Festival period nightmares: in illustrations | ActionAid UK

Leslie Sinoway

Communications Team

This week we're returning to Latitude Festival to to highlight the challenges women and girls across the world face because of their periods. Most festival-goers will know the dread of having your period on site, where clean loos and sanitary pads are hard to come by. But millions of women and girls around the world face having no sanitary products, no proper toilets and no clean water on a monthly basis, a reality which unfairly holds them back. 

Desperately trying to find a toilet before you leak on your new dress. Illustration by Daisy Bernard.
Desperately trying to find a toilet before you leak on your new dress. Illustration by Daisy Bernard.

Our new YouGov poll shows that a third of women in the UK (16-39 year olds) would find that leaking while they had their period is their biggest menstrual fear. And — speaking from experience here — leaking at a festival, where it’s hard to keep clean and comfy, is a real nightmare. 

Illustrator Daisy Bernard has depicted some of classic moments anyone who’s had their period at a festival will recognise to kick start a conversation, and to show that periods are not something that anyone, anywhere, should be embarassed about. Take a look…

A woman stands in front of a line of portaloos horrified.

A woman sitting on a man's shoulders in a festival crowd worries about leaking.

A woman tries to buy sanitary towels at a festival.

A woman asks her friends to see if she's leaked on her shorts.

A woman has terrible period cramps at a festival.

So if you’re coming to Latitude Festival, come to our tent next to the BBC Music Stage to ‘surf the crimson wave’, check out our virtual reality toilet and see a whole host of fantastic comedians and entertainers who will be busting period taboos. 

Not coming to Latitude but want to support our work on periods and access to sanitary towels? Find out how a monthly gift can help us make sure that women and girls around the world can manage their periods hygienically and with dignity.

Donate now to help women and girls get access to sanitary towels 

Illustrations: Daisy Bernard/ActionAid.