Music Programme

The music industry founded JB in 2007 to steward action on climate change and to utilise its exceptional influence and reach through campaigns and commitments.

Now, a large and ever-growing community of musicians, labels, festivals, and organisers are committed to climate and environmental action.

JB’s Music Programme is delivered through events, resources, and bespoke programmes, created in collaboration with music industry partners, through the lens of climate justice. Designed to enable rapid decarbonisation and to unite the sector as a powerful voice in the climate challenge.

Check out the Music Top Tips guide

JB’s music story and key initiatives

  • Music Declares Emergency launched in 2019, as a movement of over 6,000 signatories including musicians and music businesses, which came together to declare a climate and ecological emergency, accelerate collaboration and ambition, and call on government to use their policy and investment tools to enact the urgent systemic change needed. JB helped get the campaign off the ground and we continue to work closely in partnership with the MDE team on public campaigns and programmes. Join and support the campaign here.

  • JB supported the development of the IMPALA environmental sustainability programme and climate charter. We have also partnered with IMPALA to develop a carbon calculator for independent labels and rightsholder businesses across Europe, powered by our CG Tools platform, to enable companies to meet the IMPALA Climate Charter commitments and those of the Music Climate Pact. If you’re an independent label or rightsholding music company in Europe, which is part of the IMPALA membership, you can use the IMPALA carbon calculator and access environmental sustainability resources here.

  • JB is a partner in this pan-European project to develop tools and training on environmental sustainability for festival organisers and professionals across Europe. More information coming soon – watch this space!

  • JB is a co-founder and holds the secretariat for the Vision2025 steering group on outdoor event climate action. Vision2025 is a growing network of over 500 outdoor events and businesses in the UK. If you’re an outdoor event, take the Vision2025 pledge to reduce your environmental impacts – and if you’re an outdoor events professional, sign up to the Vision2025 monthly newsletter. Also, check out the Vision2025 resources including green supplier listings and case studies, and attend the annual Vision2025 Conference at the Showman’s Show.

  • Since 2017, Julie’s Bicycle programmes The Green Escape at The Great Escape Festival for new music in Brighton. Asking – what is the most meaningful thing we can do on climate change? Can artists really save the world – and is it even fair of anyone to ask them to? Through practical insights from those grappling with these questions, The Green Escape explores how different parts of the music ecosystem, from artists to agents, labels, venues, and promoters can collaborate to create a greener music industry, inspiring ambition and innovation. From activism to action, how can artists become a force for global environmental change? And how can we create a supportive and empowering industry framework? With a packed programme and even a sponsored bike ride from Brighton to London in aid of the cause – see what we got up to in 2019.

  • In 2010, JB convened some of the leading music touring companies including AEG and Live Nation to look at the climate impact of touring and what the industry could do to address it: Moving Arts (2010).

    Working with key live music stakeholders, Julie’s Bicycle set out to understand the carbon footprint of UK bands touring and identify the drivers and barriers to shifting business touring models to align with international climate targets, resulting in Moving Arts: Bands. This resulted in a new campaign on Green Riders – if enough artists take action to green their own tours and ask every venue, partner, and supplier to work with them, so much can change.

    Since then, we’ve supported different artists and tours with Green Riders, worked with venues and festivals on Creative Green consultancy and certification including energy audits, and are delighted to see Coldplay’s commitments and the Tyndall Centre and Massive Attack’s recent collaboration take this conversation back up the agenda.

  • An initiative supported through the Creative Europe programme of the European Union to explore how the jazz sector can respond and create new networked responses in a rapidly changing environment. Find our more.

  • EE MUSIC was a pan-European project co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of the European Union, aiming to scale up skills and knowledge within the live music industry on energy efficiency and sustainable energy management. Together with our partners (including the Green Music Initiative in Germany and Elevate Festival in Austria), we organised over 30 workshops and events in 24 countries; and mobilized hundreds of clubs, events and outdoor festivals to become part of a broader cultural movement towards a more intelligent energy future.

  • Together with a working group led by the Association of Independent Music, Julie’s Bicycle undertook research to show that shifting to digital promos was environmentally preferable to physical promos. See the How Green is my Promo guide. We also published a position paper to set out some of the emerging questions about the impact of shifting to a predominantly digital music market.

  • Based on our research that suggested CD packaging was responsible for a significant proportion of the music industry’s carbon emissions, we convened a working group of music, science and specialist experts to scrutinise the science and business of CD packaging.

  • Based on our research that suggested audience travel was a key emissions hot-spot for the live music industry, we convened a working group of greenfield festivals to undertake detailed research into the impacts of audience travel, and audience attitudes to potential ‘sticks’ and ‘carrots’ to influence greener travel Jam Packed Audience Travel Emissions from Festivals report (2009).

  • Julie’s Bicycle convened an early working group of music industry representatives, working with the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University to pull together a carbon footprint of the UK music industry and identify pathways for the sector to align with the Climate Change Act reduction targets. Read the First Step: UK Music Industry Greenhouse Gas Emissions report.

How to get involved

We work with music companies through our Creative Green Consultancy and Certification programme. Current and past clients include: Festival Republic, Warner Music UK, Universal Music UK, the Association of Independent Music, Shambala Festival, BPI, BRIT Awards, Askonas Holt, Village Underground, Live Nation and many more.

Services include: carbon footprinting, policy and strategy development, training, producing resources and guides, research, network support, event curation and more.

We also collaborate as working group members to help shape cross-industry initiatives including: LIVE Green Beyond Zero; IMPALA Sustainability Taskforce; Vision2025; Powerful Thinking; and Music Declares Emergency.

Apply to Creative Climate Leadership
Creative Climate Leadership (CCL) is JB’s intensive development programme empowering artists and cultural professionals to take action on the climate and ecological crisis with impact, creativity, and resilience.

Guides, CG Tools carbon calculators and events

Alongside speaking at, and organising, music industry events, JB provides a bank of tailored resources, including webinars and guides, covering topics from green touring and outdoor events to merchandise, packaging, and green riders.

Check out our top tips for the music industry guide in the JB Resource Library. And to measure your carbon footprint, use the free CG Tools carbon calculators for offices, tours, venues, and festivals.

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It all began with music

For the first 5 years, Julie’s Bicycle focused solely on music, and the sector remains close to our hearts, and our ambitions. In 2007, we convened a music working group and in partnership with Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute, we published the First Step: UK Music Industry Greenhouse Gas Emissions report, calculating the carbon footprint of the UK music industry, which was then responsible for approximately 540,000 tonnes CO2e annually.

Influenced by the findings, we published the Jam Packed Audience Travel Emissions from Festivals report (2009), and in 2010 our Moving Arts reports explored the carbon impacts of bands, orchestras and theatre touring in the UK and internationally.

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PICTURES (top to bottom, from header): Music Declares Emergency event organisers. Photo: Raquel Natalicchio; // Music Declares Emergency performers. Photo: Raquel Natalicchio; // Latitude Festival. Photo: Api Obus; // Shingai Shoniwa performing for Music Declares. Photo by Gareth Morris; // Performance in Opera North’s Howard Assembly Room by Tom Arber