Austrian musician Manu Delago is proving bands don’t need tour buses to go on the road. Last Friday, he and his band played in Tirol, kicking off a 1,000-mile bike concert tour of Austria to celebrate the release of his new single “ReCycling.”
Delago is a renowned player of the handpan, an instrument invented in Switzerland that is derived from Caribbean steel drums. He has performed in more than 50 countries, was nominated for a Grammy, appeared as a soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra and has collaborated with Björk and Anoushka Shankar. His new single combines his signature handpan percussion with electronics and the sounds of bicycles.
For the ReCycling tour, Delago and his band will play 25 shows in 35 days. Bike trailers have been specially built to safely transport the instruments. The traveling six-person group — including musicians and crew — will use solar panels to generate electricity on the road.
“The intense travels by air and bus around the world made me think how I as a musician can contribute to climate protection,” Delago said. “This gave rise to the idea of developing an environmentally friendly counterpart to a conventional concert tour.”
Delago plans to publish a short film every day during the journey that will double as a tour diary and a place to showcase sustainability tips to his fans. “My goal is to inspire as many people as possible, besides the music industry, to pursue a sustainable lifestyle,” he said.
Eco-activists are excited about Delago’s tour. “We really welcome this project because it shows that we can all contribute to climate protection — especially in the area of mobility, where around a third of climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions are generated,” said Adam Pawloff, climate expert from Greenpeace in Austria.
Several of Delago’s appearances will be livestreamed for his fans around the world. The first recorded livestream is available here.
Image via Simon Rainer