Just 1/3 organisers were familiar with any environmental legislation affecting festivals. Areas of legislation raised included those regarding health and safety, noise pollution, local council rules on pollution, litter and emissions policies and land regulations. Most believed that environmental legislation was likely to increase in the future.
Costs associated with environmental protection were a large concern for festival organisers, and the main reason highlighted for not implementing such. Market incentives such as labelling schemes exist and the price of disposing of waste, energy and water are increasing. This means the environmentally friendly option will be the cheaper option.
Outline Results and Comment
2% of the 56 festival-goers comments were to the nature that festivals are one-off events and whilst they should be environmentally friendly, there are “bigger fish to fry”. This supports the argument put forward by Shone and Parry (2004) that most events have little impact, and environmentalism and sustainability should not be given undue attention. Jones (1993) noted that there were 900 festivals in the UK. The literature review revealed a trend of growth and consolidation within the music festival industry. As Larkin (2005) pointed out UK festivals are experiencing continued growth. If an individual festival’s impact is minimal, extrapolate this to all of the festivals that take place in the UK in one year and the impacts are increasingly significant.
The same principle can be applied to festivals-goers and any individual. 20% of the comments on the festival-goer questionnaire highlighted the responsibility of visitors to festivals to minimise their impact. When looking at an individual visitors impact upon the environment it is certainly very small. If this is multiplied 100,000, 10,000 or even 500 times it starts to become more significant. Miquel Santos, organiser of Atlantic Waves commented that EFPs are good practice, but because their festival is indoors it does not need an environmental policy. Santos also suggests that environmental concerns are “a matter of concern for any outside events organisers and attendees”. Indoor events do still cause waste, use power, use water etc. The major difference in this situation is that the onus may be upon the venue owner, to make provisions for sustainable resource management. Wheatley (1993) gives advice on environmental management for all companies, not just those who are outdoors.
Similarly, Paul Hudson, organiser of Clogfest, states that they do not have an environmental policy and the event is very small. Nick Ladd, creative director of the Glade Festival and co-organiser of the Glade at Glastonbury, states that “recycling should be a legal necessity – not an option – for homes, businesses and festivals!”. Getz (1997) argues that smaller festivals should also improve their environmental performance.