THE LOU SOLUTION
In our everlasting quest to find the legendary gap in the market, we started to explore the festival business a few years ago. In a world where having an experience with your friends is considered the goose with the golden eggs, we were surprised nobody had ever thought of optimizing a particular activity. Something we all share and that - during festival season - becomes the most horrifying experience ever. Yes, we're talking about taking a dump. (We went there and aren't going back.) At festivals, the Toi Toi & Dixi door opens the gate to a time machine that takes you straight back to the Middle Ages. For those of you who read Patrick Suskind's Perfume. Remember that passage where Grenouille roams the streets and identifies the most disgusting stenches known to men? Welcome to Toi Toi & Dixiland!
The reason behind the Toi Toi horror is twofold. The cleaning of the toilets seems to be done with a high pressure device used only once before and once after the festivals. Also, the toilet zone is often built on swamp like grounds, probably induced by the poor installation of the drain pipes. And … lest we forget … the toilet users are absolute pigs and more often hammered than not drunk. So let’s summarize: 1. Poor (or no) cleaning = lack of personnel or budget. 2. Poor installation = inefficient toilets and drainage due to lack of budget.
The lack of budget could potentially be compensated by a sponsor or by introducing pay toilets. Some minor research amongst friends and family confirmed that especially women would be prepared to pay extra for clean toilets at a festival. Our business case lead us to believe our concept and approach could potentially work.
So thus our research started on technical solutions that could make the toilet logistics easier and ended up in the most exotic places. It seems the United Nations have top notch toiletcontainers that flush faster than the speed of light whilst only using the smallest amount of water. A clean and ecologic solution that is put in disaster areas but is also used by construction firms on drilling platforms. The technology is based on vacuum flushing that you know from your last RyanAir flight. “Keep all your belongings with you at all times or our flush will suck them into the airplane’s belly.’ Neat.
We ended up negotiating with two suppliers. The most interesting one, based in Scandinavia, started budgeting the technical aspects for a brand new toilet village at festivals. Of course, the project needed to have a proper and clean identity, so we baptized the project LOU. (As in, going to the loo. Get it?) 😉
Our designers started to work on 3D designs that we’re still very enthusiastic about today. Meanwhile we were talking to some major festivals to sell them the concept and bring life to this well-needed project. An extra hurdle here seemed to be the space you need for decent toilets. We were close to signing with the number 1 festival in Belgium when they pulled out for reasons of budget priorities. Shit. 😉 We never got Lou off the ground but have the project sitting on the shelf and ready to roll out.
Meanwhile, we hope to see you this summer in Toi Toi & Dixiland, we’ll be the guys with the nose clips.