It’s described as the scourge of British summer music festivals but new research by festival veteran Oxfam, a Glastonbury charity partner for 18 years, suggests that festival mud is very much embraced by music lovers and is even regarded as iconic.
This is good news for the charity which is asking festival-goers to ‘get your hands dirty’ as part of its new Grow campaign that aims to fix the broken food system that leaves billions hungry every day. The iconic music festival takes place this weekend, with performers this year including U2, Coldplay, Beyoncé Knowles, Morrissey, the Kaiser Chiefs, KT Tunstall and many more.
According to Oxfam, nearly three quarters of festival-goers (71%) aren’t put off by the muddy prospect of bad weather. When asked to pick the top three things they most associate with British music festivals, over a third of adults across Britain (36%) regard mud as an iconic element of British music festivals. Northern festival goers were the keenest of all on a muddy festival with almost a quarter (22%) of them embracing mud as ‘all part of the experience’, compared to only 11 per cent of Southern and just 7 per cent of London festival-goers.
Even if they were given the chance to pay extra on their ticket price for a guarantee of good weather, over half (52%) of fans who have been to a festival in the last year would prefer to take a chance on the weather. Surprisingly unconcerned about speculating newspaper headlines or whether to pack wellies or sun cream in their rucksack, over a quarter of festival goers (28%) say they have never checked the weather before going to a British music festival.
Young people are the toughest when it comes to braving the elements with 90 per cent of 18-24 year olds saying bad weather wouldn’t stop their British festival fun, compared to just 57 per cent of the more delicate 55 and overs.
Oxfam’s ‘get your hands dirty’ activity will be taking place at ten festivals across the UK this summer, including Glastonbury and Bestival. Festival-goers will be looking out for Oxfam campaigners who will be painting people’s hands or they can visit the Oxfam tent on site to get involved in a range of fun activities. Oxfam’s global Grow campaign is the charity’s biggest ever, aiming at building a movement of people and calling on governments and big businesses to fix the global food system to ensure that everyone has enough to eat. With one in seven people going hungry every day and the situation getting worse, Oxfam is urging festival-goers to get involved and show they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty to stop anyone ever having to go to bed hungry.
Nick Futcher, Oxfam’s Brand Manager, said: "Mud is a big part of the British festival experience and for nearly 20 years Oxfam has been too. Our festival shops, stewards and campaigners have become an integral part of the British festival circuit and are an important way for Oxfam to reach new supporters.
“We should feel proud of our ability to keep going whatever the weather – and by getting their hands dirty with Oxfam, festival-goers will be joining a global movement of people who are calling for the basic right of food for everyone, always.”