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Female urinals developed to eliminate festival queues

Historically, equality at festivals has fallen over when it comes to fans answering a call of nature. While male attendees are often catered to with urinal installations, their female peers have to endure waiting times of up to 30 times longer to use the facilities.

However, a number of companies are addressing the situation with the introduction of female urinals, designed to vastly cut queues for festivalgoers, which could, in turn, result in higher concession sales, with ladies able to spend more time waiting for food or drink without having to meticulously plan their day around toilet breaks.

At the Green Events and Innovations Conference in March, the order books of Lapee became busier after numerous festivals were impressed by its advantages, while the latest operation to enter the market is Peequal, which is making a similar system available to event organisers.

Former University of Bristol students Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane developed their hands-free Peequal after interviewing 2,000 women in focus groups and spending their summers working at music festivals. According to McShane, during their work breaks they had to choose between going to the loo or getting food, because the queues for the toilets were so bad.

“Peequal has been created by women, for women”

As a result, the pair took on the challenge of designing a better toilet solution as part of their master’s degree project, and the outcome could very well be seen in a field near you soon.

Like Lapee, Peequal provides users with a degree of privacy, and delivers a much greener solution for toilet facilities at events.

The standalone, touch free Peequal units claim to be six times quicker to use than a lock-door loo. The design is flat-pack and its developers say it is six times quicker to pack, as well as being made from 100% recycled material and they produce 98% less CO2 than portable toilets. The unit can be configured in three ways, making it easily adaptable to different environments.

“Peequal has been created by women, for women,” say the inventors. “We have been endorsed by WaterAid, Glastonbury and many more customers, who also see this problem and want a solution. Initially we intend to rent to early adopting and influential customers, and then scale up to reach the global market where we have identified a demand.”


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Connecting to wifi at venues? Read the small print…

Some 22,000 people have agreed to undertake 1,000 hours of community service – including cleaning festival toilets and scraping chewing gum from the pavement – in return for free wireless internet, reveals an experiment designed to illustrate a lack of awareness among consumers signing up for free in-venue wifi.

Purple, whose venue clients include Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena (10,000-cap.), United Wireless Arena (5,500-cap.) in Dodge City, Kansas, and Alexandra Palace (10,400-cap.) in London, for two weeks hid a “community service clause” in its terms and conditions. By accepting the T&Cs, users agreed to:

While Purple says it is “unlikely to call in the community service debt”, its CEO says the findings underline a lack of public awareness over an important issue.

“Wifi users need to read terms when they sign up to access a network,” comments Gavin Wheeldon. “What are they agreeing to, how much data are they sharing and what licence are they giving to providers? Our experiment shows it’s all too easy to tick a box and consent to something unfair.”


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Festival queues a thing of the past with mixed loos

Introducing gender-neutral toilets at music festivals would eliminate long queues for the ladies’ loos, according to two Belgian researchers.

Scientists Kurt Van Hautegem and Wouter Rogiest, both of Ghent University, used mathematical formulae to find the most ‘female-friendly’ toilet lay-out, concluding that a move to mixed male/female lavatories would help “put an end to this misogynistic toilet culture” (in which women are forced to wait longer than men) by reducing waiting times by up to 63%.

Outlining their findings in science magazine Eos, Van Hautegem and Rogiest demonstrate a model for festival toilets in which the average waiting time for women is cut to one minute and 27 seconds (from 6m19s).

Male waiting times increase only slightly, from 11 to 58 seconds, owing to a reduction in the number of urinals.

Van Hautegem and Rogiest’s model has already been rolled out at several events in Belgium, including the recent Best Kept Secret and Rock Werchter festivals and Coldplay’s June shows at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.

North Carolina won’t be happy…


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