Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 1st Aug 2010

The Science of Glastonbury

The Pyramid Stage, Glastonbury (c) Ben Valsler

The science of the Glastonbury Festival is the unusual subject of this week's special summer edition of the Naked Scientists. Ben Valsler joins in the fun to find out what it takes to turn a farm into a city (and back again) every year, scrutinises the operation's green credentials and also hears how the organisers keep clean water flowing in, and waste flowing out, for nearly 200,000 revellers. Greenpeace, Water Aid, and even the Rap Guide to Evolution also featured at the festival, and Baba Brinkman, Paloma Faith, Josie Long and Robin Ince argue for more science on the setlist in future.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

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  • 00:48 - Building the basics of Glastonbury

    Turning a farm into a city and then back again, is no easy feat. For the festival to run smoothly there must be adequate water, sanitation, road access, and electricity. Phil Miller speaks of the challenges of managing this succesfully and Georgie Pope takes us on a tour of the ...

  • 16:21 - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Green initiatives at Glastonbury

    The Glastonbury organisers pride themselves on doing as much possible to reduce their impact - not just on the farm itself, but on a global scale. Lucy Brooking-Clark coordinates the festivalís green initiatives...

  • 22:51 - Playing with Recyclables

    Ben meets Mark and Lorraine - shipbuilders who used recycled plastics to produce the playship that dominates the childrens field...

  • 23:34 - Making Festivals Sustainable

    Helen Heathfield explains how festivals compare with more traditional forms of entertainment when it comes to sustainability...

  • 47:25 - Performing at Glastonbury

    Paloma Faith discusses why Glastonbury is so important for a performer and how the environmental message hits home.

  • 48:50 - Science and Politics at Glastonbury

    Stand-up comedian Josie Long, performing in the cabaret tent, feels that politics and environmental messages have a strong root in Glastonbury.

  • 51:21 - Science as an Inspiration

    Broadcaster and comedian Robin Ince incorporates a great deal of science into his comedy, quoting from Carl Sagan, Charles Darwin and Richard Feynman among others in his sets. I asked him if he felt that science could find a home at music festivals.

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They said they toss the leftover tents into the rubbish pile. I wonder if they could be donated to the homeless?

When organizing something like this (a temporary community really), do they ever get advice from the military? I'd think the military would have a lot of experience in this field, considering you need to gather together hundreds of thousands of personnel to execute an invasion. In 1944 thousands of personnel were gathered in England to prepare for D-Day. It took weeks, and the troops that arrived first needed to be fed, bedded down, entertained, and provided with places to practice the landing. It's always amazing to see how efficient they can be. mountaineirc1969, Thu, 5th Aug 2010

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