Musicians look to clean up their acts
Industry gathers to discuss how to make lavish rock'n'roll tours more environmentally friendly
Sunday 14 March 2010
Imagine U2 clambering on to a train to take them to a sold-out stadium; Keith Richards swigging from a bottle of organic, Fairtrade booze while Bon Jovi recycle their post-gig waste. Unlikely as it sounds, it may yet come to pass as rock'n'roll's tradition of painting the town red fades to an ethical shade of green.
Polluting private jets, excessive dressing room demands and arena-busting tours are no long sustainable, according to the biggest study so far on the effect of the live music industry on our environment.
In recent years, musicians such as U2, Kasabian and Madonna have been criticised for the size of their carbon footprint due to the huge scale of their tours. Notwithstanding Sting's personal enviro-activism, his group, the Police, was recently condemned as "the dirtiest band in the world" in an NME survey, because of the size and length of their 2007 reunion tour.
The report, which will be published in May, is the first to map the carbon footprint of live music – from platinum-selling rock stars and orchestras to theatre groups and pub bands. Although it doesn't name and shame, it does blame performers for releasing about 540,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year – the amount emitted by a town the size of Great Yarmouth in Suffolk.
Music agents, promoters and managers met in London yesterday to discuss how the industry can clean up its act but still make money.
The study was produced by Julie's Bicycle, a not-for-profit company which was set up specifically to research the music industry's carbon footprint. It maps everything from the number and size of tours, right down to the greenness of the band's rider or list of dressing room demands.
The study's suggestions range from fans car-sharing to get to gigs to bands leaving their Lear jets in the hangar and letting the train take the strain. It is also recommends that band T-shirts be ethically produced.
The organisation looked at 90 artists' tours around the UK, Europe, US and Asia. It then interviewed dozens of people working on them.
Some bands have led the way in revealing the environmental impact of their tours. Radiohead have produced an audit of two of their tours in the US and made it publicly available. Other green champions include Sheryl Crow, John Legend and Coldplay.
Jazz Summers, the chief executive of Big Life Management and a founder of Julie's Bicycle, said at yesterday's event: "There is a lot of fear around the music industry getting greener. There's a real fear that it's going to cost the industry money. But that's why we're doing this report – like anything else, it's about information."
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Solar power: Subsidy cut will stop one million buildings installing rooftop panels
Pope Francis calls for a new system of global government to tackle climate change
Global warming: National Geographic map shows 'striking' retreat of Arctic ice sheet
Spotted handfish: Survival of Australian fish that 'walks' along the seabed hangs in the balance
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...