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Study finds music fans more likely to care about the environment

A University of Glasgow-led study has found that music fans are more likely to care about climate change than non-music fans.

The new report, called Turn Up the Volume, expands on YouGov UK polling of 2,184 adults from across the UK. The study also found that music fans expect the music industry to do more surrounding the climate emergency and sustainability.

The University of Glasgow, Music Declares Emergency, Secretly Group, the BPI, Beggars Group, Involved Group and Key Production partnered to deliver the new study, which was funded in part by the Natural Environmental Research Council.

The survey asked questions relating to music, listening and purchasing habits, and attitudes towards environmental issues. The poll found that 82% of music fans had concerns over climate change compared to 72% of non-music fans.

These results further break down in 42% of music fans being ‘very concerned’ and 40% ‘fairly concerned’ compared to 31% of non-music fans who said they were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ concerned. Music fans are also more likely to undertake efforts to tackle climate change.

Music and non-music fans see climate change as an important issue that needs to be addressed, however music fans are more likely to see it as a top priority with 54% agreeing that “tackling climate change should be a top priority now, above other issues” compared to non-music fans.

The Turn Up the Volume study was led by the University of Glasgow’s Dr Matt Brennan and social data science expert Dr Mark Wong, alongside Music Declares Emergency’s Lewis Jamieson and Beggars Group’s Will Hutton.

Dr Brennan said: “The project findings are exciting because they demonstrate a clear relation between engaged music fandom, increased concern about climate change, and desire for action.

“Music culture has a long history of playing a key role in social movements, and the evidence shows this link is still strong in the present day when it comes to the climate emergency.

“This should send a strong message across the music industries – to record labels, concert promoters, streaming platforms, artists, and other sectors – that there is an appetite for industry initiatives to tackle climate change, and that fans support, and indeed demand, bolder action. It represents an opportunity for the music sector to play a more prominent role in accelerating a just and green transition.”

The survey also found that music fans were largely unaware of initiatives such as the Music Climate Pact and Live Green, as well as The Association of Independent Music, which have made commitments to work towards net zero.

Research also found that fans who purchased physical products such as records are willing to spend more on sustainable physical products, while live event attendees are more likely to spend more on sustainable events.

Image: Alberto Bigoni on Unsplash