Saturday 21 September 2019

Clean-up: Picnic organisers insist there's 'definite improvement', but litter still strewn across grounds

All over: A reveller relaxes in a tent surrounded by debris after Electric Picnic. Photo: Collins Photos
All over: A reveller relaxes in a tent surrounded by debris after Electric Picnic. Photo: Collins Photos

Mícheál Ó Scannáil and Ian Begley

Broken tents, squashed cans and a sea of litter was left strewn across the Electric Picnic festival grounds again this year, but organisers have insisted there was a "definite improvement".

'Picnickers' were asked this year to be more considerate of the rubbish they left behind and conscious of the ramifications of single-use tents on the environment, but photos reveal that a large amount of rubbish was still left on site.

Mess: Many festival-goers left their camping gear behind. Photo: Collins Photos
Mess: Many festival-goers left their camping gear behind. Photo: Collins Photos

Organisers of the event estimate 30pc more tents were taken off site this year, but said it was up to the individual to do their part to reduce the amount of rubbish improperly discarded at the festival.

"In addition, 100 'field agents of change' volunteers were in the campsites, helping festival-goers pack up their tents and providing encouragement whilst educating them on how to be a zero-waste festival-goer and the impacts of climate change," a festival spokesperson said.

"It's down to the people. They just need to bring their tents home. We can't make anyone do it, but I think they definitely got the message this year more and hopefully it continues to improve."

Meanwhile, almost 500 incidents relating to the music festival were dealt with by gardaí.

A Garda spokesperson said that as of 10am yesterday, following the official end of the festival, gardaí dealt with 497 reported incidents.

"This does not mean there were 497 arrests, but 497 individual incidents were dealt with," they said.

Of those incidents, 453 related to drugs offences, including three arrests for driving while under the influence of drugs. One further driver was arrested for being under the influence of alcohol.

There were also six public order offences dealt with, one minor assault, one theft and one male arrested in possession of an offensive weapon.

Gardaí are also investigating the report of an alleged sexual assault of a female that is reported to have occurred on Saturday in the Stradbally area.

A spokesperson for the event said that the number of criminal incidents reported did not surge from other years.

The spokesperson added that it is normal when such a large crowd of people are gathered for a number of days that there "are going to be some incidents".

Irish Independent

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