Touring has become the primary source of income for musicians in the internet age, and as a result, the industry’s carbon imprint has never been larger. Massive Attack now endeavor to find out exactly how extensive music’s impact is on the environment via a new study they’ve commissioned alongside the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. They expand on the research in their press statement, outlining their goal to “map thoroughly the carbon footprint of band tour cycles, and to present options that can be implemented quickly.”
Ultimately, the only way change for the better can happen is via systemic change within the music industry. Current efforts of re-forestation and carbon offsetting simply aren’t enough give current speeds of climate degradation, according to Massive Attack member Robert Del Naja, who detailed their path to launching the study in an extensive Guardian editorial. The band themselves have also toyed with quitting touring, but acknowledge that this would be a waste unless other performing artists did so en masse. That said, they recognize the difficulty to do so given touring’s economic power: “In a major employment industry with hundreds of acts, this isn’t about to happen.”
The study will be shared across all ends of the music industry—from agents, to promoters, to other artists—upon its completion.
Photo credit: Josh Reynolds for Boston Globe