For most festival-goers, the go-to is normally warm beer and a cereal bar. Although there is always a huge range of food available at any festival, more often than not you will find yourself spending much more than you wanted on buying food in the hope it’ll cure your hangover.
Cooking at a festival sounds like a lot of effort, especially once you’ve entered your second or third day, but this year it is time to put the cereal bar down and knock up a quick meal instead. Because let’s be honest, you’ll need something more to survive what will inevitably be a boozy affair.
When it comes to bringing your own food to a festival, be realistic. It’s important to bring a range of food and take into consideration that it's most likely going to get squashed on the way. And obviously avoid bringing items that have to be refrigerated at all times.
Without a Stove
Crisps, Cereal Bars, and Other Small Snacks
Although it won’t fill you up massively, small snacky foods work perfectly as a side dish or as a grab-and-go snack on your way to see a band, or if you’ve had a little too much to drink and eating gives you some sort of reassurance that you’ll soon be sober again.
Weather it’s a loaf, roll or a baguette, any form of bread can always be transformed into a meal. Be thoughtful when it comes to the sandwich filling however, make sure any fresh fillings are eaten on the first or second day, but after that the possibilities are endless.
Everyone knows that king of festival food is the humble instant-noodle pot. It may not be the healthiest option but cuppa soups, noodles, and pasta pots are possibly the easiest option to eat quickly (and certainly cheaply). So if you are feeling a bit rough then all you need to do is ask at a food stand for some hot water and wait 2-3 minutes, no effort required.
If you're feeling super organised and prepared, then the day before you could do some cooking. Things that you can eat cold like pasta and salads work perfectly as they aren’t too heavy and will make you feel much better than that sixth packet of crisps.
No one is expecting you to get your 5-a-day during the festival, however, fruit and granola offers something a bit more refreshing and healthy.
There is a good chance that whatever food you’re after will be available in some sort of tinned/canned form, so it’s certainly worth having a look.
With a Stove
Obviously if you are able to bring a stove with you there are plenty more options available for you to indulge yourself with. Be sure to check whether camping stoves are allowed at your festival of choice.
One simple potato can do wonders, wrapped in foil and put on the fire for about an hour will give you the perfect jacket potato. If not, a fork works as an excellent DIY masher for some mashed potato.
A little fragile, it is quite a challenge getting to your campsite with them all still in one piece, but if you do then it’s scrambled, poached, omelettes and fried eggs all week. To avoid smashing them all on the way you can crack them at home and put them in a bottle.
Soups and Pasta
This is an option if you don’t have a stove with you, but cold soup isn’t nearly as nice so if you can heat it up, why not?
Other Useful Tips
- When pre-preparing food, use a generous amount of tin foil in order to make a hassle free foil pocket. By wrapping all the ingredients in foil and putting them on the fire it’ll cook with no washing up needed after.
- Although there are usually water stations around the festival, people usually bring packs of bottled water. By freezing some of the water bottles beforehand and putting them with other food items that need to be kept cold it’ll help keep them cool while traveling.
- Plan plan plan! Think how much you and your friends will actually be eating and bring only that; there’s no point wasting room in your bag with more food than you’ll need when you could use the space for more important items.
- Prepare all the ingredients before. If you’re planning to be cooking with a stove or grill them make sure you have chopped up what you need beforehand, especially as most festivals won’t let you in with too much kitchen equipment.