Research paper on Environmental Impact of the Glastonbury Music Event


It is known that any local music event or festival is used as an instrument “for promoting tourism and boosting the regional economy” (Felsenstein & Fleischer, 2003, p.23). Such events as festivals are always focused on social interaction because they are organized by people and for people. That is why it is necessary to lay special emphasis on the social impact of music events. The other impact-related issue pertaining to music events is based on the cultural policy. It is known that the U.K. government believes that the art can benefit all individuals and communities. Such artistic events as music festivals can not only bring people together and “strengthen relationships between local residents”, but also they can “remove social barriers” (Wilks & Quinn, 2011, p.2)

Besides the above mentioned impact-related issues pertaining to music festivals, one can mention the development of cultural tourism. It is known that cultural tourism is focused on many activities, such as visiting historical places, exploring a great variety of historical and religious buildings and attending different festivals, such as music festivals, fine arts festivals and drama festivals (Borley, 1996).
One of the components of cultural tourism is music tourism. Music festivals are closely connected with music tourism. Janice Warman argues in one of her articles that “music festivals have grown from nothing to a sizeable industry in 25 years”. According to the statistics, about two million people “have hoisted their sport rucksacks on their backs” and took part in music festivals in 2010 (Warman, 2010, p.1).
According to the statistics, in Britain, there are currently more than 670 annual music events. Moreover, the major 200 festivals contribute more than 450 million pounds to the U.K. economy in ticket sales, travel services, accommodation for tourists and food services. The United Kingdom takes the leading position in the music tourist market because many visitors come to the country each year in order to attend music events. Some experts consider that today “festival business is one of the fastest growing sectors of the U.K. economy” (Warman, 2010, p.1).

2.1 Analysis of the Positive Environmental Impacts of the Glastonbury music Event
It is known that the Glastonbury Music Festival has a lot of positive impacts on the local community, on the U.K. economy and environment.

First of all, one of the positive impacts is based on contribution to charities. According to the statistics, the Glastonbury Festival donates much money annually to different charitable organizations of the U.K. Such organizations as Greenpeace, the well-known environmental organization, WaterAid, the leading international organization which helps the world’s poorest people to get access to safe water and sanitation, are permanent partners of the Festival. It means that the organizers of the festival try to persuade festival-goers of the importance of their contributions to environment protection organizations.

Secondly, the positive environmental impact of the Glastonbury Festival is based on the fact that many festival goers become aware of the role of environment protection in our life. The festival is held in one of the most beautiful places in the United Kingdom. The festival goers have an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and have a good outdoor rest (Glastonbury and the Environment, 2008, p.1) It means that they can change their relation to environment issues on our planet. They can even become the confirmed environmentalists who will be ready to protect environment in their native country (Glastonbury and the Environment, 2008, p.1).

Thirdly, due to numerous environment protection campaigns conducted by festival organizers and such world famous organization as Greenpeace, the Glastonbury Festival contributes to the environment protection process. For example, in 2004, the festival-goers were urged “to plant a tree to offset the fuel consumed by the generators powering their entertainment”. The trees were planted in the special woodland of the festival area. This charity added more than 1700 trees to the woodland during the event (Barkham, 2004, p.1).

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