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Why is Glass Banned at Music Festivals.  

Andy Robertson

With an emphasis on sustainability and waste reduction single use plastics are now banned from most music festival sites. Alternative containers are encouraged and include recyclable plastic or paper cups and those made from metal. Glass is an ideal container as it is easily recycled and can be reused so why is glass banned from most festival sites? 


Serving of drinks in glasses or bottles was nothing unusual decades ago but over time these were replaced by single use plastic containers. Use of plastic bottles and beer served in plastic cups was much cheaper for vendors and were convenient for festival-goers too as well as overcoming safety concerns when glass was previously used.

Safety Concerns. 
The obvious problem with any glass container is that they are easily broken and leave dangerous shards of glass on the ground and organisers were often faced with medical treatment of festival-goers who had received cuts. It was not uncommon for used bottles to be used to urinate into and these were sometimes thrown into crowds or at bands on stage. This obviously caused numerous injuries as well as being a disgusting practice. This led most festival organisers to ban all glass from festival sites.

Security Clearance. 
Music festival websites contain lists of what is and is not allowed on site and this usually includes anything made from glass. It will include glass containers and bottles, make-up mirrors and perfume bottles for example. When festival-goers enter a festival site they will have to go through security clearance and anything containing glass will be confiscated.

Food and Beverage Vendors. 
Vendors will be covered by the same rules when it comes to use of glass containers to serve drinks. They will need to use alternative containers that are not single use plastics which can be challenging for them. Some vendors are opting for reusable metal containers that can be refilled and these are sold to festival-goers for a nominal fee.

Exceptions.
The only exceptions for use of glass may include vendors who use glass containers as part of their food and beverage preparation but these are unlikely to be used outside of the vendor pitch. Some VIP vendors (bars) may be permitted to serve alcohol in glass containers or bottles as these areas can be easily contained within the VIP zone. Any vendors or sponsors operating in VIP zones should seek permission from organisers if they want to use glass.

Glass is unlikely to ever make a comeback to the music festival site because of the obvious safety concerns, however, as an alternative to single use plastics it is entirely feasible that some may be allowed into low volume VIP or back stage zones where users are unlikely to be so rowdy.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by 901263 from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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