SOIL COMPACTION AT BONNAROO MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL, MANCHESTER, TN
LEDOUX, St. Thomas Majeau, Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1412 Cricle Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996, firstname.lastname@example.org
Soil compaction is a major problem facing many large-scale outdoor recreational events, especially music festivals that involve camping. Excessive compaction by heavy machinery and foot traffic has the potential to reduce soil moisture and fertility, decrease vegetation, and ultimately increase erosion within event grounds. The general organizational structure of most music festivals further exacerbates these effects by clustering equipment and patrons around a limited number of centralized locations (e.g., stages), thereby concentrating compaction processes within a much smaller space than the total usable area of the event. Of particular concern are the increased amounts of loose particulate matter produced within these condensed spaces. Turbid runoff and/or dusty winds borne from excessively dry and baron soil could pose a public health risk to both patrons and neighboring communities, for which the producers of these events may be liable. It is therefore necessary to develop a methodology for preemptively assessing and remediating soil compaction issues before they become problematic.
This study aims to determine whether or not significant compaction occurred at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, in Manchester, TN. 270 data points were taken between six blocks before and after the festival, measuring maximum depth of compaction at 100, 200, and 300 psi. Comparing the means under a standard least squares model, compaction depths after the festival were demonstrated to be significantly shallower than before the festival (p-value < 0.0001). Tentative explanations are given for observed variations in the data between blocks. Recommendations are also given for how to better investigate and counteract compaction processes and their subsequent effects within the festival environment.