Wavelength x Music Declares Emergency: Take Transit to the Festival!

From March 9 to 11, Music Declares Emergency Canada will be launching a new campaign with the Wavelength Winter Festival to encourage audiences to use sustainable transportation (walking, cycling, public transit) to get to concerts. Audience travel choices matter, and audience travel is the single biggest source of emissions within the live music sector. Each night of the festival (including March 25 & 31st shows with Do Make Say Think and Deerhoof), Music Declares Emergency and Wavelength Music will be hosting a raffle available only to those who traveled to the show via subway, bus or bike. 

In late 2022, Julie’s Bicycle — the U.K.-based non-profit that has been working to mobilize the arts and culture sector to take action on the climate and ecological crisis for 15 years — released a landmark report “From Carbon Footprints to Cultural Influence: Engaging Live Music Audiences on Travel Choices.” The report here shows how audience travel really matters — it’s a huge part of an event’s carbon footprint. Reducing these emissions, however, is a tough nut to crack, for a wide range of reasons. The scale of that challenge is detailed in the Tyndall Centre’s Super-Low Carbon Live Music Roadmap that was commissioned by U.K. band Massive Attack.

In light of the challenges, there are major opportunities to do work in this area. Live music can be a gateway to engage audiences as “agents of change” and accelerate progress in cutting carbon. Music Declares Emergency Canada is leading the way in engaging the music sector in what can be done here to adapt the leadership on music and climate in the U.K. 

Music Declares Emergency (MDE) is a group of artists, music industry professionals, and organizations who are calling on all those within the music industry to join us in declaring a climate emergency and to work towards making the cultural and operational changes necessary to contribute towards a carbon-neutral/post-carbon future. MDE Canada held the first ever Canadian Music Climate Summit in October 2022. 

Wavelength Music is a curated concert series designed to champion creativity, co-operation and collaboration in the independent music and arts scenes. Established in 2000, Wavelength is a non-profit arts organization that puts artists and the community first. A cornerstone of the Toronto music scene, Wavelength Music has championed literally thousands of emerging artists during its two decade-plus run.

“There will literally be No Music on a Dead Planet if we don’t change our ways. Though the enormity of the climate crisis may be overwhelming, every little bit counts, which is why we are thrilled to partner with Music Declares to encourage our audience members to take public transit to our festival in March. The TTC is the greener way, and all our shows are located right on the subway line!”
— Jonny Dovercourt, Wavelength co-founder and MDE Board member 

“We are excited to work with Wavelength to draw attention to the importance of audience travel especially at a time when governments across Canada are cutting funding to public transportation despite the serious climate crisis before us.”
— Kim Fry, MDE Canada coordinator

“Do Make Say Think is thrilled that Music Declares Emergency is partnering with Wavelength in presenting our show at the Danforth Music Hall and all of us strongly urge people to consider their emissions when traveling anywhere! The Danforth Music Hall is so easy to get to by subway — just steps from Broadview Station —- and even better to get to by bicycle, thanks to the new Bloor/Danforth bike lane.“
— Charles Spearin, Wavelength performer

“I was shocked to learn about the climate impact of the music industry. Learning more, especially about the impact of travel on our industry’s contribution to climate change, I feel even more motivated to play a role in making a more positive impact. Let’s try to make it a norm to encourage our audiences to take public or active transport to shows, while keeping the pressure on governments to make these forms of collective movement free and accessible.”
— Eve Parker Finley, Wavelength performer

Launched in the UK in July 2019, over 6000 bands and musicians have now signed up to Music Declares Emergency’s pledge to revitalize how the music industry tackles climate disaster, from The 1975 and Radiohead to Robyn, Billie Eilish, Tegan and Sara, and more. Music Declares groups have been launched in Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, The Netherlands, Chile, the U.S, Spain, Hungary, Poland 

Tegan & Sara, Bruce Cockburn, Dan Mangan, Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Melissa McClelland (Whitehorse), The Weather Station, Amy Millan (Stars), Sarah Harmer, Amy Cole (Rural Alberta Advantage), Good Lovelies, Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think & Broken Social Scene), Katie Munshaw (Dizzy), Scott Helman, Caribou, Hannah Georgas, Ron Hawkins (Lowest of the Low), Luna Li and Housewife (FKA Moscow Apartment) are some of the more than 300 Canadians who have already signed on.

More info can be found here:

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