Charlotte Foster


The greener future of the live music industry

The greener future of the live music industry

As climate change discussions front global politics, many sectors of the arts are trying to find a solution to do their part to help environmental causes.

It turns out that staging a live show leaves behind a bigger carbon footprint than you might imagine, when considering the energy consumption involved with constant transport, lighting, PA systems and facilities, not to mention accommodating all the needs of the crew involved.

A study conducted in 2010 found that the live music industry alone is responsible for a whopping 405,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in a single year in the UK alone, which does not include the amount of micro-plastics used throughout the duration of a tour.

Image credit: Green Touring Network

Due to these astonishing figures, drastic measures are being taken to help reduce the amount of emissions produced by the music industry.

As early as 2004, Neil Young began to advocate for eco-friendly touring by exclusively using tour vehicles that only ran on biofuels made from soybeans and vegetable oils.

More recently, artists such as Maroon 5 have been strong advocates for green touring, with the band co-founding the Green Music Group.

The group have “greened up” their tours by using biofuel in their tour vehicles, advocating for use of solar power and other renewable energy sources, and even donating the entire income of their 2005 tour to the global environmental organization "Global Cool".

Other musicians such as the rock band Green Day, Radiohead, Linkin Park, U2 and many more, have also opted for sustainably made merchandise, using ship transportation as opposed to air travel, and donating millions of dollars to organisations dedicated to the climate change fight.

Though these changes seem small in the grand scheme of the global warming fight, influential musicians are still doing their part to ensure there is still a planet to perform on, while healing hearts with the incomparable experience of live music.

Image credits: Getty Images