Falls festival, Lorne, Victoria, Australia:
The Falls festival is a four-day festival held in a forest near the Victoria coastal town of Lorne as well as Marion bay, Tasmania. Thousands of people fill the vacant clearing over new years to see acts play all through the day until late at night. Being in the middle of a forest, one would expect the event managers to have green initiatives in place. No glass is allowed into the festival to prevent the possibility of harming wildlife when the festival rolls out.
Another great idea is the implementation of green toilet facilities. The toilets were essentially long drops but the waste created in these facilities is used to fertilise the field the festival is held on… once all the patrons have vacated of course.
The process is simple: (paraphrasing the instructions for toilet use)
Step 1: make a deposit
Step 2: add a cup of wood-chips
Step 3: close lid
Step 4: wash hands (seemingly optional)
The male urinals were also an experience. A small grassed area located adjacent to the toilet blocks were reserved for urinal space. A short corrugated fence surrounded the area allowing eye contact to be made with people while one would urinate freely. Awkward. Gutters lined the fence and acted as a small urinal which seemed to be the perfect place to set off fireworks.
Availability of sinks/ soap: This was surprisingly well planned for. Personally, I always had access to soap and water apart from the last day when everyone apparently ran out of soap. The one thing I will say was the taps provided required one hand to operate a tap, much like those found behind bars, continuously which made it a little bit more difficult to get clean.
Hand dryers: Non-existent… duh
Availability of cubicles/ urinals: There was never shortage of places in the male urinals but 10-20min lines would form each morning for the cubicles. Pays to be an early-bird. Those waits can be unforgiving, especially if you had been drinking the night before.
Interior design: A large cut out above the toilet provided a nice view and a place for smells to escape. But it would seem impossible to escape those smells. Only the strong survived those cubicles. The paintings on the outside were interesting and provided a place for the mind to wander and be removed from feelings of full capacity in the lower quarters.
Cleanliness: I was surprised at how well these toilets were kept to be honest. I’ve seen my fair share of festival bathrooms and I have to say, these were the cleanest. Volunteers tended to the bathrooms on a regular basis making them usable That’s more than I can say for the toilets at Big Day Out, yikes! It wasn’t uncommon to find a pair of used undergarments at your feet either.
Miscellaneous things: Checking out your deposit when adding wood-chips was not uncommon among festival goers.
Given the conditions and stresses these facilities had to endure I think they were incredibly well made and organised.