Music industry’s carbon footprint to fall as pandemic sees summer festivals cancelled

Download Festival’s acts could generate 162,951.40 kilograms of carbon dioxide from travel alone if it went ahead this year, according to a new study

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The music industry’s carbon footprint is to fall as the coronavirus pandemic sees summer festivals across the UK and around the world cancelled.

By taking data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) and combining that with the distance required for headline artists to travel to festivals, Boiler Guide has calculated the kilograms of carbon that can be attributed to each event,

Based on the travel distance of the headline acts based on their hometown and an assumed transport choice of ‘air’ when travelling from overseas and ‘bus’ when travelling within mainland UK, Download Festival is the festival with the greatest carbon impact, with more than 162,951.40 kilograms of carbon dioxide generated from travel alone.

Glastonbury has an estimated 32,745.74-kilogram impact, based on the festival’s announced headline acts – it has already been cancelled for 2020.

Y Not Festival has the lowest carbon impact of the festivals investigated, with total travel-related emissions of its headline acts reaching 3,675.20 kilograms.

Many festivals across the country have already been cancelled, with the rest likely to follow – a reduction in traffic noise, rubbish and air pollution are expected as a result.

David Holmes, Founder at Boiler Guide, said: “Isolation isn’t fun for anyone, but the savings made by people staying at home cannot be ignored. While we don’t expect the findings of our study to take away from the disappointment festival-goers will be feeling, we do hope it highlights the ‘silver lining’ in terms of the environmental benefits that make something positive from this challenging time.”