Having only just recovered from the million miles I walked when at Glastonbury Festival I am now reminiscing on the delight that was the toilet experience there. With a total of 200,000 festival revellers the toilet queues at Glastonbury can be pretty long! Tip – always choose a set of loos near a stage playing great music. Queues are unfortunately inevitable despite toilets being everywhere but there is a wide selection of loos on offer to cater for all. The two main options you will come across are 2,000 long drops and 1,300 compost loos, though the choice on site also includes portable toilets, urinals and shepees, disabled toilets and even a few flushing toilets (though I’ve never been lucky enough to find one!). My experience as a whole of the toilets is relatively pleasant. The queues are chatty, the distance to a toilet is never too far, the cleanliness is tolerable (they are all cleaned once a day), but of course the smell… no one enjoys the odour.
The real issue, other than the pong and length of queue, are the people who choose not to use one of thousands of toilet options on site and instead pee on the land. This is a constant issue and festival goers will have spotted at least once this year, in addition to the posters around the site, the video segment regularly screened on stage between sets with the message, ‘Don’t pee on the land!’ and an explanation as to why. The concern is because peeing on the ground causes toxic pollution of the water table. The ground water runs into the central Whitelake River and down the valley for miles around. On a hot year the heat will have dried the land, which means pee will enter the river more quickly. Meaning, unbeknown rogue pee-ers are creating a change to the local water chemistry, which has a detrimental effect on fresh water fish and other wildlife. The Environment Agency tests the water regularly, and has the power to close down the site if too many people have urinated and polluted the site. That sure is taking the piss! Therefore, if the message highlighting the degradation of the beautiful surrounding aquatic life fails to hit accord with festival goers, then hopefully the looming threat that the entire festival could be shut down as a result of this carless peeing just might!