‘I Don’t Think A Lot Of People Are Getting The Connection’


Abandoned tents at last year’s Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co Laois

Mr [Melvin] Benn, the chief executive of Festival Republic, which runs the Electric Picnic, said the issue of abandoned tents is a societal one.

“Do I see it as a reflection on the festival? I see it as a reflection on society. What we have at every festival is a decent cross-section of what society is.”

Mr Benn suggested some people were under the impression that the tents are recycled for charity, but only a “tiny percentage” are suitable.

…“We are trying to encourage people to do the right thing,” he said. “Our ideal is that we would have to pick up hardly any rubbish. I don’t think a lot of people are getting the connection between them supporting Extinction Rebellion as a point of principle and picking their tent up. They can’t think they are doing the right thing.”

Electric Picnic runs from August 30 to September 1.

Electric Picnic promoter calls for an end to abandoned tents (Ronan McGreevy)

Previously: A Picnic Without Plastic?

31 thoughts on “‘I Don’t Think A Lot Of People Are Getting The Connection’

  1. Jonner

    they are only interested in reducing cost and maximising profit.

    given trend from previous years, large clean up cost is certainly factored into ticket price

    if your tent will end up in a bin – leave it behind you

  2. Clampers Outside

    I’d prefer he focused on safety.

    Twice we experienced bottlenecks at the entrance to the main arena where crowds moved enmasse, squashed shoulder to shoulder trying to get in via the Salty Dog entrance… I’ve been to all the EPs and never experienced a crowd push like it before, and with, what I hear is, an additional 5,000, I expect there’ll be more of this.

    it’s also why this’ll be my last EP.

    As many I met said at ATN this year, ATN is their EP replacement, and mine too.

    1. millie vanilly strikes again

      That’s a great shout Clamps.

      Myself and mr vanilly haven’t been to the picnic in a few years. It got way too big and lost all it’s charm for us. We’ve been looking for festivals to replace it. If ATN get the traffic situation under control they’re set.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        +1 …sure buy your ticket when they go on sale. You can always off load it later if you change your mind.

        Bar the traffic issue, the ATN event is well run IMO :) A solid thumbs up from me!

  3. class wario

    The linkage between ER and EP attendees is total conjecture of the ‘those gosh darn young people and their mobile telephones and playboxes!’ variety.

    I’d say the majority of people who treat EP like an extended bin (and it’s frankly absurd amount of waste people create there. The ‘main’ campsite areas are like something out of a battle scene) are younger groups who are off their heads for 3-4 days and couldn’t give a toss either which way as long as they have a laugh and get home in the end. Unfortunately, EP is the ‘primary’ festival in Ireland in this era and it will attract a lot of people like this.

    Maybe Festival Republic should try and actively address this issue more than they have to date which seems to entirely consist of a few pre-made and eco tent areas which make up a tiny fraction of ticket sales.

    1. Robert

      very poor statistics indeed.

      I’ve been to 13 electric picnics in a row (fatherhood broke my rhythm) and I’ve never left a tent behind.

      I’ve met all sorts of people over the years. Some care about the environment, and some don’t. As the article says it’s a cross-section of humanity.

      One thing I did note was that the “Leave no Trace” camp site was always oversubscribed. Perhaps they should look at expanding that and other initiatives.

      Perhaps offer a small inducement to people on the way out if they’re carrying a heavy load. Yeah right!

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Exactly. There are travel companies who manage tent and sleeping bag hire for European festivals and it works fine. Mind you, one of my party ended up with a sleeping bag complete with dirty underwear.

      Wouldn’t ever bother with EP. Over-priced racket. Heading to the tomato-throwing festival instead.

  4. postmanpat

    Who ever said these concerts are liberal? Its just a corporate event run for profit and attended by young working apolitical poshos whos folks don’t ask them to give up money at home. So they have plenty of money to burn & abandon tents because they are too hungover to be bothered packing them. And the unsubstantiated rumor of “It goes to charity anyway ” only make things worse. Anyone whos ever been to EP that has eyes and a brain knows this couldn’t be true. a field full of soiled single use cheepo Lidl 25 euro tents? who actually believes this charity rumor? , I’ve never dumped a tent . its littering plain and simple. next year stick up signs explaining that tents do not got to charity because they are unfit for purpose so please take them with you.

  5. Gah!

    Even if people were not intending to bring their tent home, would it kill them to take it down and put it in the appropriate bin or even just leave a neat pile for those collecting?

    1. Toe Up

      If you have ever worked in a large office with kitchen facilities, you’d know that this would never happen.

      If people can’t be bothered to put a dirty cup in a dishwasher, then you can be damn sure that they won’t take down a cheap tent after a weekend on the sesh!

  6. Alan

    Easy answer, add a €50 euro charge to every tent sold and you get it back when you recycle it … will end the madness of disposable tents.

  7. Liam Deliverance

    What is the correct method of recycling a tent, consists of Canvas mostly, glass fibre poles, some metal, plastic zips etc.

    Would a large “Tent Skip” not address this and then to a recycling facility, paid for by EP management as it’s no doubt added to the ticket price. Would the incinerator process canvas?

    Either way lazy ass fuppers with hangovers are going to walk away from them if you let them or you don’t give them options. Some of them would have struggled putting them up, getting them all folded and dry and back into the teeny bag, having a laugh.

    1. milk teeth

      Its next to impossible to recycle a tent. They’re not made from canvas anymore – that would be quite straightforward as you could make it into clothes. Now they are made from a non recyclable form of nylon.
      If they were easily recycled teh issue of them being left behind wouldn’t be so great. They couldn’t create the impact on the environment or ticket price because the organisers could find someoen who would pay to take them away instead of having to pay to landfill them.

  8. Subeditor

    Electric Picnic? It’s the Facebook of Festivals (i.e., for over 50’s). Avoid the gammon.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      Not been for some time then, clearly. Gone the other direction, age wise, last few years.

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