Massive Attack lead call for live music to cut carbon emissions

·3 min read
People with hands in the air on a big festival show
Veteran band Massive Attack have led calls for the live music industry to cut carbon emissions. (Getty)

Veteran dance band Massive Attack have led a call for the live music industry to cut carbon emissions

The Bristol band worked with researchers at the University of Manchester to create a "roadmap" of suggestions for musicians and music venues to cut carbon emissions.

These include musicians travelling by train, vegan food on-site, and venues generating their own renewable electricity. 

Robert del Naja, aka 3D, of Massive Attack, said: "We're grateful to Tyndall Centre analysts for providing our industry with a comprehensive, independent, scientifically produced formula to facilitate industry compatibility with the Paris/1.5 degrees climate targets – but what matters now is implementation.

"The major promoters simply must do more – it can’t be left to artists to continually make these public appeals. But our sector is operating in a government void. Nine weeks out of COP26, where is the industrial plan, or any plan at all, for the scale of transformation that’s required for the UK economy and society?”

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The musician called on the government to do more.

Del Naja said: "Fossil fuel companies seem to have no problem at all getting huge subsidies from the government, but where is the plan for investment in clean battery technology, clean infrastructure or decarbonised food supply for a live music sector that generates £4.6bn for the economy every year and employs more than 200k dedicated people? It simply doesn’t exist."

Massive Attack will implement some of the ideas on their 2022 tour. 

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The band is also working with industrialist Dale Vince and Ecotricity to design bespoke partnerships with a wide variety of music arenas and venues helping train event staff to run and generate sustainable operations, and to introduce vegan food options in front and back of house set-ups.

Professor Carly McLachlan, of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said: "We hope that this roadmap can help to catalyse change by outlining the scale of action required and how this maps across the different elements of a tour.

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"To reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, touring practices need to be reassembled differently as the industry emerges from the significant challenges that the pandemic has created.

"This starts from the very inception of a tour and requires the creativity and innovation of artists, managers, promoters, designers and agents to be unleashed to establish new ways of planning and delivering live music tours.”"

Ecotricity's Vince said: "Every section of society has to make positive changes, and gigs are no exception. The partnership we've designed will allow venues and arenas to create and contribute more renewable energy to the grid every time they switch on their lights, or power an amp."

Watch: UK 'on track' to meet carbon emissions goals

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