Letters August 31: Mess left at festival helping city’s homeless

The clean-up operation at Leeds Festival. PIC: Gaz Mack
The clean-up operation at Leeds Festival. PIC: Gaz Mack
Have your say

Charities and community groups are making the most of the mess left behind at Leeds Festival to benefit the less fortunate. Several local groups have been scavenging the hundreds of leftover tents sleeping bags and other useful resources to help the homeless and less fortunate around Leeds and further afield. Gaz Mack and a team of volunteers for the Community Kitchen - a non-profit grassroots organisation - raided the abandoned campsites at Bramham Park filling a van to the rafters with dozens of leftover items. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media...

Siobhain O’Leary

People who are homeless and the charities that support them should not have to pick through people’s trash to find useable 

Clearly the people leaving them behind are too spoiled and selfish to consider just donating them and the items are too cheap for the people discarding them to value them enough to take them with them. I see this picture and I think how hopeless we are as a species if this is our mentality.

The festival should never be allowed to happen again without a serious cultural adjustment and or fines.

Matt Robinson

All the tinned food that is left and can be used should be sent to all the food banks for families that are on low incomes to help the burden of choosing between food or keeping warm.

Jayne Pollard

What a mess! Regardless of how it may help others, it’s still disgraceful. The kids do it because a) they’re lazy and b) they’re brainwashed into thinking they’re donating to charity!

Francine Ainley

It’s getting worse for the homeless. Good that they can help them like this but it should be dealt in a better way and long term.

Josephine Fell

From what I have read the tents are no use to the homeless as they are cheap one use types. So it’s just a mess left for someone else to clear up.

Donna Mercieca-Gabriele

If they know the charities will come in and ‘scavenge’ where is the necessity to clean up after yourself?

Why not offer an incentive to donate your used tents etc (maybe a discount code for the next year) and have a designated ‘drop off’ area?

Janet Littlewood

They don’t deserve the festival if they cant clean up after themselves.

Heather Clark

Glad the homeless and less fortunate will make use of the tents etc though.

Marilyn Craik

Don’t encourage them to leave a mess! Have skips/containers where they can put it all as they leave.

Liz Ineson

Shame the festival goers couldn’t spare half an hour to tidy their area, pack up their equipment put it neatly in a pile to donate and put their rubbish in bins. Shame that the already busy volunteers have to clear up all the mess to salvage the items and then redistribute. It’s really not hard to clean up after yourself.

Fran Helstrip

It’s great if the homeless do benefit from some of this but not only should there not be the need for it but I really wouldn’t want one of these tents, I’ve seen what gets done to them and the state they are left in and why the really have been left behind. It’s a disgrace the way festivals are left by the youth of today.

Sally Whiteley

I just can’t understand why they leave such a mess for someone else to clear up. if they want to leave stuff pack it up and leave for the homeless!

Heather Chris Callaghan

I think a lot of people leave the tents etc as they know they are collected for the homeless. The festival organisers needs to organise a place for them to be dropped though.

Ali Bedford

My daughter went to Boomtown festival a few weeks ago and paid a £10 eco bond took a bag up for rubbish to recycle and had the money returned.

I think they should make it standard at all festivals and hopefully it should reduce so me of the rubbish in fact charge them more so it hurts there pockets not the environment .

Danielle Brady

Surely they should leave skips at leaving points?Makes more sense.

Hollie Day

So many people just don’t get it- it’s designed to work this way by the organisers- they employ people to clean it up and it’s factored into the high ticket prices.

People need to eat and drink during the weekend and it can’t all be binned on site as they aren’t enough bins. People also can’t be expected to carry bags of refuse back on our woefully overcrowded trains- there is barely enough room for passengers as it is. Stop having a moral panic.

Irene Borza

Charge them an exit fee if they don’t bring a bag of rubbish out.

Barry Cardiss

No excuses for messy selfish people. They should not be let out without a binbag full of rubbish.

David Drury

And they go on about plastic tax , look at all the plastic mess.

Bernadette Jeavons

Other than helping the homeless, this is a disgraceful and shameful scene.

John Smith

When you buy your ticket it contributes to the massive clean up operation after the festival. So much of this rubbish is sorted and goes to good causes. Of course you can’t take it all home with you and if you did it wouldn’t then be going to good causes like the homeless and people starving abroad, so in this case it’s far more beneficial to leave it. The park is then cleaned up within days.