Festival-goers say reducing environmental impact is their number one priority

Glastonbury and other UK events are looking to reduce their use of single-use plastic.

Two thirds of festival-goers say reducing their impact on the environment is their number one priority this summer, new research suggests.

Revellers are gearing up for Glastonbury with many expected to abandon their tents at the end of the five-day event at Worthy Farm in Somerset.

And earlier this year the long-running festival announced it was banning single-use plastic drinks bottles from the site.

According to a study of UK revellers, 62% said they wanted to see festival waste reduced as well as better recycling facilities.

Despite this more than a third of fans (38%) admitted to having abandoned a tent at a festival.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

But almost the same number (36%) said they did so assuming it would be recycled, despite the majority of tents being taken directly to the landfill.

The State of Play: Festivals report, produced by Ticketmaster and insights company Kantar, asked roughly 4,000 festival-goers about the UK festival landscape.

Its results also indicate strong interest in diversity on line-ups.

Glastonbury's ribbon tower
Glastonbury’s ribbon tower (Yui Mok/PA)

Some 41% said they wanted more representation while nearly a third (29%) said they considered the male to female ratio of line-ups before buying a ticket.

Moreover, men appeared to be more concerned about representation than women.

Some 32% of male revellers said they wanted representation while only 28% of their female counterparts said the same.

Radio DJ and broadcaster Jo Whiley said recent years have seen organisers rethink how they run their events.

She said: “It is well known that the UK loves a music festival more than anywhere else in the world – which can be attributed to the incredible music, the atmosphere and the lifelong memories made.

“I’ve been going to festivals for a long time and in recent years there has been a radical and long overdue rethink in the way they are run.

Rubbish left at Glastonbury in 2008
Rubbish left at Glastonbury in 2008 (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“The good news from Ticketmaster’s report is that while we still see festivals as a place where you can let your hair down and enjoy quality time with friends or family, we’re finally thinking harder about (or – we’ve woken up to) the impact festivals have socially and environmentally.

“It’s so encouraging to see that issues like diversity in line-ups and sustainability are part of the equation when people decide which festival they want to go to, and even more encouraging that organisers are already responding to this.”

Andrew Parsons, managing director at Ticketmaster, said: “British summer wouldn’t be what it is without festivals and these findings give us an insight into what festival fans really want.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

“While it’s mostly all about the music and having a great time, I’m not surprised and encouraged to see fans wanting more action on sustainability issues and line-up equality.

“Festivals have always been a microcosm of wider society and with the continued rise of social consciousness we expect fans will only become more demanding of festivals to get it right.”

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