Festival Fan: Yes to Music, No to Mess

Movement hopes to get fans at Laneway Festival to clear their rubbish
NOOR ASHIKIN ABDUL RAHMAN, The New Paper AsiaOne 26 Jan 16;


That was how Mr Timothy Chua described the aftermath of last year's Laneway Festival.

Last January, heaps of rubbish were strewn on the ground by the record 13,000-strong crowd at the end of the 12-hour event.

This year, Mr Chua, who recently graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS), hopes to spark a change through his Traceless movement.

It aims to achieve a litter-free environment at this year's edition of the annual music festival on Saturday.

Laneway Festival kicks off at 11.30am at The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay, with the last acts taking to the stage at 10.55pm.

Together with his NUS undergraduate girlfriend, Miss Sumita Thiagarajan, Mr Chua hopes to get other festival goers to pick up after themselves.

The pair launched the Traceless movement via Facebook last week and urged others to join them in "changing old ways".

"Instead of leaving our trash on the grass, find a bin or if you can't find one (as we couldn't last year), bring it home with you in a tied-up plastic bag," they wrote.


Mr Chua, 25, told The New Paper yesterday: "It's important that we learn to value our environment and help make the cleaners' jobs easier. Hopefully we can make this a yearly affair."

He added: "It's really about spreading the awareness and hoping the message takes root in people. If just one person among each group of friends is aware and makes the effort, we're already making progress."

Last year, the ugly mess left behind after the sold-out festival caught the attention of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, who both posted on Facebook to comment on the situation.

PM Lee wrote: "It takes continuous effort to keep Singapore clean. We need to progress from being a cleaned city to a truly clean city."

Later this week, Mr Chua and Miss Sumita, 21, plan to share tips on taking responsibility for one's trash with fellow festival attendees on the Laneway Festival and Traceless Facebook event pages.

On the event day itself, they might be making placards to remind festivalgoers.

"We shouldn't think that keeping the environment clean is someone else's problem to deal with.

"It's ambitious to expect zero trash, especially in the first year of the movement. But I hope to see a venue that is not covered in trash, with as little rubbish as possible," said Mr Chua.

At press time, his post about Traceless has garnered just 12 likes on the Laneway Festival event page.

But instead of feeling disappointed over the lacklustre response, Mr Chua is heartened as "this is better than nothing".

"I'm positive that more people will find out about it in the coming days, especially because we plan to post about it more and more," he said.