The organisers of a music festival in the Kaipara district say they are disappointed to see tents and camping gear abandoned after the event.

Video received by RNZ shows dozens of tents, some broken and covered in mud, left behind after the Northern Bass festival this year.

Festival-goers previously complained of camping in ankle-deep mud, cars stuck in swamped paddocks, and problems with drinking water.

In a statement, festival director Gareth Popham said they absolutely condemn the practice of leaving gear behind after festivals.

He said it was a problem that existed worldwide.

“Part of the problem is caused by retailers selling poor quality tents and camping equipment, and we call on retailers like The Warehouse and Kmart to stop selling camping gear that are not fit for purpose,” he said.

“Part of the problem is behavioural, and Northern Bass have a number of initiatives in place designed to reduce abandonment of camping equipment.”

Popham said the festival was part of the Love Your Tent movement that encouraged festival-goers to act in a more environmentally responsible way; reusing and looking after their tents, and not buying rubbish tents to begin with.

“There is a popular belief that most tents left behind after festivals are collected and sold by charities or sent to good causes.

“Unfortunately, the majority of abandoned camping equipment left at this year’s event was either damaged or not fit to be reused, due to the poor quality of camping equipment available to buy from retailers.”

“Where possible, our Green Team volunteers recover tent pegs, poles and tarps to clean and store to have on hand for campers who are in need of them in future, for example if a guest’s tent needs repairing on site.”

Kaipara District mayor Craig Jepson said there was a degree of mess that came with big events like Northern Bass.

“There’s always going to be a minority of people that don’t perform like we would like them to, but that happens at any event,” he said.

“The vast majority of the kids are having a good time, and are well behaved.”

Jepson said those who abandoned their tents after attending a music festival should be more mindful of what they left behind.

“I think they need to think a little bit more carefully about what they’re leaving behind and take their rubbish them,” Jepson said.

“It’s just the same anywhere else in New Zealand when you go to events or out into the wild, or whatever, you need to be conscious of what you leave behind.

“Tents are a little bit bigger than chilli packets aren’t they?”

By Finn Blackwell of rnz.co.nz

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