Glastonbury announces 99% of tents were taken home this year in festival first

'Love the Farm, Leave no Trace'

Sarah Young
Wednesday 03 July 2019 10:57 BST
Glastonbury clean-up begins as festival comes to a close

Nearly all of the tents were taken home from this year’s Glastonbury Festival, according to organiser Emily Eavis.

On Tuesday, the daughter of Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis shared a helicopter-shot image on Twitter and Instagram showing a huge patch of camping land on the festival’s site.

The photograph featured just one tent structure that had been left behind after the five-day event, which finished on Monday.

“Just heard that 99.3% of all tents were taken home. That is absolutely incredible,” Eavis, wrote.

“HUGE thanks to the record numbers who loved the farm and left no trace!”

Organisers at Worthy Farm were keen to emphasise their “Love the Farm, Leave no Trace” slogan at this year’s event, urging festival goers to respect the land and clean up as much as possible once it had finished.

The pledge, which launched in 2016, is believed to have resulted in an 81 per cent reduction in tents left at Glastonbury in 2017.

In an interview with the Glastonbury Free Press on Sunday, Eavis urged those attending to bring sturdy tents and return home with them, instead of dumping them at the end of the event.

“I really hope they will. We’ve made so many positive strides with our green campaigns this year,” Eavis said.

“I think people are really starting to understand how important it is to treat the land with respect, and to stop living a disposable lifestyle.”

As well as a reduction in the number of abandoned tents, this year’s Glastonbury Festival also sold zero plastic drinks bottles after implementing a site-wide ban.

Furthermore, 45 tonnes of aluminium cans were recycled on site, while 4,500 litres of cooking oil was turned into biofuel.

Like single-use plastic water bottles, previous years has seen festival tents treated in the same way.

Earlier this year, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) launched a campaign because of this, urging ticketholders to “take your tent home” and “say no to single use”.

The membership body for 60 independent festivals, including Boomtown and Shambala, estimated that as many as 250,000 tents are left behind at music festivals across the UK every year.

Contrary to popular belief, most of these tents aren’t collected by charities and can’t be recycled, meaning they end up in landfill.

“Unfortunately this has turned into one of those festival myths: ‘it is now alright to leave your tent because they all go to charity’,” Teresa Moore, director at A Greener Festival previously told The Independent.

“I have found this during my ongoing research but it has become widely recognised that this has unintentionally created an even bigger problem.”

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