Why This Music Festival Had to Ban Pineapples

“Organisers were a little concerned about hundreds of pineapples turning up on site so decided to ask fans not to bring them along.”
15 August 2017, 2:10pm
Photo via Twitter/Flickr user glasgowbury.

Packing for a music festival is a fine art. It's easy to go overboard and stuff a lawn chair, seven outfit changes, a blow-up mattress, and mini solar panel into your bag, but you'll only end up having a breakdown trying to carry it all on the much-longer-than-expected walk from the car park to the campsite. There's also a danger in packing too light. No matter which higher stratosphere of mashed you intend on partying yourself into, it's no fun trying to sleep in a tent missing a groundsheet and several load-bearing poles.

Basically, there are a couple of festival essentials (a tent WITH ALL ITS PARTS, toilet paper, beer, a baggie of "bath salts" hidden inside a jar of peanut butter) and then a few things you definitely don't want to bring: Native American headdresses, excessive glitter, flower crowns, overly complicated cooking apparatus.

But revellers at this year's Reading and Leeds festivals will be in for a surprise if they intend on packing a certain tropical fruit. Organisers of the music event have announced that pineapples are banned on site and will be immediately confiscated if found.

The unusual ban all started on Sunday, when Reading and Leeds organisers tweeted an update of their list of "What you can and can't bring" to the festivals, headlined this year by Eminem, Muse, and Liam Gallagher. Alongside the usual contraband items like weapons, fireworks, and animals was the comparatively innocuous pineapple. The list warned: "There will be no receipts issued for any confiscated/surrendered items. You may be searched at the entrances and upon exit from the festival site."

But who would want to bring a notoriously tricky-to-carve fruit to a festival, a place pretty much devoid of non-plastic cutlery?

Well, quite a lot of people actually. The pineapple trend all links back to Oxford band Glass Animals, whose song "Pork Soda" from their 2016 album How to Be a Human Being includes the line "pineapples are in my head." Fans of the four-piece have taken to bringing pineapples to their live shows and even dressing in pineapple costumes. At Glass Animals' Glastonbury performance this year, the stage was covered with pineapples.

A spokesperson for Reading and Leeds explained to the BBC that the pineapple ban was in the interests of safety. They said: "Organisers were a little concerned about hundreds of pineapples turning up on site so decided to ask fans not to bring them along."

However they also added: "The tongue may be slightly in cheek on this one."

Glass Animals, meanwhile, have responded to the furore their pineapple mascottery has inspired on Twitter, advising one fan that it was a "good idea" to dress as a pineapple instead of attempting to smuggle the fruit through security. A spokesperson for the band went further, telling NME: "It's fruitist. Watermelons are fine, but not pineapples? Challenge—anyone who wasn't bringing a pineapple definitely is now. It's irresponsible to stop young people at a festival having vital vitamin P."

And they say kids these days don't know how to have fun.