Tent Salvages 2012

Hi Salvage Team!

It looks as if we will not be running a salvage after the Festival (contact me directly if you want more information on that)

Bestival may be sponsoring a shipment of tents and equipment to Scouts in Ethiopia! Watch this space for more information


Tent Salvages after the Isle of Wight Festival and Bestival

Here on the Isle of Wight we are lucky enough to have 2 of the top music festivals in the UK. In June the Festival season starts with the ECO-friendly Isle of Wight Festival, led by John Giddings: the festival season ends in September when Radio 1 DJ Rob da Bank is Curator of the fun-packed Bestival. Two totally different events, but faced with a similar problem.....

Following every festival, many of the campers leave their tents and other equipment behind. Over the last couple of years the Scout Fellowship have built up a good working relationship with both  John Giddings and Rob da Bank and their respective production teams and we have been allowed to salvage some of that unwanted equipment. Everyone wins! We gain nearly new camping equipment and the festivals waste bill is reduced by several tonnes of landfill.  

The typical scene that greets us when we start - the end of the Isle of Wight Festival 2009


What do the Tent Salvage team think!

Let me know some of your opinions or salvage stories to add here


The 1st Ryde 1st Binstead team doing a useful job and having fun doing it!


What we've achieved so far

Read on for a summary of what we have already achieved thanks to the cooperation of these wonderfully "green" events.


We achieved
Bestival, September 2007
It all started when Curator Rob da Bank agreed that we could salvage some of the tents left behind by campers after Bestival. Despite being "evented-out" by a hectic Centenary summer, 20 people collected over 100 tents and loads of other equipment for their own groups.
Isle of Wight Festival, June 2008

Now we (vaguely) knew what we were doing we approached the Festival team who agreed that we could run a serious tent salvage operation with the tents being shipped to needy users. 1st Wroxall Scout Leader Azwar Zahoor and I tried to setup logistics to ship the salvaged camping equipment to Scouts in Pakistan. The political upheaval in Pakistan put an end to that plan. Aid agencies did not want either second hand or small 2-3 man tents asking for shipments of "identical, new family tents only please!". Finally, a plan came together and 48 Scouts, Guides and helpers salvaged over 500 tents and 500 sleeping bags which our friends in the Rotary Club distributed, mainly to Romania. We also collected a range of camping equipment for our own groups.

At the last minute we were asked to provide a charity collection team to help raise money for Island2000 and their "help the Bees" project. A donation from the collection was made to each of the Scout Groups supplying collectors.

The ECO-Action Team  gave us the following write-up on the Festival website:   There were a lot of tents that were left behind on the Monday when the big clear up happened, and those that weren't too badly trashed were collected after the festival by the local Scout groups. They had the lovely task of sorting through them, and by the end of the clear up, over 500 tents and 600 sleeping bags had been collected, and the more usable ones filled an entire container, which was then delivered and distributed to worthwhile causes. All good news. However, the problem with this is that a lot of the aid agencies won't accept two man tents for use and distribution, so it is becoming harder to place the equipment that is left behind each year at all the various festivals and events. We are working on a solution that we can share with other organisations to cut down the amount of waste left behind in the first place.

Bestival, September 2008 Bestival 2008 experienced some of the worst summer weather the Island has ever had. Hardly a blade of grass was left visible through the mud. A colossal amount of camping equipment was left, but was all covered in mud. We couldn't get vehicles onto the site -  4x4's were being towed out of the mud by tractors! Even so, 30 collectors salvaged almost 100 high quality tents, gazebos, cookers, chairs and other items of camping equipment for their own groups.
Isle of Wight Festival, June 2009

What a hectic few days at the Festival 2009:

  • Over 100 Scouts, Guides and leaders sold Fluffy Bees for Island ECO-projects (http://www.gifttonature.org.uk/ )
  • Over 60 Scouts, leaders and friends helped salvage 1,200 items (60 cubic metres) of unwanted camping equipment which the Festival team arranged to ship to Scouts and Guides in Antigua.
  • Phil Coward and his Cub Scout team sorted cans
  • Rosey Messing and 1st Newchurch loaned a tent to the Festival ECO-Action team for use as their "ECO-Office".

For 2009, the Festival team actively encouraged campers to take their equipment home with them: the weather was good -  so they did. There was less equipment left behind than in other years, AND... much less rubbish!

So, lots of hard work, lots of positive results, lots of positive PR from Isle of Wight Radio, BBC Radio Solent, South Today and Scouts.org.uk, T-shirts to support our venture from the Department of Energy ..... and lots of fun!

Bestival, September 2009 About 50 Scouts and Guides collected about 200 tents, chairs, sleeping bags and loads of camping equipment. The small "pop-up" 2-man tents are proving very popular ...... with Brownies and Rainbows who use them to camp safely in the comfort of their own halls!
Isle of Wight Festival, June 2010 Read the project team pages - or see the October edition of Scouting on the HQ website - to see everything that hapened over a fantastic weekend. It rained on the Sunday evening, during Paul McCartney's amazing top of the bill performance. So most of the tents were wet Monday morning. We could have collected at least 1000 tents, but we had nothing organised to do with them. Around 60 people turned up and departed with well over 200 tents and loads of other equipment. All went well as we've now got a brilliant working relationship with the Festival Campsite and Camp Security teams. Many thanks to John Giddings and his campsite teams.
Bestival, September 2010

Following an access problem with the Security staff very few people got on site and collected just a handfull of equipment.

Isle of Wight Festival, June 2011 On the Sunday of the Festival a force 10 gale hit the Island. We were given permission to collect tents less than 24 hours before we took to the field. About 50 of us arrived and had to park off site as the mud made it too difficult for driving round the fields. There were over 10,000 tents left behind, but we did make a dent in the  pile!
Bestival, September 2011 New Green Team Leader Aylin McNamara arranged for us to becom site crew to simplify access. And we had a brilliant result, helped by The Bestival Green Team, County Commissioner Anthony Roberts, and 3 members of IW Councit


Stewart loading some of the 500 "used once" sleeping bags donated by hire company Tangerine Fields,
destined for Scouts and Guides in Antigua after the 2009 Isle of Wight Festival


Name that Scout! Somewhere in there is Fellowship member John Davis - checking the tent contains no hidden surprises.....
After a good clean it's ready for use and in fact a few weeks later Scouts were camping in it. Thanks Bestival!