Paul Carey joins TicketCo

by | Dec 9, 2019

“Diesel generators and single use plastic are sustainability bad guys in the festival industry, with paper tickets following close by. We will see a big change within the festival industry in the next few years when it comes to sustainability and TicketCo will be an active part of the revolution,” said Paul Carey.

TicketCo is growing fast in the UK, and the latest addition to the TicketCo UK team is Paul Carey. He brings more than 20 years of music industry experience and a fresh MBA on sustainability in the festival industry and has joined TicketCo as Key Account Manager.

“I met TicketCo’s UK Country Manager David Kenny for the first time when I was the general manager for Rewind Festival and he was at Freemans Event Partners. Since then we have kept in contact, and now we will finally have the chance to work together. I’m really looking forward to it,” said the music industry veteran.

Dame Shirley Bassey at Glastonbury

Paul Carey started his career in the music industry 23 years ago, in the press office that looked after the Brit Awards and had the Rolling Stones among its clients. His first introduction into music was the Brit Awards.

His next career move was to become personal publicist work for top artists including David Bowie, Elton John and The Who. He also worked on large scale events such as Party in the Park, Womad Festival, The Nelson Mandela Freedom Concert at Trafalgar Square and The Twelve Dreams of the Sun (a concert held by Jean Michel Jarre on the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt in 2000).

He was also responsible for the career resurgence of legendary singer Dame Shirley Bassey, as the executive producing an album for her and securing the now coveted ‘legends’ slot on the 2007 Glastonbury line-up, an unlikely mixture of mud and glam, and an instant Glastonbury classic.

Sustainable festivals

Over the last three last years Paul has also been focusing on completing his MBA on sustainability in the festival industry, at the Henley Business School.

“Sustainability within the festival industry is a fairly new topic and there has not been much written on this subject in the past. For the masters degree I interviewed 20 of the top thinkers in the world of sustainability, and one conclusion is that the festival industry is really not doing enough in this field. For many organisers, sustainability is basically a tick box exercise as it is today, but I predict that we will soon see a change. One important reason is that the ticket buyers now are expecting true sustainability,” said Paul.

“The lowest hanging fruit is maybe single use plastic and paper tickets. They are two easy fixes. Glastonbury banned single use plastic last year, and the Henley Festival in my own neighbourhood used re-usable plastic glasses. Changes like that will have a huge impact when adopted by the whole festival industry, which is massive in the UK. And of course, getting rid of printed tickets is an even easier fix. We carry smart phones with us at all time,” he said.

Dirty power

A more complex issue is the power supply.

“Festivals are often held in remote places without the necessary power infrastructure. The organisers need massive amounts of power, and the cheapest and easiest way to cover this need is to use diesel aggregates,” said Paul.

“Hopefully we will soon see changes in this field as well, and there are several initiatives that are starting to become established as alternatives. It’s also interesting to see a band like Coldplay stop touring due to environmental reasons. That has certainly further raised the topic of sustainability within the industry,” he added.

Eager to share his knowledge

With his many years of relevant experience from the music and festival industry, Paul will now focus on these markets in his new role as Key Account Manager with TicketCo UK.

“Besides this, I am more than willing to share my knowledge of sustainability with anyone who is interested in making a difference. Hopefully I will attend some conferences throughout 2020 as a speaker or panelist, and help make an impact for a more environmentally friendly industry. And of course, I will gladly pay a visit to any organiser who wants to sit down and talk.”