A very big reality check on how the music industry can make a huge contribution for the greater good of our planet by going green.
This month Ocean Generation launched the #RiffSustainably campaign at Midi Music College. A campaign set to open up discussions with the music industry, environmental experts, creatives and young people to tackle the issues and aspects of how to make the music industry more sustainable and greener in key areas.
Leading the discussions were Chiara Badiali curator at Julie’s Bicycle, Claire O’Neil founder of Greener Festival and Steve Lewison an artist, writer and producer. Moderated by Ocean Generation’s founder Daisy Kendrick, questions ranged from music as a tool for activism, technology, the economics of sustainability and what can young artists start doing in their careers from the micro to the macro level for greener impact.
An engaging discussion started to snowball, with lots of great and interesting ideas to play with and ponder on.
To be put simple, environmentalists NEED to start talking directly to artists. Breaking through the layers of promoters, managers, producers must happen and the artists need to champion going green. It is no longer ok for green charities to hear from managers “no sorry the artist won’t be interested in that cause”. We think new ways can be forged to ensure artists go green, and encourage their teams to join in.
We recognise its not fair to accuse artists touring on their private jets of being selfish or to finger point at the hundreds of plastics bottles used on tour. The music business is a billion dollar industry, extremely high energy consuming with a massive carbon footprint. If requests for greener tours are events are secured at the very early stages of planning events, Steve firmly believes that industry professionals will take note and help out.
Artists have the platform, voice and fan base to really educate a whole new audience about the importance of climate change. Together with organisations and simply moral responsibility, artists could lead the new generations to a greener future.
Claire from Greener Festival with her incredible research and solutions for eco sanitation, recycling, water dispensers etc, that are already being implemented at festivals across the UK need to be more readily available and clearly on hand to advise the music industry on a larger scale. Julie’s Bicycle are playing an instrumental role in doing just that, and also bringing big players into the eco-music space and requesting action from the likes of government and music executives.
The audience began talking about our day to day choices and what each of us can do on an individual level to help the planet. Recycling instruments and passing them on to future generations was another idea. Instruments were created to be played after all and not stored away collecting dust! What about air bnb for instruments? Or what about the ethics of your instrument, the wood used to make it, did illegal deforestation happen to make yours?
So thats one thing #RiffSustainbly aims to do, contact the dots and ensure the right conversations are happing with the right people at the perfect time, to ensure we can help make this mega industry as green as possible.
The day ended with various performances of our ‘Oceans’ song by incredibly talented Midi Music members. The completely different styles reminded us precisely why we launched our Ocean song in 2017, and asked as many musicians to do their version of the song in their style to spread environmental awareness amongst new audiences.
Check out some of the Midi Music #MyOceans versions: