a reply to: ZIPMATT
Let me tell you something ZIPMATT...
I have been going to festivals since the early noughties, and I have never, once, not in my whole life, left a tent or any piece of camping gear, at
a festival. Even when my Outbound brand, two man dome tent, that I had camped in since I was twelve on camping trips with my parents, died at a
festival (massive gash about two foot long down one side, from someone elses errant tent pole), I broke camp, packed it away, and took it home.
I generate trash, just like anyone else, but I bag it and put it at least next to, if not inside the site provided bins at festivals. Heck, I even
dispose of my cigarette ends carefully, placing them in a pocket until I come across an appropriate bin or disposal area. Now, as for leaving gear at
festivals, there are two reasons I do not do it. First of all, and most important, its a dick move, and therefore utterly beneath me to do such a
thing. But further to that, you have to consider the implications.
First of all, selfishly speaking, I cannot afford to discard my gear. I have worked hard for my not very much, and what I have, I am keeping wherever
possible, thank you very much. Despite my small means, I do not skimp on things like the shelter in which I will be sleeping. I have one of those
fancy, rapid pitching tents, double skinned, fully weather proofed, and it was about... I want to say sixty quid, down from seventy when I bought it,
some time ago. That was an investment, and I want that tent to last me a good long while more than it has before I purchase another. Same goes for my
roll mat. My sleeping bag was a gift from a mates dad, and its pretty special. Its one of those that has legs and arms, rather than just being a
literal bag for sleeping in. Its super toasty in the cold, and you can open up vents and stuff in it for when its hot at night. It probably cost quite
a bit, because its rated down to a very low temperature, and I think it comes from Norway, or at least somewhere with very cold weather potential, so
its quality gear.
Another reason to manage your trash correctly, AND take everything you showed up with, that is not actual trash, is that no one likes to pay over the
odds for a festival ticket, and every time some lackwit costs the organisers money in clean up time, it gets added to the cost of the next years
ticket. Now, the festival I go to has been really very good about that, still putting on a damned fine weekend of music and metal thrashing madness,
for a very reasonable amount of money. But it has crept up over the years, and some of that increase has been to do with the tendency for people to
leave crap behind. I want to still be going to this festival a decade from now, two decades, for as long as I can get away with it basically. I do not
want to be priced out at some stage, simply because people have become so lazy that they cannot be bothered to remove the evidence of their presence.
I don't care whether the tent is damaged, or the airbed has a hole in it. Nor do I care how high a person is when they are breaking camp, there is no
excuse for leaving things behind, that are YOUR responsibility to take care of. If something is wrecked, take it home and dispose of it there. Or,
alternatively, if your tent is REALLY broken, use the flysheet to wrap up your other trash, tie it at the corners, and place the entire thing in or
next to the large industrial bins that are present in most every campsite at a festival, at least make the effort. Don't just walk off, and leave your
crap for someone else to deal with, at the expense of those whose event you just attended, and indeed the cost of next years attendees.