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Festivals 2014

Shit, Poop, and Diarrhoea

We reviewed the toilets at Glastonbury.

by Ryan Bassil
04 July 2014, 9:00am

All photos by Jake Lewis

If you’ve been to a festival, you’ve probably taken a dump in a disgusting toilet. The long-drops are filled with chewbacca chunks, the portaloos are covered in pizzahrea and vomit, and the cubicles are a repository for the overflowing brown river of a hundred thousand anuses.

Festival toilets are inevitably ruined by lunchtime on the second day, and get continually more dysentric for the next four. By Monday morning they’ve taken so many brown soldiers hostage they’ve developed their own ecosystem.

Anyway this year the toilets at Glastonbury had a £600,000 makeover - the old portable ones were replaced with 5,000 long-drop and compost toilets which Michael Eavis has called “super-loos” and a “fantastic achievement”.

This is great, I thought - maybe Glastonbury will finally have a clean environment in which a man can squeeze out a piece of poop in comfort. Since everyone else on site was busy rushing around to watch George Ezra, or whatever apathetic anal sphincter was playing on the BBC Introducing Stage, we decided to find out.

This is a photo that we took at last year’s Glastonbury - a festival where, mostly, the only toilets we bumped into were big identikit green metal things. They had no variety - which is probably what spurred one human to defecate outside the depository in disgust.

However this year was different; it was like one of those jumbo packs of sweets they sell in Poundland - full of variety - except instead of Drumsticks and Wham bars, we were treated with various containers ready to be filled with excrement. This is a small sample of everything on offer. They had...

Compost toilets with street-art on the side - which is always a nice prerequisite to coaxing the train out of the tunnel.

A giant piss dungeon on top of a caravan - which was the closest we came to feeling like we were in a car-park in Bermondsey.

A multi-pack of different coloured loos - because different colours evoke different feelings when releasing a chocolate hostage.

Actual ceramic toilets with actual shit inside them, not outside.

Your standard long-drops where people would evacuate their bowels into a poop-city.

Temporary enclosures built for men that needed a piss.

And they even provided bushes and shipping containers for guys that couldn’t be bothered to wait five minutes like everyone else. Hooray!

Seriously, the diversity was outstanding. The opportunity to shit in at least five different scenarios was empowering. But were they actually clean?

This is the first long-drop we came across.

Things were looking good - there was no queue and no mess. It was perfect.

It felt like, maybe, Michael was right and the toilet problem had been solved. But then again it was only Thursday afternoon and most people had probably taken a cautionary dump in the service station on the way down.

We decided to continue around the site. If we were going to do this properly then we would need to return later after people had eaten a Goan fish curry, chili burrito, or whatever.

The next time we stumbled into a toilet was around 6AM, somewhere in Shangri-La. I’m putting on my best - surely by now people must have discharged their bowels - face.

This is what we found inside. The logistics of festival toilets are some of the most fascinating in the world - how did the mud get on the toilet seat? Who left their drink inside? WHY IS THERE A BAG OF RICE SPILLED EVERYWHERE?

All in all though, it wasn’t that bad. I get what you’re thinking - hold up, you’re crazy, that toilet would fail every health and safety test. But this is Glastonbury not the disabled toilet at Marks and Spencers.

We couldn’t judge the entire festival on one toilet, though. On Saturday morning our arsehole started sneezing and we visited a long-drop.

Sure, the inside of the toilet is pretty disgusting, but that's because it's basically a massive tank filled with poo, piss, tampons, sick, bile, bogies, diarrhea, blood, and cum. What did you expect? The main thing is that on the outside, no faeces can be seen. This is a perfect festival toilet. I had a massive shit in it and it felt amazing.

This would be the last time we used a long-drop all weekend; the pooping experience could not get any better. Besides, I don't need to shit my pants every five minutes; I'm a grown adult that reviews toilets, not a five year-old.

This year's Glastonbury toilets were considerably better. Sure - they may not have been the "super loos" that Michael had promised. In my mind "super loo" means a Dyson Airblade, a little hook to hang your coat up on, and maybe a luxury soap bottle chained into a bracket. But fuck it - what can I say, I'm a toilet snob.

Follow Ryan and Jake on Twitter: @RyanBassil @Jake_Photo

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