meet the crew!
“Growing up I was taken to lots of lovely small festivals and lucky to be introduced to live music from a young age.
My first glimpse of the wasteful side of the events industry came when I was 16 years old and working as a runner at a computer conference in Disneyland Paris.
A week of hard and careful work before the business event seemed to disappear into skips in no time at all, despite my best efforts to re-home as many items as I could the bitter realisation was, what can one person do?”
“Leaving Glastonbury the following year I saw the carnage in the campsite, the demolition of the fields used as car parks and realised that festivals are basically just a big house party where no one really cared and it seemed a far cry from the folk festivals of my childhood.
In 2013 I started working at music festivals and outdoor events as a traffic marshal, steward and more pertinently a resource redistribution operative a.k.a litter picker where I was able to experience first hand just how dire the situation was, particularly in festival campsites.
Phrases such as “That’s just not the way it’s done.” have long been a call to action for me and this is what I was met with when I first suggested diverting usable items that had been left behind, and so I set about doing it anyway, after my shift or with the quiet permission of supervisors that also wanted to see change.
So in 2014 I started filling my car, and the car’s of friends and sending small numbers of sleeping bags to a couple of homeless support organisations. My first attempt at a large scale reclamation after Boomtown 2015 was a bit chaotic, with multiple issues, the main one was people telling me how stupid I was for not selling it and making money (one I still hear regularly) and the other was the mounting issue of ‘how on earth do I get this off site?!’ Since then at least 100 tons of usable aid has been diverted from landfills/incinerators.
Reclamation is a response not a solution so I turned my attention to reducing the waste being left in the first place which led me to Eco Warriorz and, after a long and winding road, today where I am well placed and determined to see positive action happening at UK festivals.”
“Sitting on the muddy ground, surrounded by incomprehensible amounts of rubbish, my heart broke at Glastonbury 2016 where I’d been working in production on the Pyramid stage.
The harsh reality that the events industry I loved so much was in direct conflict with my environmental ethics could be avoided no more – pictures of waste were headline news, and the devastation before me was like a scene from a horrific post-apocalyptic film.
Except it wasn’t – it was all in the name of a good time. I needed to take action…
I found ‘Eco Rangers’ online, and a month later I was volunteering at Boomtown.
It was hard work – insanely hot – and there were just 20 of us trying to cover all Boomtown campsites. When I look back it’s crazy – but the engagement was great – we were making a difference, and I’ve never looked back.
The goal has always been to increase uptake in eco initiatives, awareness of the difference one person can make and acceptance of the ease with which we can make positive change – but crucially, making that whole premise fun. This might sound crazy, but I’m deadly serious about fun.
Fun is fundamental – which is why you will often find me leading the way in fancy dress, games and general daftness. In my ‘day job’ I own and run a Creative Agency; ‘Lingo Design’ – specialising in brand and digital design, especially for ethical, environmental and event projects.
To balance out the screen time, I spend the summer working at events. In the past, I’ve been a Festival Director, Stage Manager and various other events roles – but now I specialise in Campsite Management or Eco Warriorz organising. 2021 saw me take more responsibility for Eco Warriorz, adopting it into my business with the intention to support and evolve it’s organisational structure.
We aim to transition to a charitable or CIC organisation in the coming years, meaning we can seek funding to further our aims and impact. I absolutely love Eco Warriorz, the volunteers, and the converted campers – it gives me hope for the future and an excuse to have a positive impact while having fun – and who doesn’t need a bit of that!?!”
“I have always been furiously fanatical about festivals for……well, ever!? But the wanton waste has always been more than worrying (slash deeply woeful!).”
“That’s why I quickly questioned and quizzed, until I found a calling to contribute toward a more climate-friendly future of festivals.
Thus the Eco Warriorz were born!
Following on from a friend’s upcycling campsite caper – we launched into full-blown campsite engagement specialising in behaviour changes (with a side of synchronised dance) to get the guests on side.
We went from 30 mindful miscreants to 160 eco-lunatics across 5 years of Boomtown.
In real life, I work with OLIO saving the world from food waste – managing an epic army of thousands of volunteers saving surplus from supermarkets.
Alongside my work and eco festival agenda, I am a climate activist, plastic campaigner and general environmental enthusiast. The real deal. An ultra enthusiastic eco-all-rounder!
Let’s DO THIS. Join the Eco Warriorz now…!”
I joined the Eco Warriorz in 2018 with nothing but enthusiasm and a pair of giant green Hulk fists, and quickly learned that volunteering with the EWz crew wasn’t just a positive way to earn a ticket, it made festivals more fun too!
I grew up around London media & recording studios, spending many of my summers in rural Louisiana. These two opposite worlds have had a major influence on making me the gloriously eclectic weirdo that I am today, as well as making both nature and technology a fundamental part of my life.
As a former game designer, and avid board-gamer I’ve always been really excited to use gaming to incentivise eco conscious behaviour and education. I also care a lot about wellbeing, mental health and disabilities, and have supported the team in accessibility, inclusivity and health and welfare objectives.
I’ve been going to festivals since I was a baby, but joining the Eco Warriorz for Boomtown 2018 was my first in a while due to chronic health issues, and I quickly discovered that this was something I wanted to be a part of. The next year I stepped up to help our Eco Warriorz co-founder Jo ramp up our team from 30 to 170, and haven’t looked back since.
Between my Chronic Fatigue (M.E.), Fibromyalgia and other disabilities, I can struggle to function at times, so have been passionate about growing the Eco Warriorz and helping to make an impact on a scale that I could never achieve alone. Big thanks to everyone who has played a part in getting us to where we are!
If you see me in the fields now, I’ll be benevolently directing my teams to victory, most likely with green hair, a glorious cloak…and my Hulk fists of course.
“Live music has been a major part of my life since my teen years. When I first went to raves in the early 90s…
My love affair with festivals started in 1995 when I first attended Glastonbury Festival. When I became a parent, I introduced my daughters to live music and festivals. They are now 25 and 21 and we still do festivals together.
I first got involved behind the scenes at festivals in 2017 when I volunteered with a group called Camplight after being a customer with them in 2015. They aim to reduce waste at festival campsites by salvaging abandoned tents at festivals, cleaning and restoring them and offering them back to festival goers at affordable hire prices.I originally got involved as a way to secure much sought-after Glastonbury tickets – as the festival has increased in profile, tickets have been more difficult to get.
However, my time with the camplight group introduced me to a whole new side of the festival experience that I now love.
Throughout my adult years, I developed a love and appreciation of the world and nature. It pains me to see the damage we do through landfill and plastic waste. I was growing more aware of the waste and landfill produced at festivals. Being part of camplight enabled me to feel that I was part of the solution.I also really enjoyed the experience of working as part of a team at a festival. The atmosphere and camaraderie were wonderful.
I continued to volunteer with camplight at events up until 2019 when I met Liz from Eco Warriorz at a small festival in Hertfordshire.
As we know everything changed then with Covid 19 and no festivals took place in 2020 but I did keep in touch with Liz. 2021 was another quiet year for music festivals but Eco Warriorz did manage to get to a couple of festivals. I got involved at the Isle of Wight festival and my youngest daughter joined me.
I had the best time. I really feel like Eco Warriorz is where I belong. It has the friendliest crew and volunteers who enjoy having fun and have the common aim of making festivals more sustainable. I am now fully committed to helping this year’s Eco Warriorz events be a success.
I love my way of experiencing festivals. I enjoy knowing that our crew are looking after our planet and I love the time spent with and the friendships built with fellow crew members and volunteers.”
“Working with the Eco Warriorz has truly changed my life in the most wonderful ways.
I spent my twenties trying to find a career that suited me, working in office administration jobs that never quite sparked joy.
Having attended Boomtown 3 years in a row (at one of which I was lucky enough to meet and be awarded a medal from the Eco Warriorz), I found myself unable to afford a ticket in 2019…
I saw the volunteer opportunity for the Eco Warriorz come by, so I jumped at the chance to attend my favourite festival, but this time partying with purpose. It was the most amazing time, getting to talk to people about the importance of taking care of the planet.
It always frustrated and saddened me to see how people mistreat festival campsites, and would often be the person in camp that made sure our set up had all the eco-credentials: recycling was separated and any rubbish getting off the floor and into the proper places.
Eco Warriorz gives me the perfect way to get out there and try to make a positive difference in the world, starting with the festival fields. Passionate about sustainable living, I have found a path that I am fully invested in and excited by. I love to be out in the fields bringing my positive sparkly outlook to anyone we meet and am excited to be on the frontline to tackle festival waste.
‘Progress not perfection’ is my favourite sustainability motto. We are all doing our best and berating people, or making them feel bad for their attempts, helps no one.
The positive behaviour change we seek to find through Eco Warriorz resonates with me: all carrot and no stick!”