Festivals: a Dirty Business?


Reading the article’s headline, it could be easy to assume I’m being over-dramatic, pessimistic or unable to get into the festival spirit. This is far from true: my first festival experience earlier this month proved unforgettable. However, the week of Beach Break Live fun in Wales ended on a low point.

Drowsily waiting over three hours with my friends for the coach to arrive, I was confronted with a bleak scene: a shocking amount of litter was strewn all over the huge stretch of camp site before me. Although some rubbish was put into bin liners, these too were abandoned in the filth left by festival-goers. Bizarrely, the odd tent was left completely untouched amongst the rubbish, too.

This disgusting, rubbish-smothered field used to be  a relaxed respite during the day and little more than a strange no-man’s land at night until students returned to their tents. Yet the stark contrast that faced those waiting to get home and recover from the events of the week was so different and unlike anything I’d ever seen before, excluding the local dump.

This made me wonder how the whole issue of litter at camp sites could be relatively easily avoided if campers were to keep their camp sites clean. Although the stereotypical image of a student is not the tidiest of people, this need not extent to festival life. Pembrey Country Park, the location of this year’s Beach Break Live, is a beautiful location, yet litter not only spoils the views, but poses a threat to both the environment and wildlife. According to the RSPCA’s inspector David Hobbs, ‘if people disposed of their rubbish properly, many animals would be saved from injury and death’.

It is clear that the organisers of Beach Break Live evidently took into account such dangers of litter, as demonstrated by the impressive amount of clearing up after the event. According to This Is South Wales, the clean up was ‘meticulous’, to the extent that ‘workers were even cutting discarded chewing gum out of grass with scissors’.

Despite this intensive clean up, festival-goers should think twice before littering and show some consideration. It requires little effort, but makes the huge task that is the cleaning process afterwards easier and more manageable.


Discussion4 Comments

  1. avatar

    Hi, Terry. Just had a look at the link you sent and it looks like the clean-up is a great success! Thanks for the information, I’ll be sure to add something to the end of the article about the thorough cleaning process that happens afterwards.

    Thanks again,

    Nicola x

    • avatar

      Self righteous do gooder realises that actually people can plan a festival and clean up after themselves all on their own…. SHOCK horror… what upper middle class eco warrior – Gap Yeeahh – bubble did you just walk out of?

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