Festival Foods – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

With Glastonbury now a distant memory and the experiences of ‘V’ and now Creamfields, Reading and Leeds festivals fading into history like the spotlights at the closing sets, it’s back to unpacking the car, scraping the mud off the tents and the rucksacks and trying to hide the filthy clothes from the parents; scrambling them into the washing machine before they can see what kind of state we got into in the mud, (although it was absolutely worth it!)

Eminem rapped up this year’s Leeds festival, while Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro brought the curtain down in Reading so festival goers are now back to reality, preparing to go back to work or getting ready for the end of the summer and the return to University or College. For the organisers, it’s time to get the fields looking like – well, fields again – and for the stages to come down and the burger vans to move out.

This got our minds wondering in URBAN eat towers – what actually is the best food at a festival? Burger vans are everywhere and are so convenient, and those camping more often than not will take some kind of barbecue, but those who may never have been to a music festival before and are thinking of doing so in 2014 might need to be educated on the good, the bad and the ugly of festival food – what to go for like a good spot to watch Chase and Status perform live, and what to avoid like a mud bath in the middle of the campsite!

Festivals can be expensive enough sometimes with the cost of the tickets, then your entry fee for the campsite and, of course, the fuel to get there; so any way you can find to save money should be capitalized upon, especially when it comes to food. Sure, some of the stalls look great and you don’t have many other options, (you can’t go off into Leeds or Reading itself, for instance, as you’ll almost certainly miss out on some of the acts), so one suggestion for good food without paying over the odds is to take your own.

A word of warning, however, if you’re going to take food for a barbecue, make sure you take your utensils and something to help put the barbecue out afterwards!

Cereal bars are great to keep you going, while tins of beans are great if you’re taking your own camping stove to cook on. Another option is to cook some pizzas at home, let them cool and then foil-wrap them to keep them fresh throughout the weekend, or you could take some wraps with you that can be eaten cold whenever you feel the need for a quick bite between sets.

Buying on site will have its issues, mainly through price as the stallholders know you’re likely to pay whatever it takes to get a quick fix of something hot and tasty (especially if it’s been raining for hours and you can’t get your barbecue going!) In this case, try and ration your spending and how much fast food you eat so that you have some emergency funds left over and also so that you’re not just eating fast food all weekend!

Choose something that is going to give you value for money as many burger vans will sell you something relatively small compared to the high price, so find out from friends or other festival goers if their food is worth the money – and also, most importantly – if it’s nice!

The Good

Jacket potatoes – really healthy and full of everything you need for a balanced meal while you’re camping out.

The Bad

Burger vans – you can soon get very tired indeed of burger after burger, and the only good thing about them is often the convenience anyway.

The Ugly

Dairy products such as milk that you’ve taken from home. On the rare occasion that it doesn’t rain and you get a sun-kissed weekend, you don’t want to be reaching for the morning coffee or your cereal only to find your milk has turned in the heat.

Image viaEndless Autumn