Guide: Foodsaving at festivals

People on festivals go there to have a good time and to not worry about anything in the meantime. Sadly that leads to them not caring much about waste most of the time. Especially festivals that last more than one day and have visitors staying overnight in tents offer great saving opportunities because a lot of people leave behind things they brought to consume but didn’t need in the end. So after a weekend of music and beer at a festival, the camping grounds are filled with goods which are perfectly fine and just ended up lying around because their previous owners didn’t want to carry them back home again. Ever dreamt of beer saving? Then festivals are the right thing for you and your group!

Even the Catholic World Youth Day in Krakow in 2016 produced a ridiculous amount of savable food and resources, and the people there probably didn’t even get drunk:

Private saving

You can, of course, always just attend a festival privately and roam the camping grounds with an open eye to find things. You can talk to visitors on the last day, ask them if they have leftover food and offer to save it. That’s a great thing but maybe quite exhausting and time consuming if you don’t bring a bunch of friends to help you out - so that’s what you should do! Saving food (but also sunscreen, toothpaste, tents, sleeping bags and even beer and tobacco!) while still enjoying a nice time with friends at a festival is an amazing bonding activity for your foodsaving initiative!

Official saving

Looking around for resources to save on the camping grounds is a nice start, but if you feel confident enough to contact the organizers of the festival you can achieve much more! When you are able to convince them that your project and foodsaving in general is a good thing (good for a green image and also reduces disposal costs in the end), they might be very cooperative. You can ask to get an official stand, where you can inform people and maybe even build a temporary Food-Share Point. By that you’d not only have a nice base for your team, but it could also very well be possible that you are considered staff then, and don’t need to pay the entrance fee. You can also negotiate about saving food from the food stands when they close, and saving items from the entrances by telling the security staff to put confiscated items in boxes you take care of, instead of directly putting them into a bin.

Don’t fool yourself, doing official saving at a festival definitely is work! Depending on the quantity and quality of your team it could be that you don’t have much time to enjoy yourself, but keep in mind that enjoying yourself is not the main purpose of this festival visit, and there will be tons of food and items to save and people to inform!

Here you can find some text you could use as a template to contact festival organizers.