Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja is “livid” over live industry’s response to climate change

"Now is the time for action – no more pledges"

Massive Attack‘s Robert Del Naja has criticised the live music industry’s response to climate change, saying “one band not touring doesn’t change a thing”.

The artist – aka 3D – said he was “pretty livid” over the industry not meeting pledges to reduce its carbon footprint, highlighting Coldplay’s decision to stop touring until they could make it “environmentally friendly as possible”.

“I understand their frustration. It’s frustration all bands have been feeling for a long time,” he told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) today (March 16) as part of its ongoing investigation into the future of UK music festivals.


However, Del Naja said “everyone knows that’s not the solution – one band stopping touring, or even all bands stopping touring. One band’s unilateral action is not going to change the look of the whole problem at all.”

He suggested that “the best way is to look for solutions collectively”, adding: “[The] industry seems to be locked in a cycle of green pledges … while emission rates have remained really high.”

Massive Attack mezzanine spray can reissue
Massive Attack CREDIT: Getty

Del Naja also highlighted the possible “different solutions” for transportation, saying that bands and artists could use trains and buses to get to festivals and shows. He claimed there are “lots of different solutions for energy and powering a festival”.

“Now is the time for action – no more pledges,” he said.

Massive Attack, who have long been vocal supporters of the anti-climate change movement, announced last year that they would embark on a European tour by train in a bid to lessen their carbon footprint.


“The challenge now is to not only make personal sacrifices, but to insist on the systemic change that’s needed. Business as usual is over,” Del Naja said at the time.

Last May, The 1975’s Matty Healy said that post-COVID touring will be “an opportunity to take the climate crisis seriously”.

“This idea that people can just keep doing what they’re doing and massage it enough to make it socially acceptable is over,” the frontman explained. “There has to be some kind of sacrifice.”

Back in December, Foals’ Edwin Congrave revealed that his concerns over climate change led him to question “whether [he] should be in the band”.

The keyboardist suggested that Foals, who’ve previously supported the No Music On A Dead Planet campaign and Extinction Rebellion, could avoid “certain types of tours” in the future as a result.