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New Report Highlights Touring DJs' Carbon Footprints
Christian Eede , March 30th, 2021 16:37

Clean Scene's report used data pieced together from the touring schedules of RA's top 1000 DJs in 2019

A report from environmental group Clean Scene has revealed that RA's top 1000 DJs took 51,000 flights between them in 2019.

Published today (March 30), the 20-page report presents a stark look at the carbon footprints of the electronic music industry's top DJs, and suggests ways to build a greener industry. The report clarifies that "the numbers in our research are an estimate, and have been collated from publicly available data producing estimated touring schedules, which we cannot independently verify."

The 51,000 flights that RA's top 1000 DJs took amounted to flying 117,000,000 kilometres. Those flights will have burned 3,200,000 litres of fuel and emitted 35,000,000 kilograms of CO2 into the air, which the report says is the equivalent of the electricity used by 20,000 households in one year or the amount used to press 25 million records.

The report also indicates that there is a large disparity between the busiest and least-busy DJs in the 1000, with the ten most frequent travellers in the list having emitted as much carbon as the bottom 207. Using the RA data, Clean Scene has determined that the average artist's footprint was 35 tonnes of CO2, which is significantly higher than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recommended personal footprint of two tonnes.

Clean Scene's report outlines a number of steps that DJs, agents and promoters can take in order to reduce the impact that touring is having on the planet. Firstly, those involved can commit publicly to making their organisation or practice less environmentally damaging by setting targets that could involve taking less international flights or, in the case of promoters and venues, looking locally for guests.

Highlighting that this is something that everyone should be involved in, Clean Scene suggests that DJs should play more shows in their home cities where possible and that dancers should celebrate their local scenes by supporting parties that book locally. Furthermore, promoters and agents should rethink the exclusivity clauses that are forcing DJs to play more international shows in order to make a living, the report says.

Efficient tour routing and collaboration in creating more green initiatives are further name-checked as additional courses of action for the electronic music industry.

Clean Scene is a Berlin-based volunteer organisation run by Eilidh McLaughlin, Fallon MacWilliams and Eva Fineberg. You can read the full report here.