Kanye West’s big carbon footprint at the Global Gathering

Rumor has it Kanye West brought an entourage 18 buses strong for his July 25 performance at the Global Gathering dance music festival in Warwickshire, UK. His Glow in the Dark performance at the fest seemed to indicate he’s also in the dark about the environment:  his set included a  custom-built stage for his performance and 100,000 British pounds worth of lights. And there’s also this: “Festival bosses have also reportedly employed a ‘top-quality chef’ to cook a three-course sit-down meal for the hip-hop star and his entourage.”

Maybe Kanye misunderstands the whole hubbub over global warming: The objective is not to make the planet’s temperatures rise; it’s actually the opposite. Did Kanye think he had to bring the whole audience himself? Somebody please explain the rationale for an 18-bus entourage. The festival’s lineup, which despite it’s “global” name was not another eco-fest, also included vegan extraordinaire Moby and DJ Mark Ronson.

In this time of environmental crisis, it seems every other festival is going green, like San Francisco’s upcoming progressive Outside Lands festival in August. Outside Lands will boast a solar stage, a passport program to encourage carbon-footprint reducing choices, a farmer’s market, cell phone recycling, solar/wind-powered cell phone recharging stations, a café made from materials recycled from the dump, and a store where you can “buy” goods by exchanging recyclable used items like bottles and compostable cups. The Outside Lands fest’s lineup includes green-friendly acts like Radiohead, Jack Johnson, and Ben Harper, as well as festival favorites Beck, Tom Petty, Wilco, and Widespread Panic, and is rounded out by smaller acts like M. Ward and Nicole Atkins and the Sea. By contrast, Kanye West’s festival extravagance seems not just outdated, but like a satire of overindulgence.

Here’s a blurb about Kanye’s set from Global Gathering’s MySpace page: “Due to the sheer scale of production specification needed for Kanye West’s performance on this year’s live stage, he will be the sole artist appearing on the Friday. Get ready to be wowed as his Glow in the Dark tour hits Global Gathering.”

All right, then, color me wowed. Just not wowed in a good way.