Massive Attack have called on the UK Government to help cut the carbon footprint of live music. 

The Bristol trip hop group previously commissioned a report on the environmental impact of the industry in partnership with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester, entitled ‘Roadmap To Super Low Carbon Live Music’. Among the recommendations were abandoning private jets in favour of standard travel options, and a reduction in the amount of touring kit acts and artists take with them. 

Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja also criticised Westminster politicians for failing to support the live music industry in its journey towards low and zero carbon. He told The Guardian newspaper: “Where’s the industrial plan for the scale of the transformation that’s required for the UK economy and society? It doesn’t seem to exist.”

“The live music industry, especially after Brexit, is so important to national identity and self-esteem. It’s one of the few areas you could describe as genuinely world-class and has a vast social and economic value, as well-reported, generating over £4.6bn for the economy every year and employing thousands of dedicated people,” he continued. “But where is the government planning to support the rate of adaption we’re going to need to hit compatibility [with the Paris agreement]? It doesn’t seem to exist. The data is not surprising, it’s the strategy that’s missing here.”

Speaking of the ‘Roadmap’, Del Naja said “We looked at our last tour and thought, you know, we’ve allocated x amount of money based on the calculation of the carbon we produced in the tour in 2018. And then it was like, are we just going to go on another offset, or should we do something a little bit more interesting and radical? The proposition to go to [the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research] was suggested to us and we thought that would be a good thing to do, because how many times have we sat in an interview and said we would love to do something but we don’t know what to do?”

In 2020, Massive Attack released an eight-minute film exploring the subject of climate change in the context of the live music industry. The same year the outfit announced plans to complete their next European tour by train in a bid to reduce emissions.