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Organizers coax (and push) attendees to leave cars at home when traveling to events

Marathon du Mont-Blanc reserves bibs for runners arriving by train

Later this month, 11,000 runners will descend on Chamonix to participate in one of eight races, including the Marathon du Mont-Blanc. Among the world's most famous trail running events, they're set in stunning natural surroundings. So it's not surprising that Le Club des Sports de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, which organizes the races, is bent on minimizing their environmental impact.

Previously implemented initiatives include banning plastic water bottles and reducing food miles by sourcing from local producers. Recently, Le Club des Sports de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc announced a new measure to drastically cut transport-related emissions: in 2025, 40% of all marathon bibs will be reserved for runners arriving by train. Participants who can't show their train ticket will be disqualified from starting.

Massive Attack offers VIP access and dedicated trains

British band Massive Attack, meanwhile, is wielding carrots instead of sticks for its August 2024 homecoming gig in Bristol — billed as the 'lowest carbon emissions show of its size ever held.' To persuade ticket-holders to travel by train instead of car, the concert's organizers are partnering with Train Hugger to offer a comprehensive set of incentives.

Train tickets can be swapped for a wristband that provides access to a VIP bar and toilets; wristband wearers get a free ride back to the rail station after the show via electric bus; post-show, rail operator GWR will also reserve five 'show special' trains departing from Bristol; and each train ticket will contribute to the planting of 19,150 native oak trees on former farmland near Bristol.

Trend bite

While exact numbers are debated, audience transportation accounts for a significant portion of any live happening's carbon footprint. Successfully convincing attendees to forgo their cars is crucial to reducing the overall environmental impact of events. Time to start conceiving compelling (dis)incentives of your own? And what about making collective action a memorable part of the shared experience?