A new survey from Buckinghamshire New University and music industry campaign group A Greener Festival of nearly 2,300 festival fans from around the World shows that the public is increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of events – but – when it came down to it, would prioritise getting to see their favourite band over environmental issues. The research asked festival fans fifteen questions on green issues. Fans responded from 32 countries worldwide and the survey was supported by festivals including Glastonbury, Open Air St Gallen in Switzerland, Melt! Festival in Germany, The Cambridge Folk Festival, Illosaarirock in Finland and the Oya Festival in Norway.
When asked the question: Where do you think festival’s have a negative environmental impact? fans identified noise (76.5%), waste (87.4%), CO2 emissions (56.1%), water wastage (55.3%), traffic (81.4%) and land damage (65.5%) as major issues - but most felt that it was the festival organiser who should be responsible for reducing the impact of the event (90.0% of fans), compared to 30.3% who thought local authorities should be responsible and 79.7% who thought festival goers themselves should be.
86.6% fans said they would support recycling initiatives although Claire O’Neill from A Greener Festival said “whilst 86.6% of fans say they will recycle – we know that a substantial minority – probably one in five – leave tents and other camping gear behind at festivals which causes a huge headache for organisers – and the environment. A whopping 86% supported the composting of food waste. The results give ammunition to event organisers, on-site catering teams, bars and stall holders to implement environmentally friendly practices, which a large majority of the audience actually want
28.1% of festival fans said they did consider a festival’s environmental impact when choosing to go to an event (up from 21.8% in a similar survey 2008) but the majority of did not with 25.4% not sure. When asked if they would go to an event if their favourite band was playing – even of the event had no green policies – 86.5% of fans said that they would still go.
Photo: Denis O'Regan (c) 2011 Glastonbury Festivals Ltd