Old image of Glastonbury aftermath re-emerges on social media

28 June 2022
What was claimed

Image shows aftermath of Glastonbury festival, where Greta Thunberg gave a lecture on saving the planet.

Our verdict

The image does show the Glastonbury festival site, but it was taken in 2015, not in 2022, when Greta Thunberg appeared.

A number of social media posts are being shared online showing rubbish left behind following Glastonbury festival.

One of the posts reads “The aftermath of Glastonbury festival, where they all cheered in support of Greta Thunberg, who was flown in to lecture on saving the planet”.

The image included in the posts is, however, not from this year’s festival, but from 2015, as confirmed to Full Fact by the South West News Service agency, which owns the image.

The photo was previously featured in an article published by the Daily Mail showing large amounts of rubbish and other discarded items following the end of the 2015 festival. Ms Thunberg was 12 years old in 2015 and did not appear at Glastonbury that year. Her climate protests outside the Swedish parliament began in 2018.

It is also not true that Ms Thunberg was “flown in” to speak at Glastonbury. The environmental activist has been outspoken about her opposition to air travel, and a spokesperson for Ms Thunberg confirmed to Full Fact that she travelled to the UK by train. 

We’ve previously written about the re-emergence of old photos from Glastonbury, and attempts to use them to criticise the festival’s environmental commitments.

Significant amounts of rubbish are left behind after Glastonbury. Following the conclusion of this year’s festival, hundreds of volunteers are involved in clean-up efforts at the site, with attendees having been encouraged to ‘leave no trace’ by taking everything home with them.

The festival also takes a break every five years for what’s known as a “fallow year”, to allow the site to recover.

Image courtesy of Annie Spratt

Update 5 July 2022

We have updated this piece after a spokesperson for Ms Thunberg confirmed she travelled to the UK by train.

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