If you have read part 1 you can see that basically the answers can be split into two groups:
- The Responsibility of the individual (we called it the “Individual Attitude”)
- The Responsibility of the organizers (we called it the “Festival Organizers Attitude”)
Ok, let’s start with the individual.
- Festivals are not for everyone: the same way there are people that like chocolate and others vanilla, festivals are a certain kind of event, and usually by going to just one will tell you right out if this is for you or not.
- Outfits: We have met people that are chocked by some outfits and they usually explain that festivals are not about how you look but only the music (if that was your case, tell them to put their headphones back to their ears and to leave you alone). If this happens to you the first tip is to ignore them. Festivals are a way for people to express themselves and enjoy any form of art they want. If people complain about your look they are the ones complaining, so they are the ones with a problem, not you. To conclude this point, who cares how you look, you can go casual or aligned with the theme of the festival or if validated by the festival any other outfits! Do your thing and enjoy!
- Responsibility: That one is BIG. Let us be clear, there is no age to start to be responsible, legally yes, but as soon as you have reached 7 years old, you understand everything we tell you and you have a pretty good understanding of what’s good and what’s bad. Therefore don’t act like you don’t know 🙂 (we are obviously not targeting kids nor teenagers, but we think you get our point)
- Overindulging: (This one is linked to responsibility) make sure one person of the group stay sober and make a deal with the group that everyone will be as responsible as possible so you are part of a fun group but only a fun group not the annoying, drunk, immature, “overdoing it” group.
- Reminder: Festivals are not about drinking and taking drugs, that’s not the point. You can do that at home with your friends. If you ask us, it is a human celebration where people gather around a theme, music, or activity. We have no problem with people drinking and doing other things as long as they are not hurting anyone, even though it does hurt us to see them doing it (but that’s another topic in itself)
- Code of conduct: Create your own zero waste standard
Now as the individual is a multitude, the heavy part would be on their side, that being said they can only go so far, festival organizers need to evolve as well.
Festival Organizer Attitude
- Behaviors and good practices: Help the people understand the basics right out of the gate. If you are not already doing so, think stewardess, before you can enter you should have a reminder made by a lovely guy or gal that will tell you specifically all the rules and the good practices of the festival. From there people will never be able to say they did not know. Also (to keep on taking examples from plane safety) you could “force” people to watch a 2 min video clip with the good practices of the festival before they can enter.
- Code of conduct: Linked to the one above if we want to go even further, a code of conduct could be something we ask people to sign before they go in and make sure they understand its content.
- For the Litter: Have the festival advertise to people to bring their own plastic cup, that they will use it throughout the whole festival and that they bring it back home (no glass of course). For instance: you cannot enter if you don’t have a cup… even if it’s just to drink water. In any case, it should be a rule, you have to stay hydrated and drink water anyway at some point…
- Business model: We know that a festival business plan works also because of alcohol and food. But the focus should be more on the festival-goers well being rather than only just drinking and eating.
- Stop overselling: In so many festivals we have seen this, where the number of people is so big that if only one bad thing happens the staff will be overwhelmed if you want to sell more tickets fine, but size it and staff it accordingly. We understand there is a margin issue but a well though business model could work to your advantage if you don’t want to increase the ticket price.
- Bigger and Better toilet systems: It’s linked to the above, people will not go number 2 out in the open if there is enough toilet and those same toilets are clean.
- Banning them is not the solution better to make them safer and finer
- For everything we do in life, there are risks and costs
- It is up to the people (festival goers and festival organizers) not to the actual event that makes things go wrong…
- Festivals do provide clean food and security but should think smaller to increase well being
- Pollution-free festivals, eco-friendly festivals are gaining momentum among the masses gradually, organized in such a way to bring minimum or no harm to the environment. It is with the initiatives of each one of us that we can thrive to zero waste (don’t abandon your stuff, get all your apparel and tents back, don’t leave them there, without you there will be no tents so be a responsible human being)
To conclude, it is definitely not that festivals are bad but they can be bad. Exactly as a parent that does not take care of a child, therefore, the outcome can be bad, even then (and this is what happen to festivals) you could be the best parent on the planet and your kid still becomes “bad” but in fairness, it is quite unlikely.
Festival organizers do have their share of responsibility but they neither have the manpower nor the resources to babysit everyone so people act as good humans. It’s an obvious 50-50, but festival perfection is somehow attainable.
Awareness and good practices are key to transforming all the bad into good. This article does not cover every single area where festivals need improvements but we wanted to keep it short so people read it all. As stated above, a simple article does provide some awareness and we hope it will help for all the festivals to come.
We hope you liked this post and we wish your next festival to be great!