Anticipating a report to be released in May criticizing the music industry for its carbon footprint, industry leaders have met in London to discuss reducing the environmental impact of big tours like The Police and U2. “Imagine U2 clambering on to a train to take them to a sold-out stadium; Keith Richards swigging from a bottle of organic, Fairtrade booze while Bon Jovi recycle their post-gig waste. Unlikely as it sounds, it may yet come to pass as rock’n’roll’s tradition of painting the town red fades to an ethical shade of green. Polluting private jets, excessive dressing room demands and arena-busting tours are no long sustainable, according to the biggest study so far on the effect of the live music industry on our environment. In recent years, musicians such as U2, Kasabian and Madonna have been criticised for the size of their carbon footprint due to the huge scale of their tours. Notwithstanding Sting’s personal enviro-activism, his group, the Police, was recently condemned as “the dirtiest band in the world” in an NME survey, because of the size and length of their 2007 reunion tour. The report, which will be published in May, is the first to map the carbon footprint of live music – from platinum-selling rock stars and orchestras to theatre groups and pub bands. Although it doesn’t name and shame, it does blame performers for releasing about 540,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.”
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