Don’t use them as a backdrop for a selfie and do NOT make eye contact with the person next to you: Etiquette expert William Hanson’s 10 do’s and don’ts for using festival toilets

  • Don’t let etiquette disappear down the drain while using festival loos
  • William Hanson here offers to ‘elevate the experience’ – as best he can
  • His tips also include not using ‘my friend is desperate for a wee’ to queue-jump

William Hanson has revealed 10 do’s and don’ts for sharing festival toilets

Festival season is under way and that means the grim task of coping with festival toilets is under way.

To help ‘elevate the experience’ – as best he can – etiquette expert William Hanson has produced, in partnership with Victorian Plumbing, 10 do’s and don’ts for sharing toilet facilities – including the infamous portaloo – with thousands of other people in a field.

Joe Pascoe, Chief Marketing Officer at Victorian Plumbing, said: ‘As British festival season kicks off, our normal day-to-day “toilet etiquette” seems to completely change as we head into these large outdoor music events, mostly falling completely down the drain.’ It’s Hanson to the rescue, then, with tips that include not using festival toilets as a backdrop for selfies and avoiding using ‘my friend is desperate for a wee’ as an excuse to queue-jump…

1. Passing comments about sights, sounds or smells of the lavatory environment is very vulgar and never appropriate. Therefore, keep these comments to yourself. If you are expecting gleaming loos, a festival is perhaps not the best place to look.

2. Should you find a lavatory in a less than fresh condition, don’t be afraid to find a festival organiser and politely tell them so they can do something about it. Words to the effect of, ‘Cubicle four needs some love and attention’ or, ‘May I ask you to freshen up the fourth loo?’

3. Should you glance at a bare front or back bottom by accident, swiftly avert one’s gaze and don’t stare. Exercise some discretion and pretend you haven’t noticed – a dying art in the modern age.

4. If your urinals don’t have any privacy dividers at eye level, do not make eye contact with the people on either side – whether you know them or not. Look straight ahead or directly down (if you want to), smile sweetly and think of Britain.

Long drop loos are not the place for a long gossip, says Hanson

5. As with any lavatory anywhere, festival loos are not private spaces: any conversations may well be overheard – so save whinging about your boyfriend or the annoying so-and-so who latched onto you at the gig last night as you never know who’s listening. Long drop loos are not the place for a long gossip.

6. Carrying your own anti-bac gel is always a good idea for festivals, especially as the soap dispensers can run dry quite quickly. Sharing it with others is always good manners, should they ask – but ideally, you’ll offer first.

7. The idea of urinals (for any gender) is that they speed up the process and make the loo queue move a lot more swiftly. Thus, try to be as quick as possible when using them and keep efficiency the name of the game.

8. Rarely is there ever a good reason to queue-jump. Telling those ahead of you that your friend is ‘absolutely desperate for a wee’ is not sufficient reason to cut in. Everyone is in the same boat.

9. Festival lavatories are not the place to be taking photos. Although many restaurants now deliberately pimp-up the loos to look camera-ready, a festival loo is definitely not somewhere for a selfie.

10. Finally, a shewee is never to be shared. Never offer and never ask. 

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