Update

Splendour punters say yes to ditching disposables

Iconic Aussie music festival, Splendour In The Grass, celebrated its 16th anniversary this year, once again welcoming thousands of fans to North Byron Parklands to enjoy a jam packed weekend of stellar acts.

Festival organisers, keen to find ways to reduce their environmental impact, invited Green Music in to survey punters about water and waste, and to see if fans would support Splendour taking steps to eliminate single-use plastic cups and water bottles.

The enthusiastic Green Music volunteer team clockwise from top right: Berish Bilander, Kim Tait, Jenni Lea, long-time Byron waste campaigner Sasha Mainsbridge

Instead of the rain and mud that greeted last years attendees, we were treated to blue skies for the entire weekend — perfect conditions to walk and talk, and for the brave amongst us to strip down into our newly-made plastic bottle dress. Needless to say we got people’s attention 😉

Plastic bottle dressed made exclusively from recovered waste designed by local costume maker Kim Tait.

Over the course of the three days, our team of four volunteers interviewed almost 500 festival-goers, gaining some fantastic insights along the way.

In terms of hydration, around three quarters of the people we talked to knew of one or more places around the site that they could fill up their bottle – good news for those wanting to avoid purchasing bottled water and creating more waste. 

Interestingly, quite a number of them said they’d love to see more refill stations, especially near the bigger stages where the combination of big crowds, dancing and alcohol consumption was making them extra thirsty. 

Spot the refill station? One of the fantastic Splendour site maps dotted throughout the grounds.

Around the big question of Splendour going single-use plastic cup and water bottle free, we were thrilled to learn that a whopping 95% of punters think it’s a great idea.

In fact, almost everyone we talked to recognised the extent to which plastic waste is harming our environment, and were anxious to see festivals step things up to address the problem. 

A big thanks to Brett and We Refill for being the base station for our volunteers, as well as for their amazing refill station capable of delivering over 1000L of chilled and filtered refills in an hour.

While working the crowd, we were struck by the many funky and colourful reusable water bottles on show. In fact, of the hundreds of people we interviewed, more than half had brought their own bottle into the grounds.

And many more would have joined them, had there not have been some confusion over whether it was ok to bring reusable bottles onsite – something we hope Splendour can help to clarify for next year’s event.

“I wasn’t sure if I could bring my reusable water bottle to the festival this year, so I opted to not bring [it], and that means I’ve used a lot of extra water bottles and created more waste.” Danielle

Some punters brought their reusable bottle AND keep cup . Impressive!

With so many fans already committed to bringing their own bottle, and almost everyone in agreement that single-use plastics have to go, Splendour now know that any steps they take to phase out bottled water and throw-away plastic cups will be widely applauded. We look forward to seeing them take the lead in 2018.

Take Action: Want to party plastic free at Splendour in 2018? Sign our open letter calling on Australia’s biggest youth festivals to take the plunge and go plastic water bottle free.