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Sanitation for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Probably one of the biggest gripes from visitors attending any music festival is the toilet facilities. Often there are not enough available and queuing always seems to be an issue along with poorly maintained facilities. What are the key steps organisers should take to ensure they provide enough clean facilities? 


Planning is key to the provision of facilities that meet event goers' expectations. Organisers should start be reviewing what happened at previous festivals and check on visitor feedback regarding their satisfaction, if it is not favourable then review and establish how it can be improved. Here are some suggested steps and processes organisers should consider:

Suppliers and Contractors. 
There are plenty of reputable suppliers to choose from but check that they have experience in managing portable toilets for music festivals. Can they deliver sufficient numbers of toilets and what are their processes for cleaning and maintenance?

Numbers. 
As already mentioned, it is not unusual for music festival goers to have to endure queues so ensure that sufficient volumes are ordered. Assume approximately 125 toilets for every 10,000 visitors, however a good supplier will be able to recommend the appropriate number that must also comply with health and safety guidelines.

Cleaning and Maintenance. 
The cleaning of toilets should be done on a regular basis and is something that can be carried out by volunteers. However, for chemical toilets the contractor should be emptying these at least once a day. 

Health and Safety. 
There are guidelines provided by the HSE (UK) regarding the installation of toilets at a music festival. This covers issues like location, signage and sufficient numbers of facilities along with ensuring that they are kept clean and hygienic at all times. Don’t forget the provision of facilities for disabled or those with special needs too. Ensure that the contractor is aware and compliant with the HSE requirements.

Location. 
There is an element of common sense about the location of toilet facilities, they should be spread out over a site so that visitors never have to go too far to find their nearest toilet. Don’t place them downwind from food and beverage vendors and don’t place them at the bottom of a slope to avoid flooding should the weather be inclement.

Extras.  
Provide sufficient hand washing facilities along with paper towels and litter bins, don’t forget to make hand sanitizer available too and ensure that the volunteers are emptying bins on a regular basis

With good planning and using a reputable supplier event organisers should be able to provide well run and clean facilities that will enhance the visitor experience. Always ensure that a member of the team has full responsibility to managing these facilities and can take remedial action onsite should problems be encountered.

Using an events software management platform like FestivalPro music festival event organisers get all the functionality they need to manage contractors and volunteers. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features for managing every aspect of external contractors including schedules and contact details along with the logging of appropriate contracts and compliance documents. In addition, the volunteer module makes it easy to allocate shifts for litter and cleaning duties. 

Photo by Sorapong Chaipanya from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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