Wednesday, 19 June 2013


We've come a long way since Woodstock, and the doling-out of soup & rolls at Yasgur's dairy farm in 1969. 
Food is big business within the bigger business that is the modern day pop festival.

There are now over 250 food stalls at Glastonbury alone, ranging "from the Far East to the Wild Wild West to good old proper English Country grub".
The television & radio host Jonathan Dimbleby once famously sold his own organic 'Dimbleburgers' at Worthy Farm in 2002, although there is very little evidence to substantiate this.
It was the year that the 'ring of steel' prison fence was erected, Rod Stewart and Mis-teeq headlined and tickets were over £100 (for the first time in any UK festival's history).
Very few people went.

And with the festival's alcohol-policy very much in the news this week, ahead of next weekend's 5 Day Strictly Bruce Forsyth Show, our attention has turned towards the provenance, provision and purveying of food at Britain's must-do-staycation events.

Glastonbury prides itself that it is one of only a few festivals that allows personal booze on site. This was one of the reasons why Michael Eavis jettisoned the party-pooper storm-troopers at Festival Republic (formerly Mean Fiddler), in favour of running his own show again.
It would seem that Festival Republic have a profit-driven agenda, banning all types of food and drink substances on-site, whilst using the same bland, but expensive suppliers and stalls at every event they manage.
You will be sick of the sight of over-priced Tuborg lager, Lucozade Jaeger bombs and Pepsi Max if you follow the Fiddler to the cultural behemoths that are Reading, Leeds and Latitude this year.
And if you can swallow the fact that massive tax-dodgers Vodafone are the major sponsors, you'll probably be faced with very similar 'boutique' food options;
The Australian Pie Company, The Square Pie Company, Jay Rayner's 'Kitchen Cabinet' etc.

This is why the independently run festivals such as Glastonbury, have a culinary edge over the corporates.
They can pretty much put catering out to tender; and if you're prepared to serve up hot, sticky stuff, to cold, sticky punters, some of whom can hardly say their own names, then these bizarre British summer events can be the making of you financially (especially if you serve up chips and/or noodles).

A word of warning however.
Hiring or taking your own trolley to & fro' the distant car-parks of the Avalon Valley can be very time-consuming and energy-sapping.
Filling up your trolley with tents and slabs of canned lager will mean little space for your own food.
Once inside the arena you are pretty much a captive market.
No amount of Class A drugs will take away the pangs of hunger after five days, and it's at this point that you realise how expensive the food really is!
You will no doubt have spent all your money by now, so prepare for a three hour wait in a cash-point queue, that may or may not provide you with the amount of dosh required, but when you return to the catering stalls, there may well be nothing left but chips.......

No comments:

Post a Comment