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Entrepreneurs are developing a touch-free women’s urinal for music festivals

The Peequal is estimated to be 6x faster to use for women than conventional festival toilets.

If you have ever been to a music festival, you would have witnessed the universal phenomenon of the ladies’ queue. One of the most painful parts of the festival experience can be something as simple as the need to relieve yourself. There are many different instances of playing the waiting game at festivals, but it’s a whole different ball game when nature calls.

According to a recent study, it can take up to 34 times longer for a woman to reach a portable toilet than for men. Thankfully, two entrepreneurs – Hazel McShane and Amber Probyn – have set out to change that.

The University of Bristol graduates are also the co-founders of Peequal, a startup seeking to get women back to the party from the bathroom faster than ever. Inspired by their experience working at UK music festivals, the Peequal is estimated to be 6x speedier than the traditional portable toilet. 

Its space-efficient design closes a gap in bathroom access, with their research finding festivals to have an average of 10 male urinals for every women’s toilet. 

“It’s an adaptation of a hole in the ground toilet, but it’s what we call the pedestal,” McShane told the BBC. “It’s designed like a boat to minimize splashback and also to have a little place for your clothing in front.”

McShane and Probyn started Peequal as their masters’ project whilst at The University of Bristol. The urinal recently secured the top prize for the school’s New Enterprise Competition, during which it competed against other startups for an award of £15,000. 

With the aid of data – including the results of interviews with over 2,000 women in focus groups a prototype of the Peequal was tested at the Bristol Comedy Garden last weekend. 

Toilet lines are “wasting hours of women’s lives,” Probyn said. “Driven by curiosity and a restlessness for a product that solves our problem, we set out to fight the women’s toilet queue,” the pair added on the Peequal website.

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