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Climate scientists make low carbon live music recommendations based on Massive Attack touring data

By | Published on Monday 6 September 2021

Massive Attack

Climate scientists from the University Of Manchester have made a number of recommendations on how to mitigate the environmental impact of touring. This follows analysis of data collected on Massive Attack’s last tour.

In its report, the Tyndall Centre For Climate Change Research recommends that artists travel by train where possible and reduce the amount of equipment they travel with. It also urges venues to switch to renewable energy, offer better bike storage, and incentivise fans to travel to gigs by public transport.

The study was commissioned by Massive Attack in 2019, with the band saying that they had budgeted for carbon offsetting in their touring accounts for years, but no longer felt that that was enough.

While the report makes numerous recommendations for artists and the wider live music business, the group’s Robert Del Naja has specifically criticised the UK government for not doing enough to support the industry to make these changes.

“The [British] live music industry, especially after Brexit, is so important to national identity and self-esteem”, he said. “It’s one of the few areas you could describe as genuinely world-class and has a vast social and economic value, as well-reported, generating over £4.6 billion for the economy every year and employing thousands of dedicated people”.

“But where is the government planning to support the rate of adaption we’re going to need to hit compatibility with [the Paris agreement]?” he goes on. “It doesn’t seem to exist. The [findings of the report are] not surprising, it’s the strategy that’s missing here”.

Professor Carly McLachlan, who led the research, also comments: “We’ve been met with a lot of enthusiasm in the sector and lots of [artists] are already doing lots of [what the report recommends]. When people make a lot of those adaptations it starts to become normal practice, for example, to think about routing a tour from a carbon point of view. Basically, as is the case with much climate action, we actually know what we need to do, we just need to get on with doing it”.

You can read the full ‘Super-Low Carbon Live Music’ report here.