Festival LitterBugs?

As Summer Festivals gain momentum, my social media feeds flood with vibrant images of dance, lights, and electrifying performances. Yet, my behind-the-scenes view unveils another side: the remnants of discarded tents, equipment, and belongings strewn across Glastonbury, Boomtown, Reading, and countless other sites.

Reflecting upon the past 18 months, I’m compelled to ask: Has this hiatus shifted our collective consciousness about waste at festivals? Will revellers now recognize the worth of their gear, or will newfound affluence merely perpetuate old habits of recklessness?

The sheer volume of abandoned, often brand-new items—some still tagged—is staggering. Words scarcely capture the environmental wreckage; one must witness it first-hand to grasp the extent.

So why do some individuals deem this behaviour acceptable? What drives a disconnect between accountability and action?

Common justifications like, “I was intoxicated,” “Charities benefit anyway,” or “The festival will clean up,” fall short. Let’s debunk these myths.

"I was still drunk and couldn’t be bothered."

I was still drunk and couldn’t be bothered.” Festivals are exhilarating, but let’s champion responsible enjoyment. Adopting a proactive approach—like gradually packing up before the final night—eliminates the chaos of a post-festival clean-up.

"Charities get everything anyway."

“Charities get everything anyway.”  While some festivals allow groups to salvage, their resources are finite. When you leave items in designated areas, you donate responsibly. Abandoning them? That’s littering—shifting responsibility onto hardworking volunteers is unjust.

"Festivals will handle the clean-up."

“Festivals will handle the clean-up.” Consider this: the £750,000 spent on waste management could elevate your festival experience—new stages, innovative acts, serene meditation zones. Opting for responsibility could even reduce ticket prices.

In essence, littering isn’t just careless; it’s disrespectful. Your actions echo beyond the festival gates, impacting organizers, volunteers, and our cherished environments.

To those who litter: it’s time for introspection. Adopt a mantra: Respect Yourself, Respect Others, Respect the Environment. Whether you’re at home, on vacation, or amidst a festival euphoria—clean up after yourself. Let’s cultivate a culture of care, not carelessness.


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