Toilets at festivals are a necessary evil. Whether it's a long drop, port-a-loo, or one of those ones that use sawdust (the best option IMO), we’ve all felt the call of nature and joined the 20-person long line, in 30-plus degree heat. And then, once inside, we've all discovered the innermost layer of hell.
Would anyone ever choose to spend serious time in one of these things? How about an entire sunny three-day festival in a toilet pit? And by "toilet pit" we mean that underneath bit where all the poo goes. And obviously the answer is no, but what if you were paid A MILLION DOLLARS?
We headed to Melbourne festival Copresents to see if anyone would say yes. And just so you know (and because we're media partners) Copresents was wild. We danced like no one was watching to such acts as Remi, Slum Sociable, and Gabriella Cohen, and drank a lot of fine cocktails from paper cups. And then we went and asked the question...
Taylor Mason, 21, student.
Shannon Rissinich, 24, School outdoor recreation leader
VICE: So, would you?
Taylor: You know, I would.
Shannon: Yeah, you’d get immune to it. Because doesn’t your nose adjust to smells after a bit? So I feel like yes. It's a million dollars!
Taylor: A million dollars can buy me more music festival tickets so it’s fine.
What if you got sick?
Taylor: Worth it.
Shannon: I don’t get sick.
Taylor: A million dollars can pay for my hospital fees, it’s fine.
Shannon: One hundred percent yes. I love music festivals.
Taylor: You’d make so many friends, because toilets are where you make friends.
Yeah, but you’re in the toilet. Where people shit.
Shannon: It’s a million dollars.
Taylor: You’d wear a full body hazmat suit. There’s no rules. A hazmat suit, I can afford that if I had a million dollars. You can’t persuade me otherwise.
What is the worst toilet experience you’ve ever had at a music festival?
Taylor: At Groovin The Moo. The girls' line was so long we went into the boys' urinal bit and there’s like six of us girls squatting over urinals singing “Let Us Flow” by Frozen [I think she means Let It Go] and just like one dude walks in, and he’s so confused like “Am I in the wrong place?” And we’re like “Oh no no no. It’s fine.” And then he’s like “Can I snapchat this?” And we’re like “Yeah, go for it dude!” And then, just yeah. Six girls having a great time.
Shannon: My worst toilet experience would be at Beyond the Valley. I was absolutely fuck-eyed. I had so much to drink, and no food at all and I was like “I need to go for a piss.” And I went into the toilet and it was so hot from the sun there was no shade and the sweat was literally dripping off my face. I pissed, I got out, and I just vomited. Like outside the toilet I just vomited. And I was dripping with sweat, luckily my brother walked past. I was like “Help!” And he was like “I’ll go get something.” He got me a towel. The cleaner said “You need some water.” And gave me some. I was fucked. I had to go get changed.
Oh my god.
Shannon: Yeah. I was covered in sweat and vomit... aww, it was disgusting.
Taylor: You needed a hazmat suit, dude.
Shannon: I’ve also pissed myself at a festival too.
At the same festival?
Shannon: No, at Babylon. I went to the toilet and I didn’t get my overalls down in time and I pissed all over my overalls.
Taylor: I’ve bushpissed and then pissed all over my jeans and a really good band was playing, this was at Splendor [In The Grass], a really good band was playing I just said “Fuck it” and pulled them back up and raved in my piss pants.
Shannon: Yep, that was a good experience. And it’s a good story. You do it for the story.
Charlotte Markowitsch, 20
Would you spend a very sunny three-day festival in a toilet pit for a million dollars?
Charlotte: Yeah, I’m really poor, that would be great.
Do you have any conditions? Because a toilet pit is like the pit where the poo goes.
Ahh, okay. I’d like to wear full covering clothing. Like I don’t want it to be fully on my skin all the time. Actually, I’d like a gas mask. I’m fine with the clothing bit, that’s fine. I’d wear whatever I’d want as long as I had the gas mask, I could deal with it. It’s the smell that gets me.
And something to cover your eyes?
Yeah, you’re right.
You might get pink-eye.
I guess you’re right, yeah.
Adele Foster, 21, and Liam Urbanski 22.
How about you two?
Adelle: Yeah, but only if I could hear the music.
Liam: A festival toilet pit?
Yeah, a festival toilet pit. People have been pinging and shitting. People are doing amyl, their bowels are open.
Adele: Well you could meet some pretty awesome people there. So I reckon yeah.
Liam: Yeah I reckon yep. I’d do it. Fuck it, it’s a million dollars.
Do you have any stipulations on clothes or anything? You’re not just in the toilet.
Liam: I reckon overalls would be the good choice.
Adele: I reckon I’d go for overalls. And a pretty shitty t-shirt.
Liam: And some big boots.
Adele: But always glitter.
Liam: Oh, always glitter, completely. The shit’s gotta be glittery too.
Is there a minimum amount of money you’d spend the three days in a festy festival toilet for?
Adele: A million and that’s it.
Liam: I’d go 750. 750 is a good medium.
Liam: Yeah 750 thousand.
Not seven hundred and fifty dollars?
Liam: I’m not that cheap.
Campbell Mowat, 19, and Gabe Neri, 19.
Okay, so would you spend three days in a sunny music festival in a toilet pit for a million dollars?
Gabe: Yes. That's lot of money.
Campbell: Yes. A million dollars is a lot of money.
In a pit of a toilet?
Campbell: How bad’s the toilet?
People are on pingas and amyl. They’re drinking heaps
Campbell: Can I be on pingas and amyl?
You’re on whatever you want. But you’re in the toilet.
Gabe: A pretty good way to spend three days.
Campbell: So fine there, yeah.
Literally in the shit. In the excrement.
Campbell: Yeah, that's so fine.
Gabe: And your mind could take you somewhere else.
Nice. Do you have any requirements or anything?
Gabe: Depends what people are eating before they use the toilet.
It’s festival food. So panzerotti, curry.
Campbell: On me, how high is the shit?
Gabe: Is it ankle-deep?
Well, you’re there for the entire three days from the start until the end so the shit just builds up.
Gabe: Oh shit.
Campbell: And you’re watching people shit as well?
Well, you’re in the shit, so I suppose you can be watching from below.
Gabe: Interesting. I like this. It really depends on how you’re feeling.
Campbell: Well, who’s playing at this festival?
Gabe: Can I hear the music pretty well?
Probably quite well.
Gabe: Yeah, look for a million dollars I’d have to say yeah.
Campbell: Yeah a million dollars.
Gabe: I'd cop it.
Anna Browne, 24
So, would you spend three days in a sunny music festival toilet pit for a million dollars?
Ohh. Uh, probably.
Oh, ah no, definitely not actually. Thinking about the kind of stuff I’ve done in a festival toilet at a music festival, probably not. So that’s a no.
That’s a no?
Probably a no. It would be disgusting. Filthy as. Although a million dollars would be pretty fucking sweet. It’s a lot of money.
What’s the worst toilet you’ve ever been to? Was it at a music festival?
Oh, nah. It was probably one in Africa. There was a lot of shit everywhere. Although music festival ones have been pretty filthy in the past. Similar.
Do you have a memorable music festival toilet?
Uh, these ones at this festival called Paradise.
Yeah, I went there last year.
Yeah, at the end of the night. Those ones get pretty fucking disgusting. The port-a-loos ones. No good.
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