“At last a project that takes the great passion many artists have for a healthy world powered by renewable energy, and makes it doable. A stunning, much needed initiative.” - Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil
Australian musicians Vance Joy, Peking Duk, Jack River, Cloud Control, Midnight Oil and many more have banded together to launch FEAT. (Future Energy Artists) - a company for artists to invest in solar farms.
FEAT. is the result of an idea by Heidi Lenffer from Cloud Control who was driven to design a strategy for touring in the era of climate change after she calculated how much touring costs the planet.
“I know the toll flying around takes on the world and given the current emergency we are now in, I feel like it should be on everyone’s agenda. I’ve been active on social platforms tweeting at people saying ‘come on what are you doing, put Australia to work’ - we should be building solar farms. We are the sunniest country in the world and all of this wasted sun is just going onto the dirt across the desert. We could do something with it. (With FEAT.) it’s just so good to actually be able to invest in things you care about. That’s the most exciting thing in the world." - Reuben Styles, Peking Duk
Lennfer and her band worked with climate scientists on data from a 15-date Australian tour by her band Cloud Control to discover that the tour generated 28 tonnes or carbon emissions and equivalent to an entire year of household emissions.
FEAT. are launching a solar investment fund for artists in association with Future Super — Australia’s most renewables-focussed superannuation fund — that will finance new and existing solar farms around Australia.
The fund will have a target return of over 5% per annum, and artists can choose to reinvest their dividend payments back into the fund, or have them paid to their artist accounts. Artists will be able to invest a lump sum or a percentage of their touring income.
“Scientists are stating loud and vigorously everyday their escalating concerns about climate change and the increasing strains on our natural environment. We have been considering for sometime about how best to approach touring and the carbon trail and waste we leave in our wake - then along comes Heidi with FEAT. A young champion tackling the issue head on with ingenuity… we were like yes - sign us up! This is the kind of commitment to action we have been looking for.” - Regurgitator
The first solar farm that FEAT. artists will see built is Brigalow Solar Farm in south-west Queensland as a result of their investment. At 35 megawatts, Brigalow Solar Farm is large enough to power 11,300 homes for the next 30 years, and will generate the equivalent of 2,149 Cloud Control tours in clean energy every year.
“We’re literally building the energy system that will give humans a future on earth, and I want artists to take ownership of this future. The stakes have never been higher, there’s never been a better time to invest in renewables, and this is a way for our whole industry to step up. Artists create songs out of nothing on a daily basis — now we’re upping the game by creating solar farms,” Lenffer said.
Supporting Artists (alphabetical):
Annie Hamilton, Big Scary, Breathe, Cloud Control, Cub Sport, Jack River, Little May, Mansionair, Midnight Oil, Peking Duk, Regurgitator, Set Mo, The Jezabels, The Rubens, Urthboy, Vallis Alps, Vance Joy, Washington.
Collective Artists, Green Music Australia, Lunatic Entertainment, Mushroom Music Group, St Jerome’s Laneway festival, Unified Music Group, Village Sounds.
"I can’t wait to see FEAT. transform the way artists can be involved in the shift to a renewables economy. As a touring artist I am sometimes at a loss as to how I can personally take action on climate breakdown, air pollution and sustainability. FEAT. addresses this with progression, providing a tangible and trackable way for artists and their audiences to contribute to the renewables economy, whilst receiving return from that investment.There is nothing more important than making tangible shifts toward what we believe - for the youth, for our listeners, for all those watching on!" - Holly Rankin, Jack River
Australians will be able to invest into the new fund later in the year, but for now there’s a waiting list they can join on the FEAT.website.