Rubbish left after bank holiday weekend festivals

In pictures: The masses of rubbish and tents abandoned after bank holiday festivals

‘This is just a fraction of it – littering on the grandest scale we’ve ever witnessed’

August bank holiday is one of the biggest festival weekends in the UK. You’ve got Leeds and Reading, Creamfields and Lost Village all going on at once.

But with festival season sadly coming to an end, the carnage left behind is always the same old story. Thousands of tents and rubbish have been abandoned after festivals this weekend and most of it will probably end up in landfill.

UK festivals have been found to produce 25,800 tonnes of waste a year with 58 per cent of people saying they had left, lost or broken something at a festival.

Jack Lowe went to Leeds Festival yesterday to help salvage any abandoned tents and equipment for a refuge charity. He described it as “littering on the grandest scale we’ve ever witnessed.”

Here is the worst festival aftermath from the bank holiday weekend

In an aerial video of what was left behind at Reading, thousands of tents and huge amounts of litter can be seen abandoned at Little John’s Farm in the festival aftermath.


Fly over Reading festival the aftermath #readingfestival #readingandleedsfestival #music #summer2023 #djimini3pro

♬ Wings (feat. sped up nightcore) [Sped Up Version] – Birdy

Despite efforts by festival organisers and environmental groups, abandoned tents, sleeping bags and rubbish have repeatedly been a huge problem when the festivals close their gates.

In 2021, 2,300 tents and 500 sleeping bags were collected and distributed to refugees in France.

Via Skyshark Media on Shuttershock

Reading and Leeds each draw in around 100,000 people a year with a big portion made up by young people just finishing school.

This Twitter thread by environmentalist Tayla Evans explains how the tents and litter left behind after a festival impacts the environment. According to this research, tents make up 17 per cent of waste from festivals that ends up in landfill.

One comment on this TikTok reads: “Festival goers who camp, should be made to pay a deposit (£50) which is returned when they pack up their tent & take a refuse bag of rubbish to an allotted point.”

Another said: “That’s appalling! What on earth makes people be so wasteful of resources, not to mention trashing of the countryside.”


The aftermath of the 2023 Reading Festival. 2pm Monday 28th August 2023. . . . #reading #readingfestival #environment #fyp #foryourpage #drone #bigladder

♬ Emotional Cinematic Sad Violin and Piano – ISAo

Featured image via Twitter

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Um, so apparently Kate Middleton was at Houghton Festival this weekend?!