State of Play

Over a third admit to leaving a tent behind

But the future of the environment is high on everyone’s minds.

Festival Finder

When you’re drinking, dancing and swept up in the powerful vocals or booming bass of your favourite artists, the post-festival clean-up isn’t your first thought…but eco issues are now crossing attendees’ minds more and more.

Awareness about the dangers of plastic and the amount of waste we produce has grown exponentially in recent years, with festivals now actively tackling the sustainability challenge too.

Many have already implemented green initiatives such as offering locally sourced and organic foods, rewarding those who arrive via low carbon emission routes or putting “reduce, reuse, recycle” efforts into play.

With everyone becoming more proactive, it’s important to understand the attitude of attendees. Our wide-ranging 2019 State of Play research has discovered that more than a third of respondents have left their tents behind at the end of the festival.

Tents are a knotty matter for festivals. Each year countless numbers of them are abandoned, often because they’re inexpensive and break or get muddy.

But you can’t chalk this up to irresponsibility or indifference. In many cases, festival-goers wrongly believe their tents will be recycled after the fun is over, and in thinking so inadvertently add to the waste problem. In fact, those who think tents get recycled at festivals are four times more likely to always leave theirs behind, so it’s always worth checking before abandoning your trusty canvas companion.

Now attendees are becoming more concerned about the overall environmental impact of festivals. Almost two-thirds of them said the reduction of waste is a priority – and when priorities are ranked, the need for better recycling facilities tops the list, followed closely by the desire for no plastics and, of course, tent recycling.

In line with this, Live Nation Entertainment has recently committed to new sustainability goals which include reducing waste as well as eliminating single-use plastics at its festivals by 2021. It will affect approximately 20 major UK festivals including Reading and Leeds, Download and Wireless. For more details about this pledge click here.

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Header photo by Sarah Koury/Latitude