Meltdown festival put in fracking spotlight by new report

Press Release 14 Jun 2013 admin

Pages from Shell Global MegafrackersYoko Ono’s anti-fracking activism contrasts with venue sponsors Shell’s international fracking activities

A report published today called Shell Global Mega-Frackers has juxtaposed Yoko Ono’s anti-fracking activism in the US with new research showing the extent of Shell’s world-wide fracking activities. The report has been published on the first day of the international Meltdown Festival curated by Yoko Ono, and organised by the Shell-sponsored Southbank Centre.

Yoko Ono has been a vocal critic of the fracking industry. Ono formed pressure group ‘Artists Against Fracking’, who put pressure on New York governor Governor Andrew Cuomo to maintain a state-wide moratorium on fracking, and created a music video called “Imagine there’s no fracking.”

The new report published by campaign groups Platform and Frack Off shows that Shell is actively planning to frack in numerous countries around the world, including Canada, the USA, Argentina, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, the Ukraine, Russia, South Africa, China and Australia. The report also details the widespread opposition to Shell’s fracking plans by a variety of NGOs, activists and community groups.

The report will be distributed at the opening weekend of the Meltdown Festival, and a “twitter storm” is also planned for Yoko Ono’s weekly #YokoQandA on Friday, where she responds to questions from her fans.

Report author Kevin Smith from Platform said:

“Yoko Ono’s activism against fracking in New York State has set an inspiring example of artists engaging with the critical issues of the day. Shell is involved in controversial fracking projects the world over and is also a major sponsor of the Southbank Centre. Oil and gas companies use these sponsorship deals to mask their devastating operations in other parts of the world, so I hope Yoko Ono might have something to say about Shell’s involvement with the Southbank Centre.”

Yoko-Meltdown_A4-Final-WEB-600Jonathan Deal, Recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize – Africa – 2013, and chair of Treasure Karoo Action Group that opposes Shell’s fracking in South Africa, said:

“The global oil and gas industry, spearheaded most publicly by Shell, has long sought to present itself as ‘caring for the local communities’ and being open, honest and transparent. In my view, and the experience of communities worldwide, this is far from the truth. Shell is a deceitful corporation and the tiny amounts of money that they spend on cultural sponsorship programmes is negligible compared to the vast negative impact that their operations have around the world.”

For more information, contact [email protected]

Photos of anti fracking protests from around the world are available upon request

The report can be downloaded here.


Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is known, is a specific method of cracking rock to access fuel trapped beneath low permeability rock. Since the gas or oil will not easily flow though the rock, pathways must be created with extensive drilling and fracturing. The technique has proved to be extremely controversial in the USA, involving extensive air and water pollution, negative impacts on tourism and agriculture, massive drain of water resources and the industrialization of vast swathes of the country side.

Shell sponsorship and the Southbank Centre

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