Billie Eilish and mother “proud” to platform change makers at London climate event

Billie Eilish saluted a collection of “amazing” collaborators as she brought her Overheated climate action event back to London yesterday (30 August). Check out what went down below, along with our interview with Eilish’s mother Maggie Baird.

At the end of a day of talks, Eilish joined speakers on stage – a range of activists, innovators and thought-leaders – and said: “This is so amazing. I’m just really proud I get to be a helping hand at all.”

Earlier in the event Eilish had joined her mother Maggie Baird to talk about her love of thrift shopping and sustainable fashion.

A sold-out audience of 500 people and thousands of live viewers on Eilish’s YouTube watched a programme of talks themed around climate action.

Billie Eilish and panelists pose onstage during Overheated, a one-off climate activism event presented by Support + Feed and Billie Eilish at Flipper's Roller Boogie Palace on August 30, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Billie Eilish and panelists pose onstage during Overheated (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

This was the second time Eilish and her collaborators have hosted Overheated in the capital, after the platform debuted during the singer’s run of shows at The O2 in June 2022 – a move that saw one of the world’s most popular indoor concert venues go vegan during the artist’s residency.

Eilish has been a long-term advocate for climate action – supporting campaigns by groups including Music Declares Emergency and Reverb. Earlier this year, Eilish appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine with a collection of climate organisers.

Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace in west London was the venue this time. After the talks concluded, fans were invited to roller skate. Elsewhere, plant-based food was served to the crowd and fans could interact with grassroots climate groups who’d be invited to set up information stands.

And like last year’s programme, Overheated brought together an intentionally young and diverse set of voices to discuss a spectrum of climate-linked topics: from fashion to activism, food systems to mental-health.

Hosted by broadcaster Abbie McCarthy, the event was co-presented by Support + Feed – a not-for-profit organisation founded by Billie’s mother Maggie Baird that takes action for a global shift to an equitable, plant-based food system to combat food insecurity and the climate crisis.

The day opened with something of a curveball: a guided meditation led by musician and zen Buddhist monk, Brother Spirit.

Later on, greeted by cheers from the crowd, Billie joined her mother on stage during the afternoon for a conversation about her passion for pre-loved clothes.

“I only thrift or do little vintage shops,” said Eilish. “It’s just a lot more freeing. I really believe in rewearing stuff. Everything I’m wearing today I’ve worn before. I’ll rewear shit forever. I understand being insecure about it, but I just don’t believe in that. I think you should wear your clothes because they’re cute. That’s why you bought them. We have a washing machine, you can wash them!”

Eilish’s brother Finneas also appeared at the event via a short recorded video message displayed on the screens – he welcomed attendees and explained he’d be there in person but was preparing for his debut headline London show.

Maggie Baird speaks onstage during Overheated, a one-off climate activism event presented by Support + Feed and Billie Eilish at Flipper's Roller Boogie Palace on August 30, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Maggie Baird speaks onstage during Overheated (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Speaking to NME backstage, Maggie Baird said: ““She [Billie] really does not like to be put in the role of an expert, she likes to shine the light on the people she thinks are experts. Having something like this… all kinds of people who know what they’re talking about. It’s like, ‘I’ll just give them my platform’.”

“We could do this [Overheated] with other artists in other cities and other venues and support their audiences and their communities. We’d like to keep this conversation and have a credible resource for people to learn about this.”

She continued: “Everybody knows the clock is ticking. The truth is, touring is in jeopardy. The music industry is in jeopardy. If you don’t do it now, you’ll be forced to do it in the future.”

Speaking about the tone of the event and the range of invited speakers, Baird added: “It’s so important that people feel hopeful and excited. And know that their choices and actions matter.”

Earlier in the day Baird had interviewed the broadcaster Ade Adepitan on stage. “We are one family and right now our family is under attack,” remarked Adepitan during the interview, who presented the BBC TV documentary series Climate Change: Ade On The Frontline. “This about all of us. Climate change affects all of us.”

Baird added: “We need to remember, our planetary health is our health.”

Billie Eilish wears a No music On A Dead Planet t-short at the 2019 American Music Awards (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/AMA2019/FilmMagic for dcp)

The climate justice activist, speaker and writer Dominique Palmer was also one of the people who spoke to viewers, joining Julie’s Bicycle’s Climate Justice Lead Farah Ahmed and activist Lauren MacDonald.

“A big focus of the panel was about how nobody is perfect. We are all imperfect. We don’t need 100 perfect activists, we need a million imperfect activists. We also spoke about all the different ways people can get involved,” she told NME.

Palmer’s also a collaborator of ClimateLive – a youth led organization to harness the power of music to engage, educate and empower people to take action. The group – who travel to festivals in a bright pink solar-powered double-decker bus – recently engaged and entertained fans at events including Reading & Leeds, Sziget and Wireless.

“I honestly think that Billie and the whole team are leading this in the music space,” said Palmer. “It’s a great example for other musicians and for the music industry to follow.”

Billie Eilish and her mother Maggie Baird hug onstage during Overheated, a one-off climate activism event presented by Support + Feed and Billie Eilish at Flipper's Roller Boogie Palace on August 30, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Billie Eilish and her mother Maggie Baird hug onstage during Overheated (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Delivering Overheated was another significant milestone in a week of notable achievements for Eilish. This weekend, she became the youngest ever headliner of Reading & Leeds festival.

In a four-star review of her Reading set, NME concluded: “It’s a testament to her star power that a quieter final third can be received so well, even if a few casual fans are adamant that their chats are more important than what’s going on on stage. But when ‘Bad Guy’ and her magnum opus and closer ‘Happier Than Ever’, complete with fireworks, hit, not one person in the crowd appears focused on anything but Eilish. It’s not hard to imagine her joining this weekend’s other headliners like The Killers and The 1975 in having an open invite to return: after just two appearances, she’s already a Reading legend.”

Billie Eilish at Reading Festival
Billie Eilish at Reading Festival. Credit: Andy Ford

Eilish then played an intimate London gig at Camden’s Electric Ballroom, where she was joined on stage by special guests boygenius and Labrinth. Her brother Finneas then played the same venue the following evening, with Eilish watching on from the balcony as the producer debuted new material.

In another example of climate leadership, Eilish’s headline performance at Lollapalooza was majority powered by clean, renewable, solar-power.

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