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News: Clean scene report on the impact of 1000 touring DJs in 2019

Clean Scene report on RA Top 1000 DJs shows touring DJs took 51,000 flights in 2019 – equivalent to 20,000 households’ consuming electricity for one year.

The new 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’ from climate action collective Clean Scene researching the Resident Advisor Top 1000 DJ’s touring schedules, finds that in 2019 artists took more than 51,000 flights, emitting 35,000 tonnes of CO2.  

The report also suggests that the average carbon footprint of a touring DJ is 35 tonnes of CO2 – 17 times higher than the recommended personal carbon budget widely accepted with keeping global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees. The analysis shows that this is equivalent to 20,000 households consuming electricity for one year, powering 8,000 festivals for three days, or pressing 25 million records.

The data was not published to blame artists but asks for accountability from all those who are part of the music industry – an industry that profits from oppressive systems that directly correlate to the effects of climate change. The report argues the industry must dismantle these systems which prioritise money, power, and greed at the expense of the climate, race, gender, and economic inequality.

In order to address the problems highlighted by the research, Clean Scene defined some overarching themes for consideration. These include: 

  • planning for future equity
  • rethinking exclusivity clauses and prioritizing more efficient tour-routing 
  • celebrating and investing in local scenes
  • establishing agency and promoter networks to provide peer support and sharing best practices

The collective recognises that the report will trigger critiques and questions surrounding these findings but instead suggests that rather than grandstand in favour of distraction, readers must mobilise, organise, idealise change, and affect it.