Glastonbury Festival was founded in 1970, long before people began to become concerned about climate change. Yet even then all the milk and the cider and the straw came from the farm. We were “green” then, and we are just as green now.
These days, of course, everyone has woken up to the fact that we really have to do something about protecting the environment and reducing our impact on it. But, as a Festival, we’ve been highlighting new – and sometimes unpopular – ideas about the issue for as long as I can remember. Different ways of looking at and doing things, which we always hoped people would take notice of.
Glastonbury Festival has always been the first to host “alternative” solutions to environmental concerns, and over time, we’ve watched as those “alternatives” have become mainstream.
In fact, to me, one of the greatest benefits of Glastonbury Festival has been in giving people the chance to “open their eyes” and see something better, even if it is only for one weekend in the year.
We hope that we can continue to lead the way by making Glastonbury as green and as sustainable as we are able to, given the restrictions of the site, and also by spreading the word to Festival goers about what will really make a difference to the environment.
And, as always, the work begins at home here at Worthy Farm.
My family have farmed this land for generations – since the 1860s when they walked here with their cows from Dorset to set up at Park Farm – and looking after the fields and the hedges and the livestock has always been our number one concern.
Our big campaign now is ‘Love The Farm… Leave No Trace’ because, for me, that’s what life here is all about.
We have to work as hard as we can on the practical things: today, we are releasing a whole list of environmental issues that we are addressing on site, from encouraging people to travel by public transport right through to great new initiatives on recycling and more efficient ways of powering the festival activities.
Our aim is to get 40,000 people travelling to Glastonbury by coach and train this year – nearly a third of all Festival goers. If we can get people to think about how they are using their cars for the rest of the year too we’ll have taken another step forward.
Today, just as much as in 1970, we have to work hard on our message. Glastonbury Festival is a Midsummer celebration of life and joy, but we must not lose sight of our undertaking to achieve the best possible balance of nature and resources.