Glastonbury 'water shortage': Punters wait HOUR to fill bottles after plastic ban


Glastonbury Festival organisers have insisted there is “no water shortage” at the event after revellers complained to the contrary on the hottest day of the year. 

The festival posted a statement on Saturday following tweets from some festival-goers complaining of lengthy queues for taps to refill water bottles.

Single-use plastic bottles have been banned from the Somerset event this year, which has a focus of climate change and the environment.

“There is not a water shortage at this year’s Glastonbury. Our supply is running as normal,” the organisers said.

“As always in hot weather , demand for water has increased, so we have put in place the usual restrictions on staff/guest showers and the limited number of public showers.

“We have more than 850 taps on site, all of which provide free drinking water. These taps all have a ready supply of water.”

A sign put up at the Glastonbury Festival on Saturday afternoon

A festival-goer drinks water in the heat during day four of Glastonbury Festival


They added that all bars were offering free tap water, with all food traders also selling water and soft drinks in cans.

Water is also being handed out from information points, with “roving teams” providing water from backpacks.

Organisers said the on-site ambulance control had received 27 heat-related calls for assistance.

“There may be queues for taps at some of the busier places, so we ask everyone to be patient and to look for taps in quieter areas of the site,” they added.

Standard tickets for this year’s event, which will be headlined by The Cure on Sunday, sold out in just 36 minutes.

Festival-goers fill up water bottles on day four of the Glastonbury Festival


All the showers at Glastonbury Festival were turned off on Saturday afternoon as revellers partied on the hottest day of the year.

A sign outside explained the reservoir needed to refill but there was no guarantee of them reopen again before the end of the festival on Sunday night.

It read: “Really sorry, we’ll let you know if we reopen.”

Other posters have been put up around the site telling people to conserve water as the festival is running low.

One reveller said: “It’s already getting a bit smelly here, by Sunday night its going to be dreadful.”

The festival has banned the sale of single-use plastic bottles in the hope of inspiring long-term change.

But the decision has left thousands of punters queuing hours for water, according to reports.

Tickets for the festival sold out in just 36 minutes

Ticket holders were encouraged to bring their own reusable bottles or to buy a metal canister, which could be refilled at water stations around the site.

Long queues formed at some locations as people tried to keep hydrated in blazing sunshine as the temperature hit 25 degrees.

Most festival-goers remained good natured and said they supported using less plastic.

About one million single-use plastic bottles were sold on site in 2017, organisers had said.

“We’ve never once not been able to fill up, and it’s lovely ice-cold water – so what else would you want?” said Amanda Hawkins from Bristol.

“So – no problem at all.”

Punters said they queued for up to an hour for water

Glastonbury has an on-site recycling facility, which for eight days processes the waste created by up to 200,000 people, making it Europe’s largest temporary recycling centre.

In 2017, it processed 132,500kg of food which became compost; over 44,500kg of cans which were used to make new cans; and over 44,000kg of plastic bottles which were used to make materials such as fleece and carpets, the festival said.

Recycling centre manager Andy Willcott said the impact of the plastic bottle ban had been much greater than expected.

The volume of plastic and cans sent for recycling were previously about equals, but this year it was four loads of cans to one of plastics.

“There has been a little bit of a shift to cans, but not enough to compensate for the (drop in) plastic,” he said.

As Glastonbury can control what traders sell and ask ticket holders not to bring items like glass, the quality of the material recycled is high, he added.

Only around 1% of everything that comes into the centre cannot be recycled at all.

Four teams of 100 volunteers sort the waste, and all receive a sought-after festival ticket in return.

The biggest category collected on site was unsurprisingly beer and cider cans, Willcott said, but it can also cope with a host of other items including ampoules of nitrous oxide or laughing gas.

Up to 10 bins of the small silver flasks had been recycled since Thursday, although the trend for inhaling the gas appeared to have peaked as collections were down this year.

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