New report highlights the effects of DJs on climate change

"The demand for a small number of DJs to tour constantly is the result of an environmentally unsustainable industry"

A new report by German organisation Clean Scene has focused on the effects that international DJs have on climate change.

The report, titled ‘Last Night a DJ Took a Flight,’ is described as “exploring the carbon footprint of touring DJs and looking towards alternative futures within the dance music industry.” You can read it in full here.

For their figures, Clean Scene analysed the carbon footprint of Resident Advisor’s top 1000 DJs touring in 2019. They found that between them the DJs take 51,000 flights annually, travelling 117 million kilometres. This uses 3.2million litres of fuel, releasing 35million kg of CO2 into the air.

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They note that this is equivalent to 20,000 households’ electricity for one year, powering 8000 festivals for three days, or pressing 25 million records.

Calvin Harris performing live CREDIT: Ollie Millington/Redferns

“The demand for a small number of DJs to tour constantly is the result of an environmentally unsustainable industry” the report reads. “And an industry that we have an opportunity to collectively reimagine.”

The report also “By travelling over 118,000 km per year, the average DJ from RA’s top 1000 has double the impact of even the world’s frequent-flying ‘super emitters’,” the report said.

“The average touring DJ emits 35 tonnes of CO2 per year and their carbon footprint is more than 17 times higher than the recommended personal carbon budget of approximately 2 tonnes.”

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The report also highlighted the disparity between the DJs travelling the most and least within the top 1000 touring DJs. The footprint of the 100 DJs travelling the most is nearly 88 tonnes, versus just 3.3 tonnes for the 100 travelling the least.

The report added: “We are not blaming artists — this report is directed at all those who are part of the music industry, who we are calling on to start a meaningful conversation.”

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