Eco-Amplifier: The Dave Matthews Band and the Environment

Eco-Amplifier: This Week, The Dave Matthews Band. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Eco-Amplifier: This Week, The Dave Matthews Band. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Eco-Amplifier: The Dave Matthews Band are Environmentalists

The Dave Matthews Band expresses how much they care about the environment and the climate crisis through their words and then show it through their actions. 

The Music Industry and Our Climate 

As we continue through the climate crisis we are experiencing, we are being presented with issues that challenge the very fundamentals of our society. While many have reaped the benefits of operating in the way we have, many people have been left incredibly vulnerable and in precarity. 

This situation has presented itself as a moral quandary for those who have benefitted, especially in Western nations pushing this environmental catastrophe forward. 

It would be remiss to ignore those who recognize this fact, and many politicians, executives, artists, and other individuals in Western nations are actively tackling the crisis we face. 

However, art, specifically music, needs more awareness of the climate crisis and the action that could be taken to mitigate the issue. The music industry significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, most notably through transportation impact. 

According to a study by the University of Manchester, live music in the UK annually releases 405 million kilograms of greenhouse gases. 

However, some artists have stepped up to spread awareness of this issue and set a standard others can follow. The Dave Matthews Band is one of these groups, and their record regarding environmentalism is remarkable and admirable. 

What’s Their Story?

The Dave Matthews Band has been active in music for over 20 years, seeing widespread success with its unique blend of folk, rock, roots, blues, and jazz. 

The Dave Matthews Band was founded in 1991, and for three years, it toured around the Virginia area playing shows and recording what would become their debut work, Remember Two Things. 

In 1994, they broke out into mainstream success with their album Under The Table And Dreaming, which brought them worldwide fame and eventually was certified 6 times platinum. 

They followed this up in 1998 with Before These Crowded Streets, which, while intentionally recorded to avoid creating any hit singles, sold 900,000 copies in its first week. 

A throughline that can be observed throughout the band’s history is empathy and care for the plight of people suffering in our world. Whether it’s the black South Africans or the Native Americans, the Dave Matthews Band has been evident in its recognition of the issues facing these people and focused on its goal of spreading awareness. 

This has carried on to environmentalism as well; beginning in 2005, the band has worked closely with REVERB, an organization dedicated to creating sustainable practices for live tours. 

As of 2019, the Dave Matthews Band has eliminated over 121 million pounds of co2, raised $2 million for environmental causes, and removed almost half a million single-use bottles from their events. In 2019, the UN recognized their achievements in sustainable practices within the music industry and made the band the goodwill ambassador of North America, a title they held until 2021. 

Speaking in an interview with Variety Magazine, Dave Matthews himself said, “When the band started to become successful, I’d leave a concert venue and see the amount of garbage left behind, and I realized that we had to do something or we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. I can’t in good conscience tell anyone the planet is in peril and that they should do something about it — unless I’m doing everything I think is possible.”

See also: on Happy Eco News for more environmentalist musicians.

Setting an Example for Others

An action-oriented band that leads by example instead of preaching, the Dave Matthews Band has set the bar for how live shows should be conducted. 

While spreading awareness is essential, people often feel like they are being talked down to when they hear a lot of talk and no action. Instead of doing that, they let it be seen with their actions that they care about the environment. 

And by doing so, they set an example for all of us to follow. 

If you want to stream their new music or purchase a ticket for one of their shows, you can do so here.

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