Bristol electronic legends Massive Attack have released the findings of their partnership with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, proposing for an “urgent and significant reassembly” of the music industry to combat the climate crisis.
Among the changes needed for “rapidly accelerated” development are the immediate elimination of private jet use, a switch to electric transportation for concerts and festivals, and the phasing out of diesel generators at festivals by 2025.
Other recommendations are “plug and play models for venues”, which would reduce the logistical issue of gear transportation and the standardisation of equipment across venues worldwide. If implemented collaboratively, this would support smaller venues struggling with improved regulations.
This wasn’t all, though. In addition to tackling their own emissions, venues need to switch to “energy tariffs that directly support renewable energy projects”, in order to support the overall “decarbonisation of the electricity grid”.
Artists should plot tours with emissions in mind from the inception the report adds: “Super low carbon needs to be baked into every decision”. This includes “routing, venues, transport modes, set, audio and visual design, staffing, and promotion”. To meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, the live music industry should aim to reach zero emissions from buildings and surface travel by 2035.
Responding to the findings of the report, Massive Attack have created six emissions-reduction models that they will trial throughout their 2022 tour. The band have also collaborated with green industrialist Dale Vince’s company Ecotricity in a bid to improve the UK energy grid’s renewable supply, attempting to train event staff to manage sustainable operations and to introduce vegan food options at venues.
In an accompanying press release, Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ del Naja, has emphasised the point that “what matters now is implementation. The major promotors simply must do more—it can’t be left to artists to continually make these public appeals.”
He also stresses the need for government action, adding that nine weeks after the UN COP26 meeting, the world is still unprepared for: “The scale of transformation that’s required for the UK economy and society. Fossil fuel companies seem to have no problem at all getting huge subsidies from 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 £4.6 billion [$6.36 billion] for the economy every year and employs more than 200,000 dedicated people? It simply doesn’t exist.”
Read the report in full, here.