‘Time to shake things up’: music industry confronts climate crisis as gigs resume

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Huge concerts and nonstop touring mean the music business is in dire need of reform. Performers have begun to lead – but can their industry reshape itself as the world reopens?

Before the pandemic struck, it wasn’t uncommon for DJs to fly between three European cities in a weekend. The carbon footprint of globetrotting tours was massive. Festivals and gigs were criticised for the levels of waste they created. Streaming services, requiring ever more processing power, have had a burgeoning impact, as has the recent craze of selling music via NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

But a series of announcements last week, coordinated by the Music Declares Emergency collective, have challenged the idea that the industry is not taking the climate emergency seriously. After a uniquely difficult year for those in live music, perhaps this is an inflection point: can the recovery from Covid-19 be green?

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