I thought the mess left after the swellbelly etc. gig last night was a bit much. I'm not saying that our vollies on the night didn't do a good job, not at all, some things such as taking out recycling and mopping the washrooms are supposed to be left until the morning, I'm just saying that this particular event was apparently huge and left behind quite a lot of cleaning to do. I wasn't there on the night, but a couple of people who were told me it was really good. So good. But I came in the morning and there was piss all over the place (mainly confined to the toilets I think, but the whole place stunk) and an absolutely prodigous amount of rubbish and recycling, that was just left to the unsuspecting volunteers who arrived on Sunday morning. Again, I'm not complaining about our Saturday night volunteers, who couldn't have done anything about it. I think it took me six trips on my own to take out all the trash, and I had to sort through every load by hand because glass was mixed with packaging.
The forest has an army of kitchen volunteers night and morning so I don't have a problem with us doing a reasonable amount of cleaning up. But perhaps if there's gonna be a big event that leaves this much carnage, the organisers or bands or whoever should also organise some help for cleaning it up the next day? Even if they can't come and help for some reason, they could at least announce a couple of times to the audience that the place is volunteer run and that's why the event can happen, so it'd be great if anyone could show up the next day to help clean. We just need people to do really simple things like take out recycling and mop. How many people formed the bands that played last night and their friends? And there must have been hundreds of punters. If, say, six people had showed up in the morning to help with the clean up it would have made a huge difference, such as only needing one big trip for the recycling.
I guess what irks me is that it feels a little bit like the forest was just used as a normal venue, which is not what the forest is. They came, they payed, they made a stinking mess, they pissed off, they didn't think about who was gonna clean it up. Capitalist consumerism in action! Except they weren't paying, because it was free. People ought to realise that forest is a grassroots community space and is volunteer run, so they should treat it like that.
Maybe we can put something to this effect in the events book, and it can be mentioned to people when they are booking events? Feel free to word this better.
Forest is a volunteer-run, grassroots community project. We expect to do a certain amount of cleaning up after people. But if your event is gonna be really big and messy it would be really nice if you organised some help for the end of the night and the next morning. Taking out trash and recycling, and sweeping and mopping. Just a handful of people for an hour or so can make the difference between a joyless disgusting task that takes ages and a really heartening show of mutual aid. Thanks!