Saturday, June 7, 2014

Summer festivals: show me your trash -- I'll tell you what music you like

A recurring theme in German media is covering trash during the summer outdoor festival season. Der Spiegel ran one such article on the bane of trash at the Wacken festival in northern Germany.

The reader comments showed the required upset at other people leaving garbage behind and has the requisite calls for the authorities to clamp down on wayward festival goers and lax organizers.

But, here is the rub: whether you can shoot gross pictures of post festival trash in today's Germany depends mostly on the kind of festival.

Leave aside the weather. If you have Woodstock style downpours, controlling trash becomes really hard. Although the folks of the Rainbow Family are amazingly efficient under such circumstances, too.

Back to your standard weather German summer festival.

The more heavy metal and techno-ish the music, the more trash you'll find left behind.

At the other end of the trash spectrum, you will find the folks, roots, world music festivals, where people collect their trash better than any city public works department does.

The music is not the real culprit, okay. The amount of booze and illicit substances plays at least as big a role as the aggressiveness of the music. Mental processes and fine motor skills tend to suffer under some influences and hangovers.

You can make pretty detailed predictions on what the clean up crews will face, depending on food consumed, swag handed out, capacity and spacing of garbage containers and so on - just ask people from Munich, Germany, who flee their homes during the annual Oktoberfest. 

If you think we are making a sweeping generalization in this post, attend some festivals along the musical spectrum and see for yourself.

You'll get out, broaden your outlook on life, and you'll see whether we are right or just talking trash.

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