Filkin’s Drift band members Seth Bye and Chris Roberts walking with their gear along the coast of Wales on Aug. 31, 2023. Filkin’s Music / Facebook
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Filkin’s Drift, a band of two based in Birmingham, UK, have been highlighting sustainability in their latest tour by walking about 870 miles along the coast of Wales.
Musicians Seth Bye and Chris Roberts walked between stops for their 60-day tour, carrying the instruments they needed and just enough clothing to walk and perform each day. Bye and Roberts each carried a 33-pound bag on their journey, the BBC reported.
“We’re not at all suggesting that everyone should give up driving and walk to all their gigs because it has completely taken over our lives, but things like choosing more sustainable routes (should be considered),” Roberts said, as reported by the BBC.
The tour, titled CERDD // ED, has spanned over 40 shows along the 870-mile path, which started in Flintshire on Sept. 3 and ended on Oct. 31 in Chepstow, according to the band’s tour map.
After pandemic-related lockdowns, Filkin’s Drift was prepared to start touring again, but they were concerned about the environmental impacts of touring.
According to Bye, as the band started performing again, they found a lot of their time was “spent in a car stuck in a traffic jam, which isn’t very good for the environment, or mental and physical health. We were just wondering whether there was a better way to tour.”
So Bye and Roberts decided to walk their tour along the coast of Wales. The musicians decided to name their tour after the words ‘cerdd’ and ‘cerdded’, meaning music and walk, respectively, in the Welsh language.
“To Filkin’s Drift, this suggests an intrinsic connection between the acts of roaming and creating music,” the band shared on their website. “Along the way, the duo will collect songs, stories, and tunes to incorporate into their gigs, weaving together a tapestry of shared experiences of the Welsh coast.”
Another aspect of the tour involved performing in areas that typically don’t see touring musicians, and the band has been raising money for the charity Live Music Now to further this mission, the BBC reported.
The duo has been sharing their experiences of the walking tour in videos on their YouTube channel and on their website blog. They hope their project will inspire other musicians and the music industry as a whole to approach touring in a more sustainable way.
“It can be easy to be overcome with dread sometimes, but there can be reason for hope,” the band shared in a blog post. “On this trip we’ve seen so many people living their lives in self sufficient ways that we could all implement at least aspects of quite easily, that would have a real positive effect. We ourselves have shown that a tour on foot is possible, discovering so many things that the music industry and others could learn that would reduce the perceived need for vehicles.”
Filkin’s Drift joins a growing number of artists and industry professionals working to spotlight sustainability and the environment in their work. In recent years, major labels and indie labels have even collaborated on a Music Climate Pact to reach a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.