For those of you living in the UK, you likely know two things. First of all, the UK’s summer music festivals are like no others, packed full of music enthusiasts, all rocking out, having a grand old time. Secondly, the UK, especially in the north, can be incredibly rainy, not exactly conducive to outdoor festival activities.
Last year’s music festival season was a washout, and many are predicting much of the same for this year. Who wants to be trudging through mud just to hear their favorite band perform? I certainly don’t, but would probably still do it if my favorite bands were on hand and I had to.
Skiddle.com, the UK’s largest ‘What’s On’ guide and one of their largest primary ticket agencies, caters to those looking for the perfect ticket to thousands of events happening each and every year. Offering such services since 2001, the company knows all too well how weather can dramatically affect the outcome of an event at an outdoor venue.
“There’s nothing like torrential rain to damper a festival goer’s spirits,” explained Ben Sebborn, owner and technical director at Skiddle. “I’ve been to hundreds of festivals in my time and it’s unbelievable how many people you see tramping through the mud in converse or sandals.”
They’ve recently put their thinking caps on and have come up with an awesome plan to ward off mud from their customers’ feet, should the skies open up on their festival fun. This year they will be introducing the world’s first ever on-site 3D printing service for creating custom rain boots (wellingtons, or ‘wellies,’ as they call them in the UK).
“We’re hoping our creation will bring a bit of a laugh to the UK’s festivals and save thousands of people from an uncomfortable experience,” explained Sebborn. “We’ll be carting our party bus across the country to roll out the ‘give it some welly’ service across some of the country’s biggest festivals.”
Utilizing five brand new MakerBot Z18 3D printers, Skiddle believes they will be able to churn out custom 3D printed wellies in a matter of just 30 minutes apiece. Although details are still being finalized, the Skiddle bus will be making stops at most of the major music festivals in northern areas of the UK. Best of all, the wellies will be free to the first 10,000 customers, who will luckily be able to order their footwear while listening to their favorite bands.
While details on the exact process of constructing these boots have yet to be fully revealed, we do know that they will be fabricated with 3D printed ABS thermoplastic along with PVC and will come only in one color, bright yellow.
I find it a bit hard to believe (Is this perhaps an April Fools joke?) that these boots will be able to be printed in 30 minutes apiece unless of course a decent portion of the boot consists of already fabricated PVC. Either way, 20,000 drier, less-muddied feet should be a reason for festival goers to celebrate a little bit more this summer festival season.
Let us know if you will be attending any of this year’s summer festivities. Will you be on the lookout for the Skiddle ‘Give It Some Welly’ kiosks? Discuss in the Free UK Summer Festival 3D Printed Boot forum thread on 3DPB.com.