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Study shows impact of rock and metal tours on environment

Touring bands were responsible for huge carbon emissions in 2022 — but rock and metal acts weren’t the worst offenders



Touring bands were responsible for thousands of metric tonnes of carbon emissions in 2022, according to a new study.

Payless Power (opens in new tab) investigated the impact on the environment of touring bands in six genres last year, including rock and metal.

The results show that metal acts were responsible for 11,566 metric tonnes of CO2, while classic rock bands caused 9,778 metric tonnes. The other four genres investigated were EDM, hip-hop/rap, pop and country.

Metal bands who scored particularly badly include Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, Gojira and Hatebreed — who actually scored worst of all in the genre with 1,212 metric tonnes of CO2 from air travel and 61 from driving.

At the other end of the scale, Tool, Rammstein, Anthrax and Animals As Leaders produced relatively low levels of emissions. The band with the lowest emissions in the genre was Alice In Chains, who produced 293 metric tonnes in air travel and 15 from driving.

The report explains that bad routing causes tours of similar lengths and distances to have vastly different carbon emissions. It says: “For touring musicians, efficient planning is key to lowering their carbon footprint. Having tour stops close together and limiting a tour to one continent keeps travel to a minimum, reducing environmental impact.”

Of the six genres investigated, EDM was the worst culprit and classic rock had the lowest environmental impact. Metal ranked fourth, and so had less of an impact than EDM, hip-hop and pop.

In the classic rock genre, Van Morrison was ranked the worst offender, while Steely Dan scored best.

Acts with the worst carbon footprints in other genres were Tiesto, Jack Harlow, Dua Lipa and Kane Brown.

And artists with the lowest emissions from other genres were ODESZA, Chris Brown, Ed Sheeran and Carrie Underwood.