*The Japanese version of this article is here.
I have tried to review Radiohead's "In Rainbows Tour" through a couple of months.
My attempt was to summarise all reports/infomation, which were made public in "Dead Air Space" and to translate to Japanese. This might give Japanese Radiohead fans more infomation about the band's eco-tour plan and understanding of how, more generally, touring impacts on climate change significantly. I believe this attempt would be worth as the Japanese tend not to read English articles because of poorness in English skills (you may understand it as my poor Enlgish!) and this trend results in a kind of ignorance of important information from the band such as the Best Foot Forward's report.
If you can read Japanese, here is links of posts related to the topic.
-Summary of BFF report
-Summary of the tour plan (from The Most Gigantic Flying Mouth For Sometime)
-TMGFM updated (electricity）
-Actual actions at the venue (Glasgow Green)
-Introduction of after-gig-report (from The Most Gigantic Flying Mouth For Sometime)
Now I'd like to write my impression of Radiohead's tour plan in 2008 as a conclusion of those all posts I've done.
Basically this tour is very organised and the band's efforts to reduce carbon emissions are admirable.There are many musicians who raised a voice to make something different to climate change but I doubt if they're really doing something to reduce CO2 emissions other than appearing at charity gigs or donating loads of money to a certain NGO. Needless to say, raising money is important for NGOs, but does it make sense that an artist does touring around the world as using a huge lightning system and chatering aerplanes? I have to say it is never ethic and justified. In this respect, Radiohead's efforts could be evaluated practicable and effective not to leave carbon footprint.
However, the lack of audience involvement can be seen in the tour plan. I mean that it should be much better if audience is involved in the band's efforts more. Some criticised this point(see, for example, "Going green on the festival scene"-The Guardian(7/3/2008). As the Best Foot Forward report showed, the major cause of CO2 emissios in touring is fan travel. If the band want to enlighten fans to raise awaness of climate change, they should combine practices with a sort of education to fans. One of the ideas that I can suggest as a Japanese is, for instance, to get audience sort waste into more different categories of bins. The result may be the same whoever sort waste into bins, for example, fans, promoters, recycling-oriented companies or whatever. However, at least, this suggestion is much better than subcontracting of waste management because it requires fans' actions and also may a chance for fans to think of the connection fan behaviour with climate change.
Surely fan behaviour is not what the band can control easily. In fact, it is almost impossible, although the band can affect fan behaviour in some extent. However, as I mentioned, the involvement of fans is at least necessary to improve the band's eco-friendly plan. Otherwise things won't change fundamentally.
The tour plan is still immature,in process of its development. You CAN be involved in this by joining the group of The Most Ggantic Flying Mouth For Sometime in w.a.s.t.e. central. It's such a simple way to get involved in actions for climate change. The importance is not to do something "difficult", but to do something "different" from you did yesterday. If you're interested in Radiohead's actions, please visit their website.
I'm even not sure what I can do to reduce CO2 emissions in music context, but I was influenced by their actions and, in fact, I've changed my life style, whereas the changes may be very small.
I'm now planning to research for the relation between touring and climate change as my dissartation. I hope that I can find something practical ideas to make fans get involved in tackling climate change and do something biggar than individual actions.
At the end of this post, I'd like introduce an organisation, 'Julie's Bicycle'. They are dealing with the environmental issues in the UK popular music industries. What I should note about the organisation is that they conducted the first report of CO2e emissions from the music industries in the UK and published the report in April, 2008. All information on the website is very useful and it will help you with understanding the issues more.
Julie's Bicycle: http://www.juliesbicycle.com/
Julie's Bicycle 'first step' full report: http://www.juliesbicycle.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/jb-first-step-e-report.pdf