Calgary Folk Fest: Portable toilet politics you've got to know

Posted by on 23 July 2016

They may be pink and grey, but Calgary Folk and Music Festival portapotties are free for all

When you've gotta go, you've gotta go.

And at Calgary Folk and Music Festival the portapotties are the place to be, especially if there's no line to get in.

They can be found in the beer gardens, and at each of the stages there are bundles to be found for your bathroom needs. You'll find them by looking for the pink and grey boxes.

But don't be fooled, despite the pink stalls sporting women bathroom signs, these washrooms are not gender specific. There are urinals and toilets in all of the portapotties, and according to the festival's executive director the colours are just plain "pretty."

"Please men, line up at the pink, women go to the grey, mix it up," said executive director Debbi Salmonsen. "Choose a different one every visit."

The pink ones are equipped with a toilet, and the grey with a urinal and toilet for all your needs – there's even sanitizer to wash your hands with.

So, don't get your panties in a twist.

The only potty that might be construed as gendered is the moustachioed so-called "pissoir." It's basically a urinal trough on wheels and one Calgarian described it both as elegant and efficient. This one's located in the beer gardens where peeing efficiency is a must.

"It's a group trough system urinal that can accomodate a lot more people at one time," Salmonsen said.

But despite the name Salmonsen said all are welcome to use it.

The only special bathrooms around have been designed for those with mobility or accesiblility needs, and they're a bit bigger than the average potty.