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Save the planet; one festival at a time

23 June 2016

Just how ecologically friendly can a festival be?

As June draws to a close it’s time for what is surely now a Great British tradition, as 135,000 music fans pack their tents and wellies for the iconic Glastonbury Festival. Hailed by many as a spiritual gathering, as well a musical event, Glastonbury gives off an air of being at one with nature – but just how ecologically friendly can such a large-scale festival be?

To answer this question, at least in part, Andrea Collins from the School of Geography and Planning and Crispin Cooper looked into the usefulness of ecological footprinting in managing the environmental impacts of large events.

Speaking about the research Crispin said: "The UK in particular has far too large an ecological footprint anyway. If the rest of the world emulated the same lifestyle as the British Isles, our species would need 2.6 Earth-like planets to support the human race. Getting resource use down to a “one-planet living” level is going to take enormous efforts both in terms of technological progress and lifestyle change.

"Obviously this goes way beyond festivals; it is surely the biggest challenge to face the UK in the coming century, and the stakes are high, with the survival of our entire species depending on it. But these facts should not dampen the mood any more than rain does at Glastonbury, which for the uninitiated, it doesn’t."

You can read the full article from Crispin on the Conversation UK website here.