Each year the UK music industry is responsible for half a million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, with around 70% of that due to festivals, stadium tours, and other live music performances.
Considering that around 80-90% of a musician’s wealth is made by touring, you’ll have a hard time convincing them to stop, so alternative ways to reduce carbon footprint are being considered.
“As Green as Possible” – Billie Eilish
Teenage pop sensation, Billie Eilish, has announced she will be making her world tour “as green as possible” by providing recycling facilities across all events and encouraging people to bring refillable water bottles. She has also announced a total ban of the use of plastic straws, all in a pledge to fight the climate crisis.
The female artist has called announced that every stop on the tour will feature the “Billie Eilish Eco-Village,” which is an information centre designed to educate people on how they can be more environmentally friendly in their day-to-day life. Considering that Eilish’s fanbase is extremely young, this is a promising step in educating the next generation of adults on how they can save the planet.
Drastic Plans by Coldplay
Incredibly, Coldplay has decided to scrap plans of touring altogether, even though they have just released a UK chart-topping album in November 2019, called ‘Everyday Life.’
Based on estimates of previous tours, Coldplay will be forgoing a payday of approximately £400 million by not touring following this album. All in the name of reducing their carbon footprint. Instead, the band decided to play just 3 shows in total to celebrate the release of the album. Two live-streamed shows from Amman, Jordan and a one-off gig at London’s Natural History Museum on 25th November 2019.
Coldplay Frontman, Chris Martin, stated, “We're not touring this album. We're taking time over the next year or two, to work out how our tour can not only be sustainable [but] how can it be actively beneficial.”
The entertainment industry is known for its extravagant nature, and we don’t see that stopping any time soon. From the 70s when Iron Maiden used to fly a private plane over music festivals to announce their arrival to huge light shows from touring electronic duo, The Chemical Brothers. It is certainly an industry of excess.
So, it’s a relief to see artists such as Coldplay and Billie Eilish doing the best that they can to reduce their emissions in the name of saving the planet.