Massive Attack rallies gov for carbon emissions plan
British band Massive Attack are calling on the government to introduce a plan to cut carbon emissions in the live music business.
It comes after the band commissioned the University of Manchester for a report on the issue using their tour data.
The result of the report is a resource entitled ‘Roadmap To Super Low Carbon Live Music’ which is designed to support the sector’s reduction of emissions in line with the UN Paris Agreement.
While the report makes a number of recommendations for sectors across the live industry, Massive Attack’s Robert del Naja (aka 3D) says the sector ultimately needs more government support in order to achieve its goal.
“Our sector is operating in a government void”
“Our sector is operating in a government void,” says Robert del Naja (aka 3D), Massive Attack. “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?
“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 for the economy every year & employs more than 200k dedicated people? It simply doesn’t exist.”
The report lists a number of actions for local and national governments including:
- Provide funding and support for venues looking to reduce their energy consumption, including for building fabric retrofit.
- Include requirements on on-site energy use and a plan for year on year improvements as part of licensing conditions.
- Liaise with venues and event sites to support public transport provision and communications.
- Provide charging points for electric vehicles close to venues.
- Include requirements on shared audience travel (e.g. carshare, coach) and a plan for year on year improvements as part of licensing conditions.
- Include requirements on reporting aviation emissions as part of licencing conditions and a plan for year on year improvements.
- Provide secure cycle parking close to venues.
- Provide a safe environment for walking, cycling and public transport by working with the late-night licensed sector to make areas around venues safer particularly for groups most likely to be vulnerable.
- Work with local public transport providers to improve safety, accessibility and affordability of public transport.
“We hope that this roadmap can help to catalyse change by outlining the scale of action required”
Some of the key recommendations for the live music industry include:
- Plan tour routes in a way that minimises travel and transport.
- Include travel by public transport in the ticket price.
- Generate renewable energy on site, e.g. solar panels.
- Gig and concert venues should use renewable energy.
- Use energy-efficient lighting and sound equipment.
- Use electric vehicles and trains to travel between venues.
- Better bike storage at music venues.
- Avoiding flying and eliminating private jets.
- Perform at venues that are taking action to reduce their building energy use.
- Offer incentives to fans who choose to travel by public transport.
Professor Carly McLachlan from the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, says: “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. 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.”
Christopher Jones from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research will be presenting the ‘Roadmap To Super Low Carbon Live Music’ at the Green Events and Innovations Conference’s (GEI) upcoming Summer Edition – tickets for which are on sale now.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.