What the Glastonbury 2019 toilets are really like

What the Glastonbury 2019 toilets are really like


You’ve probably heard grim rumours about festival toilets.

The girl who got her head stuck in portaloo at Leeds in 2009. The person who got pushed over while inside one. The poo mountain by day three.

We’ve all heard them and they all involve someone, somewhere, getting covered in poo. Whether they’re true or just something that’s been passed down the grapevine, it’s enough to put you off going to a festival.

The good news is that there have been some changes at Glastonbury in recent years to try to make them a bit nicer but also more environmentally friendly.

We’ve got some pictures from the inside (admittedly, these are only from day one and two) but they really don’t look so bad.

Firstly, the traditional portable toilet is on the way out. Glastonbury started to phase out the plastic toilets in 2016 as there were concerned about them filling up too quickly and overflowing.

Instead, they’ve been replaced with organic compost toilets. This year, there are 1,300 compost toilets across the site.

Janine Reid, who has been attending the festival since 2007 said the new solutions are ‘100 times’ better than the old portable toilets.

The toilets separate solid and liquid waste and if you poo, you need to bring a cup of sawdust with you to throw down, which helps to take away the smell.

And at the end of the festival, the waste is turned into compost for crops.

There are also long drop toilets on site and although they have always been available at Glastonbury, this year there are more than ever.

These are basically just huge holes in the ground with a seat over them.

They don’t have a roof so they are completely open to the elements.The toilets are quite low, which leads to a lot of squatting and they can get a little messy.

If you just need to pee, there’s 700 metres of male urinals dotted around the site – and for women, there are the ShePee urinals run by WaterAid. With the ShePee, women can pee standing up, cutting down on waiting times for cubicles.

If you get your period while at the festival, don’t fear – the charity has a supply of free and natural products and for the first time, there’s a few specially designed private cubicles in the ShePee area near the Pyramid Stage to meet women’s needs, with sanitary disposal facilities, water for washing, a shelf, hook and extra space.

And to keep everything cleaner, WaterAid have a crew of 250 people working as the Loo Crew – cleaning 2,700 toilets.

The crew do shifts of six hours between 6am and midnight and there’s a separate night team cleaning Block 9 and Shangri La from midnight to 6am.

The team make sure that each loo is regularly cleaned for 18 hours – leaving only six hours where there is no cleaning – so hopefully there won’t be too many experiences.

The charity has been working with the festival since 1994 to raise awareness of the millions of people who are denied access to clean water and decent toilets.

Lizzie Griffiths, WaterAid’s Loo Crew Supervisor said: ‘WaterAid believe it’s so important for everyone to have access to a decent toilet, not just here but around the world. As a Glastonbury charity partner we share the same value as the Glastonbury organisers in providing high standards.’

There are lots of options, so if you are attending this year, please don’t pee on the grass instead – it can pollute rivers and harm wildlife.

And if you are thinking about it next year, rest assured that the toilets aren’t as bad as you think.

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