After three days rocking it out to your favourite bands at a music festival, nothing seems worse the dreaded pack up. While pulling down tents and clearing away rubbish sucks, Australian music festivals are now begging their fans to do better as they fear damage to the environment.
A recent study has shown alarming figures surrounding festivalgoers and their cleanliness at events. In fact, the majority believe it’s fine to leave rubbish and even their tents behind when they go home.
Green Music Australia has released its Festival Littering report, which demonstrates that despite efforts from popular music events to raise awareness, protect the environment and reduce their footprint, young fans still haven’t got the message and are continuing to cause significant harm to event spaces.
After surveying more than 800 patrons of the Falls and Unify Gathering festivals in Victoria and the Party in the Paddock festival in Tasmania last year, the extent of the “harmful throw-away culture” of some attendees has been exposed. Furthermore, a range of images of these event spaces after attendees have left would send chills down any environmentalist’s spine.
Almost two-thirds of people surveyed said they didn’t think it was their responsibility to clean up rubbish that someone else had left behind. More than half thought that their tent would slow them down on leaving the event, encouraging them to leave their camping supplies behind instead of packing up.
Half thought their waste didn’t go to landfill (umm… what?) and the same number just wanted to “get the hell out of there” once the festival was over.
One-fifth of people bought a new tent specifically to attend the camping festival, and more than a third of them didn’t care if their tent was destroyed on its first outing. This shows significant ignorance surrounding the world of single-use products and their damage to the environment.
It should be noted that festival organisers need to devote a large number of resources to clean up festival sites, which in Australia are often in beautiful and precious natural parklands and forests. As a result of the growing cleanup costs, festival tickets will continue to increase.
On their website Splendour in the Grass called the choice to leave rubbish behind “unfathomable“, saying it “makes us really sad. You have a choice. Leave zero trace at your campsite and watch your neighbours follow suit. Spread the environmental good vibes and lead by example,” the festival’s website states.
Maybe at your next festival, you might think twice about leaving your tent and rubbish behind. Because if this rate of damage continues, festivals are at risk of discontinuing.