Roddy Campbell assess the trade-off between flying artists to gigs and climate change.
An interesting article appeared in a January issue of the U.K. daily newspaper The Guardian. The headline pretty much sums up the content: ‘Celtic Connections to scale back on overseas acts to fight climate crisis’.
The Scottish festival’s creative producer, Donald Shaw, described the issue as “the biggest challenge” facing the festival. “We cannot bury our head in the sand. It’s not really enough to fly 300 artists from all around the world and justify it on the grounds that art is important. Festivals like this one are going to have to think very seriously about whether we can do that anymore.”
Shaw said the move was necessary because it is “the right thing to do. It is the responsible thing to do. We all have to take responsibility for what is happening at the moment.”
International musicians performing at Celtic Connections this past January flew from countries from Cameroon to Canada. It’s this assortment of talent that makes his festival unique. While we can all sympathize with Shaw’s concerns and admire his fortitude, such a plan undoubtedly will alter the widespread appeal of his event—as it would many of our summer festivals.
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