23 | Jun | 16

Hugh Thomas

Festival Virgins

Folks, something’s happening. The British countryside is being garbed in canvas and polyvinyl chloride. Wellied adolescents are prepping to drown themselves in Amstel and UV paint. People across the UK – and overseas – are taking out small loans to see Kanye.

When we’re talking about music festivals (and we know of what we speak) there’s one thing that’s always stood out for us. And that’s the standard of food. Traders have been satisfying the bellies and enlightening the minds of festivalgoers for a good while now.

But there are some traders new to that game. Some who don’t know about the backslapping that occurs after you’ve dug your neighbour’s trailer out of six inches of mud. Some who don’t know what it’s like prepping their food as the sun comes up.

For these so called festival virgins, we’ve got a few pointers from those well-versed in music festival-ing.

Giles from Foodhawkers
‘You learn on the job and no two events are the same. Traders should work with other traders, whether it’s borrowing a chopping board form your neighbour, or putting a vehicle out the mud. If you like to gamble, this is the industry for you.’

James from Pizza Pilgrims
‘The best advice I can give is be ready for mistakes to happen, don’t get over-stressed, and bring LOTS of Strongbow cider! It’s a really fun experience and it does stress test you business. Once you’ve made 1,000 dough balls in a tent in a field at 4am you’re ready for anything.’

Dan from Split Screen Ice Cream Company
‘You’ve got to take care of the boring stuff, like making sure your tent isn’t going to blow away. Be prepared for any eventuality – I’ve got [electrical] leads coming out of my ears. You won’t get too much sleep, and there’s a lot of waiting around, but you do get to meet some extraordinary people – there’s a great sense of camaraderie among traders.’

Becky from Becky’s Bhajis
‘Don’t forget that you’ll need to eat too! Food swaps can usually be done with other traders, but a stock of energy-boosting snacks is invaluable. Also, don’t be overwhelmed by other, more professional looking setups. You’re good at your thing, and that’s why the organiser chose you. On arrival at our first festival, I felt small and amateur but customers loved our food and we smashed it!’