‘Play It Out’ Concert to ban plastic pollution with Machel Montano


Grammy Nominated Artist and soca King of the World, Machel Montano joins forces with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the United Nations and Norway to combat plastic pollution.

The Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua’s newest, luxury resort nestled on turquoise blue waters on the northern side of the island is the backdrop for today’s press conference announcing the ‘Play it Out’ concert. The star-studded, global event is to be held in Antigua on June 1 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honorable Gaston Browne; Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, the Hon. Molwyn Joseph; and Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, the Honorable Daryll Matthew welcome special guest, and friend to Antigua and Barbuda, Machel Montano as one of the headliners at the upcoming ‘Play it Out’ concert to tackle plastic pollution.

“Plastic pollution is a global issue that spans borders and my government recognizes the urgency and the responsibility we all must undertake as citizens of this planet in combating the effects of plastic pollution. As the first country in the region to ban the use of single-use plastics, Antigua and Barbuda is committed to making a difference and leading by example,” said Prime Minister Browne. We are excited and honored that Antigua and Barbuda will be the host of this unique, global event that will bring awareness to this issue.  As a country heavily vested in tourism we recognize that we must do everything in our power to preserve our precious oceans and marine life and to stop the effects of plastic pollution for good.”

Up to 12 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, harming plants, animals, coastal communities and entering our food chain. Plastic can be seen in every corner of the world and the impacts are wide. Whales have washed up on shores, having choked on plastic bags. Adventurers have spotted lumps of polystyrene packaging floating in the Southern Ocean, one of the most remote parts of the earth. Even tests on bottled water from all corners of the globe have found microscopic plastic particles in every sample.

Along with Machel Montano, the concert, which aims to Play it Out to Phase it Out, will be co-headlined by Grammy Award-Winning Singer/Actress Ashanti, who will be visiting Antigua and Barbuda for the first time. Joining the pair will be a lineup of artists and performers covering different regions, demographics and music styles. They include American indie-rock band St. Lucia; Bomba Estéreo, an electric-duo hailing from Colombia; Nico & Vinz, an R&B act from Norway; Rocky Dawuni, Ghana’s premiere reggae artist and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador; and Grammy-nominated German DJ/producer Robin Schulz. The event will also feature top local artists, including Ricardo Drue and Claudette Peters. Antigua’s Kanneh-Masons, who performed at the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, will also perform.

Additionally, the concert will feature an array of speakers including dignitaries, policymakers, celebrities, and representatives from the scientific, philanthropic and academic communities. This includes actor, co-founder of Lonely Whale, and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, Adrian Grenier.

The concert, set for 1 June in Antigua, will see an audience of up to 20,000 people attend live, with thousands more following online at http://webtv.un.org/.


The ‘Play it Out’ concert is part of the Campaign Against Plastic Pollution, launched by the President of the UN General Assembly in December of 2018, and is aimed at tackling plastic waste both on the global level as well as within the UN itself. The concert will be hosted by the Government of Antigua and supported by the Government of Norway. Other campaign supporters include the Government of Monaco, the Government of Qatar, UN Environment, UNOPS, TKG | The Krim Group, National Geographic and Lonely Whale.


“As a musician, my main occupation is creation, which means you start looking at the environment and nature around you. I wrote a children’s book called Boy Boy and the Magic Drum about Trinidad in which I pointed out that our nation has been recycling for over 150 years by turning dirty oil drums into steel drums for music. I have also become vegan and meditate to have a healthier relationship with the environment. It is also challenging to find a way to do carnival in a responsible manner while keeping the culture alive. This is why I am involved in projects like this and my music brings a message which I believe is positive and inspirational.” – Machel Montano

“Antigua And Barbuda is my home and I am proud of the fact that we are taking the ban on plastics seriously by being the first country in the Caribbean to put this into policy. With tourism being our main industry, our oceans are vital to our survival and I am honoured to be a part of this concert and this Global movement” – Ricardo Drue

As an island girl, the beaches are such an important part of my life, and I want to keep them clean and free of plastics. I am so proud that this concert is taking place in Antigua and I jumped at the opportunity to lend my voice and talents to this important cause. We must all do our part to fight plastic pollution, Play it out! – Claudette Peters


“We can no longer afford the cost of single-use plastic, on our health, oceans and ecosystems. Initiatives like ‘Play it Out’ are important because they galvanize people, communities and leaders to take the kind of transformative action we need to secure the future for people and planet.” – Joyce Msuya, Acting Executive Director, UN Environment Hashtags: #PlayitOut #BeatPlasticPollution

“We are excited to be able to support the UN efforts to fight against pollution in our oceans. Coming from Norway we have always had such a close relationship with the water and marine life. We want to make sure we can preserve and improve the quality of our oceans for future generations.” – Nico and Vinz

“Since 2017, Bomba Estéreo has been working on the campaign #SiembraConciencia to create awareness for environmental issues with fans around the world. We believe that change must come from individuals, not politicians. When people change small habits, it can reduce a huge impact on the earth. We’re 7 billion. Any small change in our daily habits is enormous. We also work on promoting conservation for Colombia’s most vulnerable ecosystems. We are currently creating a song with Parley for the Oceans based on whale sounds. So, we’re very pleased to be part of this event to help spread this essential message!” – Bomba Estereo

“Plastics or plastic particles have been found everywhere from the Mariana Trench to the inside of whales to the tops of the Pyrenees; clearly this is a global problem that needs to be addressed. St. Lucia is very excited to lend our voice to the cause and Play it Out 2 Phase it Out.” – St. Lucia

“We consume plastic at a rate that is almost hard to imagine… up to a trillion plastic bags a year! And that’s just the bags, what about all of the other items that are out there, floating in our oceans or clogging our streams. I hate to think of what

will happen if we continue on this course. This concert is about getting people and companies and countries on board; it’s about changing how we produce and consume; it’s about saving the world around us.” – Robin Schulz

“We are at a decisive moment in the history of humanity where we need action across cultures, peoples and nations to address the urgent issue of plastic pollution. As musicians and players of instruments, we have a unique and pivotal role to amplify this urgency and spur people to immediate action.” – Rocky Dawuni

“Our work to put an end to plastic pollution is critical now more than ever, which is why I am supporting the President of the General Assembly’s concert and its message of collaboration and its spotlight on tangible solutions. We have seen excellent examples of collaboration in the Caribbean where regional governments, the UN, and civil society groups have worked together to ban single-use plastics. I look forward to celebrating what we can achieve together alongside the President of the General Assembly, the UN Environment and my organization Lonely Whale.” – Adrian Grenier


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