Festivals team up to tackle abandoned tents with ‘Tent-cil’ initiative

Photo credit: Samantha Milligan

UK: The endemic issue of UK festivalgoers leaving tents at events is being tackled by a new campaign called ‘Tent-cil, a collaboration between Shambala, Boomtown and the Love Your Tent initiative, based on their concept of adding value to tents.

Participating festivals will offer their spray painted logo for tents (with owners’ permission), adding sentimental value and encouraging festivalgoers to collect Tent-cil logos from the festival season.

Two thirds of UK festivals have reported having a problem with tents left behind. Tent-ciling is a coherent message from across festivals which is focused on tents being taken home and reused. As Juliet Ross-Kelly from Love Your Tent said: “what is required is a more collaborative approach.”

Abandoned tents are a financial and resource issue for festivals. It has proved impractical and expensive to salvage tents on a large scale due to the staff time needed to check cleanliness and quality of tents, and then pack them up to be reused. The reality is that they mostly go to landfill, rather than Calais as commonly believed by festivalgoers at many events in 2015. There are a range of initiatives and alternative products that are attempting to address this industry issue, from green campsites, pre-erected tents to cardboard tents, and The Durable Tent project, a research partnership between Festival Republic and Julie’s Bicycle.

The tent-ciling initiative is being adopted by Shambala Festival, Boomtown, Fieldview and Love Your Tent festivals. The message will be spread in advance to audiences and throughout the summer to encourage them to collect tentcils.

Other festivals are being invited to join in and use the #CollectFestivalTent-cils #Tent-cilChallenge.

Chris Johnson from Shambala Festival and Kambe Events, said: “Our festivalgoers identify strongly with our brands / identities, and pretty much everyone likes free memorabilia of any description. This is a potentially simple and inexpensive solution that our focus group research suggests will specifically reach the demographics who leave their tents. The more festivals that do it, the easier it’ll be to tackle this industry-wide issue.”

For further information, contact Juliet Ross-Kelly or Livvy Drake from Kambe Events.