Question: how do you stop 30,000 young people gathering for a beer-fuelled festival celebrating spring?
Answer: a load of sh*t.
At least, that’s the solution being offered by Lund, a Swedish city that hosts the annual celebration of Valborg from 30 April to 1 May.
Officials are spreading a ton chicken manure in a central park to discourage people gathering there.
"We get the opportunity of fertilising the lawns in the park and, at the same time, it will stink and it may not be so nice to sit and drink beer in the park,” said Gustav Lindblad, who sits on Lund’s environmental committee.
Valborg marks the arrival of spring and thousands of young people, mostly students, travel from across the country for a raucous night of festivities in Lund’s Stadspark (translation: city park).
Lund’s mayor, Phillip Sandberg, also confirmed the decision with a Facebook post.
Sitting at Valborg in a park that stinks of chicken manure and where it makes noise with leaf blowing and other things is not a pleasant experience. On the other hand, it is good for the lawn, as chicken manure contains a lot of phosphorus and nitrogen, so that we have a really nice city park for the summer season.
Since before, we have announced that the whole City Park is closed at Valborg and maintenance measures are carried out on this day in the park. This to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Comments on the post suggested the idea had gone down well, with several calling it “creative” and “fantastic”.
However one social media user questioned whether the loss of smell, reported as a common Covid-19 symptom in young people, would mean potential attendees wouldn’t notice the stench of the manure.
“With my sense of smell right now, a little crap doesn't make any difference,” they wrote. “Wouldn't feel it!”
In comparison to other countries, Sweden has taken a more relaxed approach to tackling Covid-19, keeping schools, restaurants and nightclubs open.
Social distancing is the responsibility of citizens and a national lockdown is enforced.
Swedish leaders say the strategy has “worked” but there is criticism, particularly of the reported death rate which is 22 deaths per 100,000 people according to research from John Hopkins University.
Neighbouring Denmark has recorded just seven deaths per 100,000 people.
More crap needed?