Taking Stock: The Music Sector and the Climate, Nature, Justice Crisis

ADE Green audience

Reflecting on a busy week for the music programme, our Climate Change Specialist for Music, Richard Phillips, provides his take on where the sector currently stands on its efforts to tackle the climate, nature and justice crisis.

Last week, I had the pleasure of addressing the music sector at two leading conferences on sustainability for the industry – Vision: 2025’s Sustainable Events Summit and Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) Green.

Both events featured full schedules of inspiring presentations and conversations on critical questions for the sector in response to the climate, nature and justice crisis. The calibre of speakers and quality of the discussions more than explaining the packed rooms and high engagement – even if the unrelenting rain did make a jaunt outside less appealing.

Vision: 2025’s Sustainable Events Summit

Speaking to outdoor events professionals at the Sustainable Events Summit, I explored the importance of climate justice as a framework for environmental action and the role events can play. Our collaboration with Attitude is Everything and A Greener Festival exploring how sustainability initiatives can simultaneously create positive outcomes for accessibility at festivals and venues is a prime example of how Julie’s Bicycle is leading work to embed climate justice within music.

ADE Green: Carbon Offsetting

Turning to ADE Green, a panel discussing the drawbacks of and alternatives to carbon offsetting culminated in 10 key principles to be followed before deciding to pay for offsets. Speaking alongside John Fernandes of MIT, Sven Jense of the Climate Cleanup Foundation and Claire O’Neill of A Greener Future, it felt crucial to address the music industry on what has been an ongoing source of confusion – and corner-cutting – in climate action. You can read more about the outcomes of that panel.


Both events featured a wide-ranging programme of further talks. From food sustainability, greener merchandise and renewable power, to audience communications, leadership and purpose in the industry. Deep conversations continued beyond the scheduled agenda, flooding out into the breaks and network drinks.

In short, there’s a lot going on. And there’s a lot for music to get to grips with.

This is why Julie’s Bicycle exists. Our music programme is primed to support the music sector in taking the right course of action, navigating the sticky challenges and ultimately delivering positive impact.

With the encouraging level of engagement from music professionals across the live and recorded sides of the sector, we need to convert this interest shown during sustainability events as a moment in time into meaningful, long-term action. This must be guided by the advice of sustainability experts in the sector.

There may not be many easy answers, but the expertise is there to provide a nuanced approach to action that considers climate, nature and justice issues holistically.

To steal a line from the Sustainable Event Summit keynote by EarthPercent’s Cathy Runciman, it’s time to supercharge the role of the music sector in tackling the climate crisis.

Our work in the music sector is made possible through EarthPercent, Universal Music, Festival Republic and impactful partnership projects. We are part of industry collaborations and networks including Vision: 2025, Powerful Thinking, Live GREEN, IMPALA.

If you would like to support our work or collaborate on a project, please get in touch with info@juliesbicycle.com.