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Glastonbury photo is from 2015, not 2022

June 27, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: Photo shows debris left behind from the 2022 Glastonbury Festival after climate activist Greta Thunberg gave a speech on Saturday.

AP’s ASSESSMENT: False. While large amounts of debris are typically seen left over after the festival every year, the photo shared on social media is from 2015.

THE FACTS: England’s Glastonbury Festival was held for the first time since 2019 last week, with thousands of people attending the five-day music and performing arts event in Worthy Farm, Somerset. Thunberg, the 19-year-old activist, made a speech about climate change on the festival’s main “Pyramid” stage on Saturday evening.

Afterward, social media users shared a photo from 2015 showing debris and litter scattered on the farm after the festival, with false claims that the image was taken in 2022 following the speech.

“Pyramid stage at #Glastonbury after Greta Thunberg’s environmental speech,” reads one Twitter post that was retweeted more than 7,000 times.

A reverse image search shows the same picture appeared in 2015 news stories credited to photographer David Hedges, who captured the photo for SWNS Group, a British media agency. SWNS Group confirmed to The Associated Press in an email that the photo was taken on June 29, 2015. The photo’s caption states that the photo was taken at the end of the Glastonbury Festival that year. Other news outlets captured similar photos showing the scene that day.

Similar photos of the trash-strewn site, and the cleanup, emerged in subsequent years and photos from this year show that attendees left behind rubbish once again. After the event wrapped on Sunday, people were shown cleaning up the venue. An official account affiliated with the festival tweeted photos on Monday showing that litter pickers had cleared the field of trash.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.