An insight into what it’s like to work with PEEQUAL at a festival.
Day 1: Build
Arriving on site the day before WOMAD is meant to begin is an electrifying feeling — seeing how a festival looks before festival goers arrive is a privilege that you don’t really get used to! After setting up camp and having our (free!) crew lunch, we started building the PEEQUALs in their two locations at the festival.
It’s so satisfying building the PEEQUALs since they’re built much like you’d build Lego… That is, if each Lego block was about three quarters of your height! I was grateful for the energy that lunch gave me. Build days are like doing a long gym session, except the benefits are not limited to you coming out of it looking buff in your high vis. It also means that people who squat to pee are able to skip the queue for the loo during their favourite bands’ sets.
It’s off with the gym gear now and on with the PEEQUAL merch. I often match the colour of my trousers to the colour of the PEEQUAL top I’ve chosen that day — particularly when there’s TikToks to film!
We like to film them in the mornings as there aren’t many people around to introduce to the PEEQUALs. It’s a really fun way to start the day. When you’re filling a beer cup with leftover coffee from breakfast and evaluating how much it looks like real beer, you can’t help but get the giggles!
It’s great when the festival goers arrive and we can start chatting to people about the PEEQUALs, particularly how much better squatting to pee is at a festival when you’ve got privacy and a handle to steady yourself. I especially love it when people who squat to pee come back in the evening when the big act comes on and they practically skip out of the PEEQUALs with joy at the fact that they hardly missed any of the set!
We get to enjoy the festival ourselves, too. After a check around the loos to make sure they’re clean, the PEEQUAL crew headed off at WOMAD to explore the rumours about a moon in a forest. Turns out the rumours were true — we were talking about the rave at the moon for the rest of our time at the festival!
Often, many of us in the PEEQUAL crew haven’t met before, as we have lots of fantastic volunteers. Each festival is a chance to bond over experiences like the moon in the forest, doing giant crosswords in the woods and pouring ourselves some shockingly frothy pints.
We have our evening meals together at crew catering throughout the show days, but the last show day of WOMAD was a particularly good one as we were given a Sunday roast! I had the veggie option which was very good — you can see we all cleared our plates before we thought to get a picture together…
The volunteers were all sadly leaving on the evening of the final show day so it was also a goodbye dinner. We all bond so much over the few days of the festival that it’s always sad to say goodbye.
Day 5: bReak
The day after the final show day is known as the ‘Break’; we undo the aforementioned big Lego pieces that make up the PEEQUALs, cleaning and stacking them so they can be transported to the next festival. It’s another gym session-like day, so the full English provided for crew in the morning is a blessing. It rained one day of WOMAD this year, so the cleaning was a particularly muddy business! I’m always so grateful for crew showers on days like that. And the rest of the PEEQUAL crew — it’s hard graft but we’re always making each other smile! Then it’s time to head home, rest and recuperate before the next festival starts and the fun begins again.