5 Festivals with Awesome Food
Music festivals no longer represent a feast just for the ears. Forget about the soggy and limp chips, rubbery hot dogs, terrible burgers and warm beer.
True, there was a time when that’s all you could expect. Sacrificing good food and yes, personal hygiene, was part of the game. Festivals were about music – not food.
But as Bob Dylan famously sang back in 1964: “The Times They are a-Changin!"
Gone are the days when you could not exercise any quality control over what you ate and festivals were notorious for offering a serious lack of decent grub.
In recent years, many festival organisers have started to take their edible options as seriously as their music line ups.
Festival-goers now demand a lot more from their experience than they did decades ago when the British festival culture was born back in 1968 with the Isle of Wight festival, the UK’s equivalent to Woodstock.
Revelers have become a more discerning crowd. As a result, there has been a growing trend towards a more genteel approach to festivals. No longer the reserve of the young and unkempt, festivals now attract everyone from families with young children, city folks, celebrities to hipsters. Thus, a “foodification” of our field-based summer activities has emerged.
Festivals are now not only a haven for music lovers but one for foodies too! Fresh ingredients and beautiful meals are on par with music - elevated to the same equal status as the bands.
These days, we can enjoy delicious “gourmet grub” – seasonal, locally sourced, good quality food and even organic produce. Specialist stalls now sell everything from proper paella, burritos, pulled pork, wood-fired pizzas to macaroni and cheese. There are even “gourmet feasts or “banquets” on offer.
Some say this popular fad reached its zenith in 2012 when the Wilderness Festival began including celebrity chefs such as Yotam Ottolenghi in their line up. Now high profile culinary partners are a natural addition. Fusing live music with great food is now a clearly perceptible movement.
As Isle of Wight festival boss John Giddings told the BBC back in 2013, music fans now expect "a better all-round experience” and "they do want better food, drink and loos.”
Glastonbury back in 1970 is said to have been the catalyst - the festival that kicked off the British love affair with outdoor summer music.
More than 40 years later, there are about the 900 live music events held across Britain every summer. Over the last four years, they have generated £1 billion for the UK economy, while Glastonbury alone injects £100 million.
General atmosphere, overall vibe and character of the event are listed as the key reasons why we come back year upon year.
A survey by the Association of Independent Festivals found that in 2014, 49% of people interviewed chose to attend a festival over a summer holiday.
Latitude - July 16-19, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk
Somersault Festival – 23-27 July, Castle Hill, North Devon
Port Eliot – 30th July – 2th August, St-Germains, Cornwall
Wilderness Festival – 6-9th August, Cornbury Park, Oxforshire
Big Feastival - 28-30 August, Kingham, The Cotswolds
By Chantal Ouimet