Bristol legends Massive Attack have announced their first live show in five years, with a massive gig set for Aug. 25 at The Downs in their home city. And notably, the band claims the show will have the smallest carbon footprint of any event of its size.
The group have long been advocates for environmentalism and sustainability, touring by train on their previous European tour in 2019 to reduce fossil fuel emissions, and even commissioning a report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to examine the impact of live music and touring on the environment. For the Bristol concert, the band's Robert "3D" Del Naja says the facilities will rely on battery and solar power to run lighting and other stage equipment, among many other initiatives.
As Del Naja noted in a statement: "We’re chuffed to play our home city again and to be able to do it in the right way. In terms of climate change action, there are no excuses left; offsetting, endless seminars, and diluted declarations have all been found out -- so live music must drastically reduce all primary emissions and take account of fan travel. Working with pioneering partners on this project means we can seriously move the dial for major live music events and help create precedents that are immediately available."
Additionally, the concert's ticketing policy will give priority to ticket-buyers living in Bristol and the surrounding areas, aiming to reduce fan travel to and from the show. Fans living in Bristol, Bath, Somerset and Gloucestershire will have the opportunity to register for a pre-sale starting on Dec. 6.
Electric shuttles will be provided to ferry concertgoers to and from rail stations, and the catering and beverage services at the show will give an edge to plant-based and locally-sourced vendors.
Massive Attack last performed live at New York City's Radio City Music Hall in Sept. of 2019, and have not performed a full-scale concert in the UK since a Bristol appearance in March of that year. The group were initially slotted to play at Spain's Primavera Sound festival in 2022, but withdrew due to guitarist Angelo Bruschini's health challenges. The guitarist, who had toured and recorded with Massive Attack since 1995, passed away due to lung cancer earlier this year.
Innovators of trip-hop and a seminal influence on 1990s British music with its fusion of rock, hip-hop, and dance music elements, Massive Attack's 1991 debut Blue Lines has made appearances on countless "greatest albums" lists, and produced the deathless single "Unfinished Sympathy." Subsequent albums Mezzanine and 100th Window both topped the UK album chart, with single "Teardrop" also reaching the top 10 of the UK singles chart in 1998. The band were less successful, chart-wise, in the U.S., though "Teardrop's" use as the theme song for the TV series House introduced plenty of Stateside listeners to the group, and they have headlined various U.S. festivals, most notably the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The group's most recent proper release, EP Eutopia, dropped in 2020.