Words by Smiley Team
It's Glastonbury – a festival with millions of eyes on it all over the country. So of course it's a brilliant time for a charity to take a stand and share their message.
This year, it's WaterAid, who had created The Big Bog at Worthy Farm this summer, built from some of Glastonbury’s very own mud mixed with local Somerset sand and compost produced by the toilets at previous festivals.
Standing at 2.5m high, the giant muddy model of a toilet will sit alongside four functioning Good Loos – environmentally-friendly composting toilets run by the international charity - to highlight the one in five people across the world who don’t have access to decent sanitation.
Come rain or shine, The Big Bog will be left open to the ‘elooments’ – cracking if it gets too hot or washing away in the rain – representing how the climate crisis threatens millions of people’s access to basic needs like clean water and toilets.
Just as The Big Bog will get damaged by the Great British weather, rising sea levels and floods are destroying facilities and contaminating unprotected water supplies globally, while droughts dry up wells and springs.
Artists Sand in Your Eye spent more than 40 hours carving Worthy Farm’s biggest WC, which is located near the Pyramid stage. Depicted sitting on top of the earthy throne reading Glastonbury’s Free Press newspaper is one of WaterAid’s legendary Loo Crew volunteers, Tim Lloyd.
While others are twisting and shouting with Paul McCartney and coming out to dance to Diana Ross, Tim will be otherwise engaged looking after Glastonbury’s most important seats – by keeping the toilets clean and the handwashing facilities well stocked.
Tim Wainwright, WaterAid’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to be returning to Glastonbury this year and hoping to make a big splash with The Big Bog. Toilets and mud are two things synonymous with festivals, and whilst this sculpture is a bit of fun, it relays an important message – the climate crisis is a water crisis, and it is threatening millions of people’s access to clean water and sanitation facilities.
“To ensure the world’s most vulnerable people have the tools to face all types of climate impacts from deadly heatwaves to devastating floods, we are calling on the UK government to lead the way in putting access to reliable clean water and sanitation at the forefront of the climate change agenda.”
WaterAid has been a charity partner of Glastonbury since 1994, supporting the water and sanitation services and highlighting its work to provide clean water and decent toilets to people around the world.
Photo credit: WaterAid/Ben Roberts
GET INVOLVED: Find out more about WaterAid’s Climate Fight at wateraid.org.
VOLUNTEER: Check out the volunteering opportunities at WaterAid and what's going on near you.