1000 touring DJs took more than 51,000 flights in 2019, emitting an equivalent amount of CO2 as a year of electricity for 20,000 households, powering 8,000 festivals for three days, or pressing 25 million records.
The findings were revealed in a report by Berlin’s Clean Scene, a collective of industry professionals led by Eilidh McLaughlin, Eva Fineberg and Fallon MacWilliams focused on making dance music greener, who have been investigating the environmental impacts of touring.
Their report, titled ‘Last Night a DJ Took a Flight: Exploring the carbon footprint of touring DJs and looking towards alternative futures within the dance music industry’ estimates that the average carbon footprint of a touring DJ is 35,000 tonnes of CO2, after studying the touring patterns of Resident Advisor’s top 1000 DJs in 2019. This is 17 times higher than the recommended personal budget in place to prevent global temperatures from rising.
Their analysis also takes aim at the prioritisation of profit over the environment, gender, race and economic inequality.
The collective note that the statistics within their report are not intended to blame artists, but instead exist to spur on change and lead to greater accountability within the music industry in terms of environmental care.
They believe that in order to address the report’s findings, more emphasis needs to be placed on championing local scenes, prioritising more efficient event planning and tour-routing and sharing best practice with peers. They also recommend that promoters should book more BIPOC artists in order to help fight inequality.
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Clean Scene hope that the findings of their report will start an important conversation on the environmental impacts of the music industry and touring, and that those within the industry will attempt to enact change in light of this.
You can find the report here.
Tope Olufemi is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow them on Twitter