With thousands of children skipping school to protest climate change, accountability is at an all-time high: it would make sense that the music industry look inward too. English trip-hop group Massive Attack is leading the way by launching a major study of the live music industry’s contribution to carbon emissions each year. Pitchfork reports that “Teaming with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research—a broad group of climate scientists—the band pledge to ‘map thoroughly the carbon footprint of band tour cycles, and to present options that can be implemented quickly’ to reduce emissions, according to a press release.” The task is no doubt daunting, but the duo appears ready to take on the challenge. According to the same article, the duo’s concerns are such that it even considered giving up on touring altogether but wishes to see what the greater impact is before taking action.
Massive Attack is not the only collective taking action, bonafide group Coldplay announced that it too would cease touring. The movement is, of course, quite bold since by ceasing touring, acts would be leaving heaps of money on the table. Artists like Brian Eno are holding others accountable by accusing artists of hypocrisy when talking about climate change as they tour continuously throughout the year. The topic is likely to turn divisive between musicians—if not already—but not necessarily from an ethical standpoint but perhaps an economic one. Awareness has its value, and at least Massive Attack is sparking an important conversation.
The study will take a close look at the live music industry’s carbon footprint by taking into consideration areas such as band travel and production, audience transportation, and venue emissions. The findings will surely be intriguing and will have the potential to further push for accountability within the industry’s highest ranks. Massive Attack is letting it be known that like music, battling climate change is something both children and adults can understand.
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna