Festivals: Come, have fun, but please, please clean up after yourself

Sound Off: Body & Soul festival director Avril Stanley on festival sustainability

Body & Soul festival director Avril Stanley: “Festivals are wonderful occasions, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon all rules of common decency when it comes to cleaning up after yourself.”

Body & Soul festival director Avril Stanley: “Festivals are wonderful occasions, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon all rules of common decency when it comes to cleaning up after yourself.”

 

Every summer festivals across Ireland take over hundreds of fields, forests, beaches and places of natural beauty. Festivals are, of course, all about celebration but increasingly I see people attend as guests rather than participants, without any sense of responsibility towards the land that is hosting them.

We’re incredibly lucky to call Ballinlough Castle – with its 300-year-old walled gardens, forests and lakes – our home for Body & Soul, but each year we spend weeks restoring it to its former state in the wake of our festival.

We’ve been very lucky, we have an increasing number of Body & Soulers staying in our Us&You campsite where they commit to leaving no trace, but this level of participation is the exception rather than the rule and it’s something we’re desperate to change.

After we leave the fields leased from landowners and farmers around the country the regular tenants return – the animals. Next time you think about leaving behind the remnants of your festival weekend give a thought to the cows, sheep and horses that might step on or swallow your rubbish.

Bring your tent

We equally implore you not to leave your tent behind. While there’s been misinformation circulating about charities coming to take these after you leave this is almost never the case. Tent fibres can clog up recycling machines, and so all tents that are left behind end up in landfill.

Festivals are wonderful, joyous and life-changing occasions, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon all rules of common decency when it comes to cleaning up after yourself and respecting your surroundings.

We make a huge effort to ensure that we return the land to the Nugent family of Ballinlough Castle as we found it, and implore festival-goers across the country to take the same approach. Change happens from the inside out. Help us turn the tide.

Avril Stanley is the festival director of Body & Soul, which takes place at Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath, on June 22nd-24th. bodyandsoul.ie

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.