Fairport festival goers urged to take tents home

Up to 20,000 people attend the festival in Cropredy every August
Up to 20,000 people attend the festival in Cropredy every August

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, which tales place in August, today backed a campaign to tackle the problem of single-use plastics.

Together with over 60 other music festivals across the UK, Cropredy organisers today called on big retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing ‘festival tents’ as single-use items.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) estimates 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK. Many festival-goers believe the tents are collected and given to charity but, claims AIF, the majority go to landfill. At an average of 3.5kg each tent is the equivalent of 8,750 plastic straws or 250 cups.

Gareth Williams, director of Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, said: “We are fully behind the AIF ‘Take Your Tent Home’ campaign. We want to see a really significant reduction in the single use of plastic tents.”

Mr Williams said that last year’s Drastic On Plastic initiative had been a great success at Cropredy. “We saw a dramatic reduction of plastic waste at our festival.

"By issuing free stainless steel water bottles to crew and artists we cut plastic bottles from over 4,500 to under a hundred.

"Our real ale bar also replaced 160,000 plastic glasses with a fully compostable alternative and didn’t issue plastic straws. We made similar progress in our backstage catering operation.”

An AIF report, published in 2018, revealed that 9.7 per cent of people attending its member events had ditched a tent during that year’s festival season, equating to an estimated 875 tonnes of plastic waste.

AIF chief Paul Reed added: “We call upon major retailers to stop marketing and selling tents as single-use. AIF launches this campaign to raise awareness of abandoned tents as part of the single-use plastics problem. Festival audiences can reduce their carbon footprint simply by taking their tent home and reusing it.”