The music has died down and faded away, the stage has been packed up, the tourists have gone home and the artists are playing somewhere else. WOMAD 2009 has come and gone, but something hasn't left...and it's here to stay for awhile...a LONG while.
On Saturday night alone as people danced to the likes of Eliades Ochoa; it's estimated (and probably conservatively) that 21 800kgs of rubbish was collected, the lion's share of it plastic. That figure doesn't even include Thursday and Friday.
As the town hall pats itself on the back for effectively stopping the usual glass shard menagerie that endangered every footstep in previous editions of the festival, they and the festival organizers seem to have turned a very blind eye to the enormous mountain of plastic that was created as result. Plastic that wasn't even attempted to be recycled, but dumped in with the rest of the rubbish, bound to sit in the dump for the next eon.
Not one recycle bin was to be seen in the Main Square, not one attempt to encourage people to at least reuse their huge plastic cups...
I think without realizing the irony in their statement, the local paper said it best when they said that we've gone from 'botellon', to 'plasticon'.
If you are reading this in 2010 and planning on hitting the festival...plan ahead and enjoy the tunes without adding to the mess. Bring a cup and insist that they use it! The excuse of 'just doing as the locals do' is just that, an excuse.