Harry Styles Concerts Leave Behind "Feathered Boa Massacre"


Jun. 23 2023, Published 1:32 p.m. ET

Popular singer and heartthrob Harry Styles is on tour in Europe — and, evidently, his fans are leaving a trail of boa feathers in their wake.

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The official TikTok account for London’s Wembley Park neighborhood, where Styles played Wembley Stadium in June 2023 as part of Love on Tour, went to TikTok to show just how much Harry Styles concert litter was left after his show.

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In the video, a Wembley maintenance worker is equipped with a pair of tongs. “Things you forgot to take with you after the Harry Styles concert,” the video says.

Then, the man holds up various items fans left behind. First on the list is a feather boa, the accessory most popular with Styles fans. Other discarded items include:

  • shoes

  • more shoes

  • hats

  • cheap sunglasses

  • a cell phone

  • "aggressive signs" (the worker holds a sign that says “Leave America,” referencing a lyric in Styles' song "As It Was")

  • and a hot dog costume.

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The video ends with the tongs picking up several piles of boa feathers. “Please. God. Why?” the narrator says.

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A caption for the video reads, “So. Many. Feathers. We loved every moment though.”

Harry Styles fans are leaving feathers all over Europe.

Wembley Stadium isn’t the only venue left to clean up the feathers and other debris after a Styles concert. After a June 21 Styles concert in Cardiff, it looked like there had been a “feather boa massacre” in the city, Cardiff resident Eleanor Prescott tweeted.

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Edinburgh residents were angry and frustrated by the mess left by Styles fans after the singer’s May 26 and 27 performances at Murrayfield, reports the Scottish Sun. That show drew a record 65,000 audience members, many of whom were wearing feather boas. During the show, Styles himself donned a yellow boa.

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Edinburgh resident Robbie Calvert told Edinburgh Live that feathers were still scattered around his neighborhood almost a week after the Styles concert.

"I just feel really upset about it,” Calvert told Edinburgh Live. “These feathers are hard to clean up too and they're being blown everywhere, which makes them harder to clean up but they will have a huge effect on the environment once they get into the water and our green spaces.”

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“These feather boas are like disposable vapes, I don’t think they should be sold,” Calvert told Edinburgh Live.

Feather boas are pretty bad for the environment, no matter what they're made from.

Feather boas may be a fun accessory to wear, but they’re not so great for the environment. The proliferation of boa feather litter left after Style concerts worldwide has sparked conversations over the environmental impacts of feather boas.

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Humane Society International and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) discourage people from purchasing boas with made real feathers. Georgie Dolphin, an animal welfare campaigner with Humane Society International, says that many feathers for the boas are sourced from countries that live pluck them right from turkeys or ostriches. Feathers are also taken from turkeys killed for their meat, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

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"We don't want people inadvertently supporting animal cruelty when they don't realize that they even are, so if you are aware, it will help with purchasing decisions," Dolphin told ABC.

That said, most of the feather boas worn for costumes and to Styles concerts are synthetic. But synthetic feather boas come with their own problems because they are made with plastics that don’t biodegrade.

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Eco-friendly, animal-free boas are available.

PETA has an article recommending several planet-friendly and bird-friendly boas that are far less likely to shed and turn into litter. For example, the Texas-based company Happy Boa creates featherless boas that are cruelty-free, machine washable, and don’t create a mess.

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