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Glastonbury festival toilets


The Glasto loos are legendary and all part of the rich festival experience of camping in the wonderful organic countryside of Somerset with over 115,000 other people.

Glastonbury poo tanker

Glastonbury Poo trucks

According to the festival organisers the toilets are cleaned and the slurry pits are emptied at least once a day - there were 22 poo trucks emptying in 2004.
Keep well away when they are sucking out - the consequences of a slip with the hose are ... bad! The dance tent floor in 1997 became flooded with poo when a tanker tried to suck out excess water inside the tent - due to heavy rain, and hit the 'pump out' button instead of 'pump in' ...

glastonbury portable toilets

portable toilets

glastonbury long drop toilets

Long drop

The main types of loos at Glastonbury are the portable toilets, and the 'long drop' cubicles.

portable toilet Glastonbury festival

urinals Glastonbury festival
urinals

Portable toilets are fine on the first couple of days - before the main influx of ticket holders, but after that they are a bit like Russian roulette. Avoid using the toilets in the main camping areas, and try and watch the expression on people coming out of them, as there can be some revolting sights lurking inside the innocent looking festival tardis.

If its hot then they are pretty unbearable, some people take to wearing masks before they enter the dreaded zones - but nothing stops the smell, all you can do is try and hold your breath whilst you're inside.



Blokes also have the option to visit the urinals, so there's no need to pee in the streams or hedges.

Glastonbury's festival licence states there must be 300 metres of urinals. In 2004 it had 400m, plus 150m of 'She pee' urinals for women. 


'Long drop'
loos are the best choice as the festival gets under way - they don't smell much, but try not to look down as the roofless stable-doored stalls are positioned above a huge pit - its a long way down.

Not many of them have locks so make sure you look out for feet before bursting in on anyone. We've all heard the urban myth of a baby being accidently dropped down the hole, but in reality take care your mobile/wallet/keys don't fall out of your pockets as you lower your jeans!

See the Guardian's 2010 Glastonbury Festival - Toilet Video

Glasto long drop loo

'Shee-pee' loos: women-only urinals were introduced in 2004 - the girly pink screens were located at either side of the main Pyramid stage - you are handed a special, disposable cardboard funnel - called a P-Mate - to help you aim!

The urinals are grouped in fours with dividing partitions between each one. They were policed to prevent blokes using them.
Shee-pee urinals have been used at other festivals, including in the Netherlands and have proved very popular. As long as it keeps down the queues, whatever colour the better!

Glastonbury she-pee

She-Pee


Glastonbury African Pit Latrines

African Pit Latrines

It's worth queuing (even up to 45 minutes) towards the end of the weekend for the African pit latrines at the top of Greenfields, in the sacred space - King's Meadow.
The charity Water Aid usually provides about nine of these - wish there were more. They are cleaned by volunteers and they give you a jug of water when you use them to help them stay fresh. It's a free service, but most people tend to give a small donation 'cos they're so grateful for the pleasant experience.
WaterAid also distribute free drinking water to thirsty fans around the main stage. Glastonbury festival uses one million gallons of water over a period of five days.
You think it's bad now! Back in the 70's the 'toilets' were only hand dug holes in the ground, framed with scaffolding and rough strips of sacking dividing them off ...less people using them though.

 The Hell on Earth - a cautionary tale
As soon as I awoke I knew I would have to go. The dreaded journey, the same one I had been repeating for two days and it was getting worse. You couldn’t imagine just how bad it could be. But that driving human instinct drove me to line up with the rest, all dreading our reactions when we finally reached the door and waded inside. Some were wearing scarves wrapped tightly around their faces now, giving them a sinister eastern appearance or in some cases more of an urban terrorist look. At least it protected them from the searing sun that beat down on us as we stood in our lines. Eye contact was hardly made this early in the morning, but you could see the fear in many as they neared their destination.

There were more behind me now than in front as we shuffled steadily forward. Eyes were raised in unison when a Police Landrover approached the fenced enclosure, but after a quick look they drove swiftly past. I began to plan which option to go for as I could see my queue had the choice of two graffiti covered doors. There were no outward signs as to which held the most horrors; it was just down to luck. I felt close to bursting now as one man stood between me and relief. He was swaying gently in a hypnotic manner that made me long to copy him, just to take my mind off what was now becoming pain. His blonde dreadlocks swayed low down his back and I wondered how it felt to shake them round his head, or lay on them as he slept. He blearily watched a girl emerge then lurched forward, fumbling clumsily with the door, but finally finding his way inside and slamming it shut.

I tried not to breathe through my nose now as acrid fumes filled the air. The door in front of me began to rock, then suddenly the whole cubicle slammed face down onto the dusty ground. There was a general cry of horror from the lines as we all heard the ghastly liquid ‘slosh’ from within. There was mass hesitation, until a few brave souls stepped forward and together rolled the metal box, so that the door was uppermost. Suddenly the occupant kicked it open, and amid the groans of pity everyone stepped back. We saw his dripping foot emerge first, followed by his soiled hands pushing himself up and out of his nightmarish prison…..covered from beautiful dreadlocks to open-toed sandals…in ……..urghhhhhh! Then he ran fleeing from the hundreds of eyes that were full of pity. I entered the portable toilets next door, which seemed a good choice. I’d be free from using them for a few hours now and could enjoy the last day at Glastonbury - but maybe not breakfast yet!

Copyright © RG 2002-2004


glastonbury toilet



Read The Guardian's 2004 Glastonbury Festival - Toilet Watch
and written comments from people using 2003 Glasto's portable toilets - The Guardian

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Except where otherwise credited, all photos and content Copyright © R.G 2003-2013