vegetableoil-fueled tourbus can make up for that volume of emissions.)

Johnson Steps Up Green Efforts On Tour [Billboard]