Where to find the best festival food – according to the experts

Festival food offerings have improved massively over the past few years. Here's where to find the best eats, according to the experts

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The Independent Culture

Ahead of Standon Calling festival where The Independent is hosting a stage, we thought we'd catch up with a bunch of artists on the billing to find out what their favourite festival food is. 

Standon has a brilliant range of food and drink, such as offerings from The Breakfast Club, Patty & Bun, Original Fry Up Material, Groovie Smoothie, The Mac Factory, Arancini Brothers, Spit & Roast and Club Mexicana. 

We spoke with a bunch of artists on the lineup including Fickle Friends, British Sea Power, Dutch Uncles, Nothing But Thieves, KT Tunstall and Joe Goddard to see what their favourite festival food memories are – these guys know their stuff:

Joe Goddard

It sounds implausible but I had one of the best curries I have ever eaten from T In The Park a few years ago when 2 Bears were booked to play, before Lili Louis on a rave bus outside the slam tent.  

I approached the eatery with caution (obviously) but the signs proclaimed that it was slow cooked lamb from the owners own farm and by golly it was truly great. There is also a pizza place in the green fields in Glastonbury that is definitely worth seeking out. I don't think GPS works there otherwise I would drop a pin but suffice to say that its good, and a lot less bulls*** than Da Michele on Church St.  

The best festival food I have ever eaten was at a tiny one in Provence 15 years ago. We were presented with a delicate fresh tomato and wholegrain mustard tart on wafer thin filo pastry and when we attempted to compliment the chef we were told in the most French manner I have ever encountered that the food was “OK (for catering)”.

Fickle Friends (Frontwoman Natti Shiner)

So I live for the vegan festival food. Like sometimes I’m so set on hunting down food trucks I miss stuff. Picking a fave is hard but my absolute go-to breakfast (I’m usually too pissed to handle lunch and/or dinner)….is Fat Salads. The place with the big sign that says “fat boxes of healthy stuff”.

They do this incredible breakfast bap with avocado, mushrooms, vegan cheese etc. To die for….and perfect way to start your day. Especially if it’s day three. 

KT Tunstall

It kind of depends what festival you're at obviously, and what's on offer, but I'm gonna want something quick and easy to eat that won't end up all down my sparkly top.

I'm always up for a great burger or a hot dog, so Patty & Bun and Oh My Dog! will be on my list at Standon Calling. I also dream about finding a fresh donut van at about 2am, it's like a vision of heaven.

 

@smutasmoi got that cross section 📸 on point! Have you tried the 'Ron Jeremy 2.0' yet?!

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John Hassall and The April Rainers (John Hassall and James Jeffreys)

John: My ideal festival food would be fast food, but organic and not too unhealthy. My memories of festival food date back to the mid-Nineties. It was pretty shocking then. Queuing up for rubbish, expensive hamburgers. I'm really glad that good food at festivals seems to be much more of a priority now. It makes the overall experience better.

James: I tend to lean towards interesting veggie options – stuff I can't get anyoldwhere. And from clean-looking stalls. I speak from bitter experience.

Nothing But Thieves (Conor Mason)

My favourite festival food memory has to be at Download. I was 16, Joe was 18 and a terrible influence on me, he got me very high for the first time, subsequently I got severe munchies and plodded to the 'pulled pork roll' stand and ate this single roll for 30 minutes as it never seemed to end, in fact the roll seemed to grow back after each bite.

Joe thought it was hilarious, pointing at this high little boy with pulled pork all over him and a big grin on his face. 

Dutch Uncles (Robin Richards)

When you arrive at a festival and given food tokens for basically free rein of the many food tents, it can be the most exciting part of the day. However, one bad choice and it can spoil the vibe completely. Food envy is rife in Dutch Uncles.

If you’re the only one eating a disappointing pie and the rest of the crew are enjoying the best paella they have ever eaten it can seriously affect the moral and ultimately the performance. A wood fire pizza is the probably safest option. It provides the necessary energy for the gig and you can always save a slice for the journey home.

I have very fond memories of sitting on the grass at Festival Number 6, eating a fantastic Florentina pizza, watching Black Grape play a bizarre set. Bliss.

British Sea Power (Scott Wilkinson)

I like food a lot. I was formerly known as “Scotty Two Dinners” by BSP because of my habit of ordering two main meals as a pre-gig treat. The most unifying band experience is the falafel.

It’s not trendy or new but it generally delivers. Ideally accompanied with hummus, onions, lettuce, tomato, tahini, garlic, and chilli sauce.

 

Burritos make you happy. Fact. 🌯😂

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The chickpea rates equally in my book alongside the humble and powerful potato, which will soon dominate the festival and street food scene. I grow them in their many varieties on the allotment and dream of a “Mr Potato” van selling everything from baked ones to sag aloo and salads. It’s the big new coming trend!

Looking forward to Standon Calling and after browsing the marvellous options think Club Mexicana is the option for me. I love Mexican food and Vegan food is cool with me too.

Weekend tickets for Standon Calllng are on sale now

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