The 6th Live & Kicking conference at Solent University took place on Wednesday 4th March 2020.
Lucas Edwards, one of our BA (Hons) Popular Music Journalism students wrote:
‘Solent University played host to a trio of guests from across the music industries for a panel discussion on a topic of concern to everyone – climate change.
Specifically, how the music business is contributing towards global warming and the steps it – and consumers – can take to prevent it.
The panel consisted of Hal England from Music Declares Emergency, Rosa Corbishley Director of Development at the Bristol Music Trust and Karen Emmanuel the CEO of Key Production.
Chaired by Solent’s own Johnny Hopkins, all manner of topics were discussed through an environmental lens from touring, (in which it is actually audiences driving to venues that cause the most damage), to album packaging (turns out ditching single use plastic isn’t as easy as it sounds), to merchandise production (did you know it takes 2,700 litres of water to manufacture just one t-shirt).
Massive Attack and Billie Eilish were both cited as big acts doing great work within their teams to combat the climate crisis. Hal and Rosa even discussed a collaboration with each other’s organisations, which goes to show you never underestimate the power of networking!
But the most surprising revelation of the day was that streaming contributes more to climate change than the sale of physical formats like CDs and vinyl. You’d think that because of plastic packaging that the opposite would be the case but recent attitude shifts within the industry has led to more sustainable solutions in the distribution sector.
Meanwhile the amount of energy that keeps the planets Spotify playlists blasting has not only crept up, but overtaken in terms of damage to the environment.
The biggest take away from the event was that we all need to look at our own lifestyles and make small changes that can have a big impact.
Hal implored everyone to investigate where their money is being spent and scrutinise the companies that are still investing in fossil fuels. Simply moving your savings into an eco friendly bank or switching to an environment conscious energy provider can make a big difference.’