July 4, 2023
In late June, four members of the Positive Money team headed down to Somerset to chat to thousands of people at the biggest festival in the UK: Glastonbury 2023.
Over five days, more than 210,000 people made their way to the 900-acre site on Worthy Farm for a mixture of music, activism and thought-provoking talks. This was Positive Money’s fourth time running a stall and thanks to hundreds of generous supporters who chipped in to a fundraiser to help make it possible, it proved to be another big success.
From our spot in the Green Futures fields – the festival’s hub for inspiring climategreen campaigns, innovations groups, and activists – we gathered over 1,200 signatures for our petition aimed at Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, calling on them to break free from fossil fuels to bring down food and energy prices.
As more of us struggle to pay for the essentials, and too many face the choice between eating and heating homes, this was an important opportunity to talk about the concepts of fossilflation and climateflation, both of which have contributed to soaring prices over the last 18 months.
Since our whole system relies too much on dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, when their costs go up, our food and energy bills do, too. Then there’s the long-term cost of fossil fuel dependence: climate change, the consequences of which (think droughts causing crop shortages) also force prices to spike.
That’s why to end fossilflation and climate shocks affecting our bills, we need the government to take bold action to redirect financial flows away from fossil fuels and towards renewables. We’re working to kick up a big noise about this, so if you haven’t yet, please add your name to the petition here.
We covered the Glastonbury site with more than 500 eco-stickers sharing the message that if we change money, we can change the world. And by grabbing people’s attention with our own magic money tree, we spoke to hundreds more about our wider mission; to transform the money and banking system to one that works better for people and the planet.
All of the conversations we had with festival-goers this year confirmed that our work together is more important than ever. From examining the root causes of our broken housing system, to protecting access to cash whilst exploring the need for a new public digital pound, to shining a light on (and closing!) the revolving door between big finance and our political institutions. From Brighton to Glasgow, ages 16 to 84, the people we spoke to were clear: our economy isn’t working for most people.
But rather than be discouraged by the huge challenges in front of us, we came away from Glastonbury last week full of optimism. To truly change the money and banking system, we need to work together up and down the country. And if the crowds at Glastonbury are anything to go by, the interest, appetite, and positive energy is certainly there for the big changes we need.