David Attenborough has thrown his weight behind Glastonbury’s plastic-free festival amid claims from music lovers that the site has turned into a pigsty and the organisers’ eco-campaign has been left in tatters.
Making a surprise appearance on the Pyramid Stage this afternoon, the 93-year-old veteran broadcaster and environmentalist thanked the crowd for ditching their plastic water bottles for the event.
But his rallying cry came as festival-goers slammed the Somerset farm site as ‘disgusting’ and shamed their fellow attendees for chucking rubbish to the ground – sometimes just metres away from a bin.
In addition to inviting Sir David to speak, Glastonbury has been keen to burnish its eco-activism credentials throughout the festival which saw an Extinction Rebellion march on Thursday.
Sir David said: ‘There was one sequence in Blue Planet II which everyone seems to remember. It is one in which we showed what plastic has done to the creatures that live in the ocean. It had an extraordinary effect and now this great festival has gone plastic-free.’
Sir David said each of the continents had its own ‘marvellous creatures’ and told the crowd that ‘each of them has its own glory and each of them has its own problems.
He revealed that a new BBC series called Seven Worlds, One Planet will begin ‘later on this year’ before showing the gathered ‘a few glimpses of what awaits you within the next few months’.
Kayleigh Townsend, from Yorkshire, said seeing Sir David on the Pyramid stage was ‘inspiring’. She said: ‘To give him the main stage and make sure as many people heard him as possible was great.
‘It was really quite emotional – I got quite teared up. I’m a big nature documentary fan. I’m really excited to watch it.’
Aggie Lloyd, from Bristol, said ‘everyone just stopped’ when Sir David came on stage. She said: ‘It’s the biggest crowd we’ve seen all weekend.
But festival-goers have claimed that this environmentalist drive has started to unravel as reports of discarded cups, cans and old paper plates flood social media.
On Facebook, Jackie Lambert wrote: ‘I’m disgusted at the way people think it’s ok to throw their rubbish, the place is disgusting.’
Kylie Maisey said that ‘people are definitely not listening to leave no trace’ and Joe Gilmour wrote that ‘no-one’s listening to the spirit of Glastonbury’.
It comes after the festival was rocked by a water shortage when showers were shut and people reported mammoth queues at drinking taps as temperatures soared to 82F.
The Somerset festival is notorious for attracting crowds of a more liberal persuasion, and on Thursday thousands marched in an Extinction Rebellion protest on the site in a climate rally.
But the masses have been branded hypocrites in light of pictures revealing the pigsty site, with Ronnie Charles writing on Facebook: ‘I thought Glastonbury revellers were the green environmental friendly type… We used to be.’
Lauren Scott wrote: ‘I have to say I’ve been really disappointed by the sheer amount of rubbish everywhere. It’s not hard to take it with you, there are bins all over the b****y place.’
Signing the Green Pledge was mandatory in order to register for festival tickets this year and forced people to commit to do their ‘duty’ to make sure the farmland is looked after.
It makes clear on the website: ‘With over 200,000 people visiting and working across this sprawling site, reducing the impact Glastonbury Festival has on its general environment is a huge task. And it is one which we are fiercely devoted to. But we simply can’t do it without you.
‘As well as accepting the Festival’s terms and conditions of entry when paying your balance, you were required to sign our ‘Love the Farm, Leave no Trace’ pledge.’
Charlotte Fitton wrote: ‘It’s mine and my sister’s first time at Glasto and we are really surprised how many people just leave their rubbish everywhere.
‘We have really stuck to the ‘leave no trace’ mantra but can’t believe how many people don’t care. I was actually laughed at for putting my rubbish back in my bag!
‘I think you should be responsible for your own rubbish – people would have something to say if somebody was dumping rubbish in their garden!’
Environmentalist Sir David Attenborough will make a special appearance on the Pyramid Stage today, Glastonbury has announced.
The festival tweeted: ‘We’re incredibly pleased to announce that Sir David Attenborough will be making a special appearance on the Pyramid Stage at around 2.45pm today. Don’t miss it!’.
This morning, revellers woke up to closed showers as the organisers’ bid to curb water usage continued into its second day amid soaring temperatures.
Some festival-goers claimed that some showers were open in Tom’s Field and Love’s Field but photographs show several blocks taped off.
Glastonbury has insisted that it is not suffering from a water shortage but that the baking weather is increasing the demand for fluids.
In a statement yesterday, it said: ‘There is not a water shortage at this year’s Glastonbury. Our supply is running as normal.
‘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.’
There have been 96 crimes recorded at Glastonbury Festival so far, a drop of 42% compared to the 166 at this point in the 2017 event.
A total of 67 of the 96 offences have been thefts, compared to 90 at the Somerset site two years ago.
Avon and Somerset Police said drug offences had fallen by 64 per cent, with 13 recorded this year in contrast to 36 at the last event.
The rest of the offences were described as criminal damage, public order and vehicle offences and low-level assaults. A spokesman confirmed that 16 people had been arrested.
Last night, The Killers brought the curtain down on Glastonbury’s penultimate day with a memorable performance featuring stunning guest appearances.
And tonight, The Cure will close out the festival after performances from Vampire Weekend, Miley Cyrus and Kylie.