Yes, you read that correctly. Earlier this month, Justin Bieber announced Australia stops for his Purpose World Tour in March of 2017. While we don’t actually have access to Justin’s electricity bill (sorry, paparazzi), we do have his tour schedule, which we believe offers a fun opportunity for an exercise in comparing the energy use of Bieber’s Australian shows to the average household electricity usage in Australia.
Justin Bieber and Australian households: what we know
While many of the finer details of Justin’s shows in Australia are yet to be determined, there are some key statistics that can help us create comparisons and examine the shows’ potential energy usage.
According to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), in 2014 the average household electricity usage in Australia was 5,817 kWh per year.1 This average obviously accounts for a host of energy-using appliances, fixtures and features – from lamps to air conditioning units and everything in between.
Justin Bieber’s Australian run includes shows at nib Stadium in Perth, Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane and ANZ Stadium in Sydney. While not all stadiums are created equal and figures related to average energy usage at stadiums are hard to come by, there is some data available that can be used as a point of reference to establish a baseline for comparison.
Based on a review of energy consumption figures for various stadiums, it is not uncommon for a large venue that seats up to 83,500 to use approximately 4,000 kWh of electricity per hour for a sporting event such as a soccer match. For this exercise in comparisons, we will use as a model the previously mentioned stadium with a capacity of 83,500 and an average usage of 4,000 kWh of electricity per hour.
The stadium sizes for the Australia stops of the Purpose World Tour vary – ranging from 20,500 for nib Stadium to ANZ Stadium in Sydney, which is about on par with the 83,500-seat example mentioned above.
- nib Stadium in Perth – 20,500 seats
- Etihad Stadium in Melbourne – 53,359 seats
- Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane – 52,500 seats
- ANZ Stadium in Sydney – 83,500 seats
The length of a typical concert is roughly 2.5 hours, including opening acts and other events.
Crunching the numbers
Using the above figures as a point of reference and assuming (for estimation purposes) that all equipment, features, efficiency measures, etc. are equal between our model stadium and the stadiums on the tour, at 2.5 hours in length each concert will consume roughly 10,000 kWh of electricity.
But to refine this figure further, let’s factor in stadium size as the variation between event venues will obviously have an effect on the amount of energy used at each.
- nib Stadium (about 25% of the size of the model stadium) – 2,500 kWh used for the Perth concert
- Etihad Stadium (about 65% of the size of the model stadium) – 6,500 kWh used for the Melbourne concert
- Suncorp Stadium (about 64% of the size of the model stadium) – 6,400 kWh used for the Brisbane concert
- ANZ Stadium (about 101% of the size of the model stadium) – 10,100 kWh used for the Sydney concert
The grand total
Add these per concert totals up and we come to a grand total of 25,500 kWh – nearly 4.5 times the annual electricity usage of the average Australian household…in just 4 nights of Justin Bieber’s Purpose World Tour. In fact, this is likely a modest estimate as the typical Justin Bieber concert is a fairly elaborate affair that includes more energy-intensive features than the average sporting event. For example, the star’s 2012 Believe World Tour featured hydraulic lifts, pyrotechnics, lasers and LED screens.
So if you’re lucky enough to secure tickets to one of this spring’s shows and you run into Justin, remind him to turn the lights off. His tour manager will thank you when the energy bill arrives.
Energy efficient concerts
To learn about how some live performance venues in Australia are conserving energy through efficiency measures, check out Greener Live Performances.