Picture this: You've got a great night planned at a sweet house party. The invite says anyone is welcome to camp out in the backyard overnight. So you rock up with your tent, sleeping bag, your slab of Corona, ready for a great time letting your hair down and listening to good music. The night draws to an end and you crawl into your little temporary home you've set up for yourself and sleep late into the next day. Upon waking, you climb out of your tent that's surrounded by a littering of beer bottles, and whats left of the late night HSP you ordered from UberEATS. You salute your host expressing your satisfaction with the nights endeavors and walk right out the door leaving your mate to clean up your mess left in his backyard.
Now this seems like something you'd do if you no longer wanted any friends, but this is essentially what millions of people are doing every year on a much grander scale at music festivals. The notion that spending 50 bucks on a cheap tent and some camping gear with the idea of leaving it behind at the end of the weekend is becoming an increasingly popular one, and the environment is paying for it.
The video below by UK news outlet ZINC illustrates some of the devastation left behind after music festivals and encourage festival goers to take their belongings home with them and recycle their rubbish.
Having such disregard for your own property not only is harmful environmentally, but it also ruins the whole experience. No one wants to sleep surrounded by rotting food and trudge around a field caked with a 10 cm layer of bottles and cans, especially if that rubbish is allowed to build up over the course of a weekend. In the video above, one man likens leaving your tent behind to only wearing a pair of pants once and then throwing them away; It's unfathomably uneconomical.
As it stands, many festivals are still being held outdoors, but if this attack on nature continues, they may have to be moved to indoor locations, or away from reserved nature areas to control the impact its having on the ecosystem. Being outside in the fresh open air and relaxing on the grass are crucial elements of the music festival experience, and have been since their birth in the 60s.
In Australia, efforts are already being made to hold people accountable to their mess and reduce the effect music festivals have on the environment with big festivals such as Splendor in the Grass employing the use of Eco Cops, who enforce eco-friendly treatment of the venue. Additionally, festivals around the glove are making efforts to make proper disposal of rubbish more accessible throughout the grounds and facilitate a greener footprint left by the events.
So if your thinking about attending a music festival in the near future, consider bringing reusable bottles and containers and invest some money in a decent tent and camping gear that will make your weekend more comfortable and can be reused at future events. Don't be the person who inconsiderately leaves their slab scattered around grounds like a crappy Easter egg hunt. Don't be the person who ditches their tent because it took you 4 hours to set up the bloody thing and you can't be bothered packing it up. Just take some time to consider others and what kind of impact you are having on the space kindly allocated for the event. Don't be the one who ruins the experience for everyone else.