Lots of festivals have a strong charity ethic, donating proceeds to good causes or allowing charities to hold stands, but none on the scale of Glastonbury. Since 2000 the festival has provided more that £1 million to charities and local causes. This year sees Shelter received £35,000 in return for providing the bar staff (also allowing those who missed out on tickets to gain access via volunteering) and all of the prime main stage advertising and merchandise slots are routinely given up for Oxfam and WaterAid, with Greenpeace host their own area in the Green Fields, complete with a giant globe.
Whilst some bright spark changed the Greenpeace ‘Save The Arctic’ banner by adding the word ‘monkeys’ to the end, it seems for most the messages are not lost. It’s easy (and fun) to highlight your support for various campaigns over the festival weekend, with temporary tattoos being something of the norm across the site, and those who want to go one step further can have a chat in many of the tents to find out more. This year in a bid to reduce plastic waste at the site, WaterAid have teamed up with Raw Foundation to create stainless steel reusable water bottles as part of a not for profit initiative and festival attendees had the chance to re-order these as part of their ticket payment.
Elsewhere (though often less talked about) Eavis has supported a range of local projects including the rebuilding of the Pilton Playing Fields Pavilion, renovating the Glastonbury Abbey Tythe Barn in Pilton and establishing the Pilton Barn Trust. What’s more there’s a drive to use local suppliers with Eavis spending around £6 million each year with suppliers based within 25 miles of the festival site.
For more information on the Worthy Causes Glastonbury supports, visit: www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/worthy-causes