What Foods To Bring To A Music Festival

About a year ago I wrote 15 must haves for your festival campsite.

It’s about that time of year where festival lineups are being released, schools coming to an end and the weather is getting warmer. So of course I’m starting to get hyped up for festival season! I always over prepare for festivals so I don’t have to worry about anything while I’m there. However I still manage to have some failures, especially when it comes to food. Some people don’t bring food to festivals at all and just eat the food there, however this can be expensive. Some only eat the food they brought from home but this can be time consuming and inconvenient. I like to be somewhere in the middle. I bring lots of snacking foods, and pre-made, easy to eat meals but I usually plan for 1 food vendor meal/day (usually a greasy breakfast to cure my hangover haha).

After the past few years I’ve learnt what does and doesn’t work while festival camping. You can’t just bring any type of food. There’s a few things you need to take into consideration…..

  • It’s probably going to be HOT and you’ll have limited cooler space
  • You probably will be intoxicated of some sort and will be unable to cook/too lazy
  • Ice in your cooler will melt and you need to be careful that things don’t get soggy
  • Some festivals don’t allow BBQ’s or stoves
  • The food vendors and food trucks are going to tempt you
  • You don’t want to run out of food but you also don’t want food to go to waste. You’re probably not going to be as hungry as you think.
  • After dancing all day in the hot sun while intoxicated your body is going to be tired and sore, so you need to replenish it with healthy foods, which isn’t as easy as it sounds because you’ll be surrounded by chips, burgers, bacon and sweets.

You typically want foods that travel well, lots of non-perishables, foods you’ll actually want to eat, and foods that don’t require any (or little) preparation before eating.

I’ve made a list of foods that work well for music festivals. Some I’ve tried out before and some I will be trying this summer. I’ve brought camp stoves and BBQ’s before but I found I don’t use them because they’re a pain. Plus I never want to stand over a hot stove in 35+ degrees. So many of these items are pre-made, grab-and-go foods. Hope this helps

1.Pre-made and packaged sandwhiches

2. Salad in a cup

 3. Sandwhich Kabobs

4. Washed, cut and packaged Fruit

5. Bottled Smoothies

6. Trail Mix (healthy or not)

7. Cheese, Crackers and Deli Meat

8. Snack Boxes (tip* collect individual sized peanut butters from restaurants for dipping)

9. Cold pizza (actually so good for festivals)

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10. Energy bars like Clif, Luna, PowerBars

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11. Beef Jerky and Pepperoni Sticks

12. Pudding, Apple Sauce, Jell-o, Fruit cups, Etc…

13. Snacks in cups (works great for cereal)

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14. Junk food, of course

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15 must haves for your festival campsite!

1. An easy-up Canopy If you are going to bring 1 thing, bring this. I was so jealous of other camper’s nice, cool, shaded camps. Having something you can stand or sit under in the shade is essential. It is much better than having to put your chairs in the shade from your car…..and having to move them every hour to follow the shade. (PS make sure you peg this down well! I saw many of these tumbeling across the campground from big gusts of wind!)

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2. Rugs/mats/tarps. If you’re camping on grass, you’re lucky. The main reason I use mats is so I don’t have to roll out of my tent into the dirt…. Also, mats and rugs make your camp more inviting and comfortable!

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3. Plastic Drawers. Assuming you’re camping with your car, these little guys are perfect for camping. I just take one. I store my toiletries in one drawer, snacks/food related items in another, and then random things like tools, first aid, flashlights and duct tape in the last one.

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4. Hanging orginization. You can hang these on your canopy or even in your tent if its big/strong enough. There are tons of different options too. A lot of these are pretty common and you should be able to find in your home (or walmart)! Use this to store food, supplies, costumes, socks, whatever you want 🙂 4c15783cdfe023b6984c4cf789fa2e12ae82e908e3ee7aa7c6b6f8a54701dcd4eec0cccbd0ec36f7fc149c725c50769e3db30c4c0a458e442225331bfad6071d    5. Pre-made snacks that dont need to be chilled Before you leave home, make a little bin full of pre-measured snacks. Ideally you want something that wont go bad or melt and is easy and quick to eat! (PS this is a good way to make new friends)

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6. Water jug with pump. This is a life saver. Way better than having to deal with those floppy water jug/bag things. And is easier than tipping over water jugs. Plus this can be put anywhere and is very convenient.

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7. Foam mats. Remember these from pre school?! They’re the best for lining the floor of your tent, or even outside your tent in your camp. It’s comfortable, makes the ground more stable, cleaner, and makes everything more home-y.

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8. Tables… You’ll want one. Whether if it’s for playing cards at, eating at, chillin’ at, or just having a place to put your stuff (speakers, snacks, etc). Tables are great! (don’t forget a table cloth for decoration!)

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9. Solar lights. Awesome for finding your camp at night and also good for making sure you (or others) don’t trip on cords, pegs, etc… Plus, they look sweet!

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10. Pop up laundry hamper/garbage bin. You can buy these things and they are actually made to be garbage bins for camping or garden waste, etc… but if you’re like me and have a laundry hamper that looks just like this, throw a garbage bag inside and bam = clean camp. (Having this on the last day, during tear-down is awesome and everyone in your camp will be using it!) Oh! and really don’t forget to bring tons of garbage bags. You won’t beleive how much garbage gets produced over the weekend.

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11. Air mattresses or cots.  Walking around in the hot sun, being intoxicated all day and dancing all night isn’t exactly great on your body….so having a nice, comfortable place to come back to crash on is something you won’t regret.

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12. Tarps/sarongs/tapestry/blankets/sheets. Basically anything that you can hang that will provide shade, privacy, and decoration. If you can find ones with cool designs, even better! (Tip: you can use a reflective, emergency blanket over your tent to reflect the sun/heat. And/or hang a tarp off your canopy and peg it out on an angle and place your tent underneath it. This way you can leave the fly off and can get air flow into your tent.)

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13. Flags! More than just decoration! Make a tall, unique camp flag and fly it as high as you can! You will use this as a landmark to find your camp in the giant field of tents! (Helium balloons work too, however the hot sun does not make them last very long)

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14. Campsite decor Little banner flags, lights, toys, lanterns, blow up/pool toys, etc. Going to dollar stores or Asian markets is a good place to find cheap, fun and colorful things!

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15. Caribiner. These have tons of uses and bringing a bunch won’t be a bad idea, you’re sure to find a use for them so better safe than sorry. But the main reason I say to bring one, is to put a spare car key on it and then attach it to a hidden place on the outside of your vehicle. I have seen lock smiths driving through festival campgrounds before and I would HATE for that to have to happen. If you do lose your key, then at least you will have a spare set hooked onto the underside of your car. (Obviously make sure it is hidden and no one sees where you put it)

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(none of the above pictures are mine)

**update: here are some pictures from my Shambhala Camp set up

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