#REConf21 Posters

The ethical challenges of data collection on-site at music festivals

By Briony Whitaker
Senior Lecturer, Marketing and Events Management Programme Leader for Business and Events Management Bristol Business School UWE, UK

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The aim of this research project is to critically evaluate the effectiveness of sustainability interventions at greenfield music festivals, such as Glastonbury Festival, that encourage attendees to behave in a sustainable manner during the event. Existing research has already identified that music festivals are victims of littering and poor sustainable behaviours (Henderson & Musgrave, 2014) and that there is a need to address attendee behaviours to minimise the amount of waste that is produced to ensure longevity of this event sector. Not only is this an obvious issue in terms of the environmental repercussions of the event, but it also compromises the future of the festival industry, where the term ‘festival sustainability’ is also seen as relating to how organisers can ‘remain competitive and successful… [and to] achieve long-term viability’ (Zifkos, 2015, p.10). For hallmark festivals, like Glastonbury Festival, the closure or moving of the festival site would have an enormous impact on the specific festival experience that has been cultivated over the 49 years that it has been held.


Festival organisers and sustainability managers have designed sustainability interventions to minimise the amount of waste that is produced. Examples of these are the Co-Op reverse vending machine, the Glastonbury Worthy Warriors and the Green Police.


Overview of Research

Research Aim: To critically evaluate existing sustainability interventions at music festivals that encourage sustainable behaviours from attendees during the event.

Intended Research Outcome: The contribution to knowledge will be the development of a typology that identifies music festival attendee values, and how this can be used to design successful sustainability interventions specifically at music festivals.

The ethical challenge here will be collecting data onsite. This poster details the multiple methods that will be used, the potential ethical issues to be considered, and how the researcher will approach these based upon existing studies.