Music festivals and similar events draw crowds of thousands to vast fields, deserts, and landscapes around the globe to dance, camp, and flood social media with photos of the colorful outfits and distinct atmosphere.
However, a disgusted Redditor shared scenes from the aftermath of Creamfields North 2023, a popular music festival in the U.K. The photos showed dozens of abandoned tents, camping gear, and piles of trash left behind in the fields where the event was held. The photos highlight a disturbing trend following these types of events.
“What all the cute Instagram pictures don’t show,” noted one user in the comments.
Camping is often part of the experience when participating in these festivals, and gear can often be purchased on-site. However, much of that gear is left behind, often soiled, torn, or even burned beyond use.
“This was all left deliberately,” one commenter said, “Some people even set theirs on fire.” Another recalled, “The campsite I walked around had a surprising amount of completely burnt down tents just lying around it.”
Tents, chairs, inflatable mattresses, and other gear are treated as disposable. Used once, then left behind, these items often either get buried where they are left or bulldozed into a landfill.
In addition to wasting valuable resources, mismanaged trash can be costly, ugly, and have detrimental impacts on the environment, from polluting the soil and water to endangering wildlife.
Suggested solutions run the gamut from imposing fines and renting gear with a required deposit to incentivizing cleanup with freebies and refunds. While some Redditors suggested staying after the event to salvage gear to use or resell, others hoped the abandoned gear might be collected and donated to organizations that support people experiencing homelessness, disaster relief, or others in need of these resources.
Thankfully, other Redditors assured this is not the case at all festivals. “Doesn’t happen everywhere,” one commenter said, accompanied by a picture from another festival to show that leaving no trace after these events can be done.
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