Camping was downright excellent this year. Not that I would know how it is when it’s bad, my friend rented us a nearby apartment last year (which didn’t hinder my festival experience at the time, but is something I wouldn’t do unless I must). I was camped at the very heart of the festival, shade around the clock, just close enough to New Forces stage so we could hear all that fresh talent without actually having to stand up. I spent eight happy days without being confined to any walls and I didn’t miss a thing. Showering was perfectly comfortable, as well as finding a real toilet when you have a serious delivery to make and the plastic horror-shitter just doesn’t cut it. (I’m referring to the regular festival toilets near the showers – of course I was able to find a real toilet in the press/VIP area).
The only minor hiccup was toilet & shower hygiene towards the end of the festival. It would be a good idea to have some professional cleaning staff on-site as most students and volunteers tending to the shower area feel uncomfortable doing such detailed cleaning, which is reasonable. On them is the most metal task of all, pulling hair out of drains.
Other than the sanitation, overall festival cleanliness was spot on. Not a cup on the ground in sight. Enough trash bags posted everywhere, along with the new cigarette-shaped ashtrays, which were my favorite (many more of those next year!)
The food area was especially clean. Even people who mess up their table would do their best to wipe it down with spare napkins before leaving. This festival does a fantastic job with the most important aspect of ecology, the human factor. Most people there seem incredibly motivated to participate and follow the rules. How could they not be encouraged – this year they’ve put up massive cages for empty cans spelling out METALDAYS. Soon, the gray cages were bursting with color, filled with all kinds of beer cans from all over the world. On the last day, in front was a can-crushing bike that anyone could have a go at. Really puts the “cycling” in recycling.