Case study: WaterAid taps into Glastonbury

How WaterAid used this year's Glastonbury Festival to raise awareness of its campaigns.

Organisation: WaterAid
Campaign: End Water Poverty, Glastonbury
Agency: In-house


WaterAid took 128 volunteers to this year's Glastonbury Festival to raise awareness of its aims. The charity intended to engage with young people, whom it could later approach for support and donations.


Coordinated by WaterAid, the End Water Poverty campaign calls for water and sanitation for all. Festival-goers were urged to sign up to a call on the world's governments to prioritise spending on water and sanitation.

How it worked

WaterAid met supporters in three areas of the festival. In one area, it set up African-style pit latrines, which people could use between 8am and 8pm in return for donations. Female urinals made from cardboard funnels were also available for use in return for donations.

The toilet facilities were meant to ram home the message that many people in developing countries do not have access to hygienic toilets.

The charity also had a stand behind the festival's pyramid stage, where water was handed out to festival-goers to communicate the message that clean water is a luxury in certain parts of the world. A stand to collect direct debits and sell WaterAid T-shirts and ponchos was also set up.


WaterAid collected 12,000 signatures, and £20,000 was raised during the festival. The charity is also due to receive a donation from the festival itself, which gave it £150,000 last year.

Celebrities who pledged support at Glastonbury included Take That's Mark Owen, Ana Matronic from Scissor Sisters and comedian Stephen Merchant.

Duncan Wilbur, corporate and events manager at WaterAid, said: "The main importance was to push Water-Aid's message to a new audience. Your typical Glastonbury-goer is much younger than the age group that most charities would normally target for fundraising.

"But we are, in effect, talking to a future generation of WaterAid supporters while the problems are at the forefront of people's minds."

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