Festival Republic to trial campsite waste project at Reading

Festival Republic, the Knowledge Transfer Network and Julie’s Bicycle are trialling a campsite waste project at Reading Festival 2015.

The project will test festivalgoers’ interest in additional camping services, such as tent cleaning and packing away, designed to add value to tents and camping equipment, encouraging festivalgoers to treat their equipment better and ultimately take it away at the end of the festival.

In a survey conducted by Festival Republic, discoveries led to 30% of Reading Festival attendees leaving their tents and camping equipment, with 79% reasoning they were ‘too tired’ after the festival, whilst 59% viewed tents and camping equipment as ‘cheap and easily replaceable’.

To address this, Festival Republic, not-for-profit environmental sustainability organisation Julie’s Bicycle, outdoor and leisure retailer Blacks, and design and sustainability consultancy WeAllDesign are collaborating to understand this behavioural issue and to trial alternative services at Reading Festival 2015.

This group was brought together by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and their trial is made possible by a grant of £20,000 from Innovate UK.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, said: “We’re extremely proud of our partnership with KTN and Julie’s Bicycle, tackling camp site waste is an issue we’re extremely focused on changing. This trial at Reading Festival 2015 will see brand-new services available that will aide keeping camping equipment in the long run. We’re excited for the outcome and moving this initiative forward.”

Alison Tickell, founder and CEO of Julie’s Bicycle, added: “Re-thinking our work so that environmental impacts are addressed as a matter of course is not only better for our planet – it’s better for our long term business prospects too. This project brings together the key protagonists who can help to make our festivals more sustainable, in every sense.”

Frank Boyd, director of creative, design and digital Industries at the Knowledge Transfer Network, which brought together the group, said: “As is so often the case with a big challenge like this, the solution can be found when you bring together different expertise and abilities.

“The KTN exists to help bring businesses and people together for this very purpose. We’re delighted that the work we’ve been doing with partners on this problem has meant that, with the support of funding from our sponsoring body Innovate UK, we are bringing to fruition a project that could be transformative for festivals in the UK and beyond.”

After every Reading Festival, volunteers take part in a salvage operation to scour camp sites recovering tents, sleeping bags and camping equipment left behind at the end of the festival. In 2013, 20 tonnes of reusable items were rescued from Reading Festival camp sites and in 2014, 19 tonnes were salvaged.