When you are surrounded by the music of your favorite artists and a great atmosphere, you want to do nothing but dance and sing along. Amidst the excitement, one thing is essential to keep you going and fully enjoy the experience: good food! I know that I get really unpleasant when I’m hungry… So planning your festival meals can make all the difference in how you will experience the festival.
In this blog, we’ll dive into a variety of music festival food ideas that will keep you fueled throughout the event and keep you from getting ‘hangry’! Read on and get some inspiration.
Portable Snacks and Finger Foods
Let’s start with some snacks you can easily bring onto the festival grounds. Portable snacks and finger foods become your trusty companions, offering a quick boost of energy between (or during) performances. Personally, I always like to bring granola bars and dried sausages (the German ‘BiFi’) and some cookies. Of course you can also pack a mix of nuts and dried fruit to keep hunger at bay while jumping and dancing around the different stages. 🥜
If you are looking for a healthy snack, I recommend bringing vegetable sticks (e.g. carrot or cucumber) with hummus. Beware though, these are the snacks you want to eat first, especially if the weather is hot. Otherwise it will soon be unappetizing.
If you are allowed to take a backpack onto the grounds, you can take a small cooler bag with you so your meals stay fresh and enjoyable. In addition, you can also bring an apple, banana or pear to get some vitamins. 🍎🍌🍐
Quick and Heartier Meals
Sometimes, you need a heartier meal to recharge your batteries before jumping back into the crowd and music. Festivals normally have a wide selection of food. When I am at a festival, I alternate fries with a snack with a healthier meal such as a curry with vegetables or a salad. 🥗
Prefer to bring some food from home? Sandwiches and wraps make a fantastic choice, as you can customize them with your favorite fillings and easily carry them in a portable container. Salads with protein-rich ingredients like grilled chicken or chickpeas are another option, ensuring a nutritious and filling meal.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
As the popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets continues to rise, music festivals have embraced the diversity of dietary preferences. Festival organizers now offer an array of mouthwatering vegetarian and vegan options.
Delight your taste buds with options like veggie burgers, falafel wraps, hummus and pita, and nourishing buddha bowls packed with grains and vibrant vegetables. You’ll find that these plant-based choices are not only delicious but also align with your values and keep you energized for an unforgettable festival experience.
Hydration and Refreshments
Dancing under the scorching sun can leave you feeling dehydrated, so it’s crucial to prioritize staying hydrated throughout the festival. Nowadays you can find free water points at almost all festivals where you can refresh yourself and fill your cup or bottle with water. Bring a refillable water bottle or a hydration pack to ensure you have easy access to water. For a twist of flavor, infuse your water with liquid water enhancers.
Treats and Desserts
Dessert is the best meal of the day right?! Indulging in treats and desserts is part of the festival experience. After all, you’re there to have fun and savor the moment. Treat yourself to a scoop of gourmet ice cream, a fluffy churro, or some sweet cotton candy. In the picture below, I treated myself to a brussels waffle with whipped cream and strawberries, hmmm! 😍
Some festivals go all out when it comes to offering desserts. Check out the delicious desserts that Lollapalooza Chicago has to offer at their ‘Dessert island’!
Festival Campsite Meals
Festivals get more expensive over the years, and so do food and drink at festivals. This year I was shocked by the prices, for a curry sausage sandwich I paid a whopping 9.50 whereas before you could get this for 4.50. Therefore, I completely understand if you want to eat more on the campsite instead of on the festival grounds. If a camping stove is allowed, then the following meals are a great option:
- Noodles 🍜
- Pasta with pesto sauce
- Soup 🍲
- Sausages (or here in The Netherlands: Knaks by Unox)
- Bakings eggs 🍳
- Baking mushrooms, peppers, other veggies
- Beans in tomato sauce
- American pancakes 🥞
- Hot dogs 🌭
- Canned ragout
- Canned beef stew
Tip: Check the festival guidelines to ensure you comply with any specific rules regarding outside food and beverages.
Food Prepared In Advance
No camping stove? No worries! There are plenty of meals that can be prepared in advance. First things first: it is essential to have a great cooler for festivals. Put in a couple of ice packs in the cooler to keep your food cool for a longer period.
All of the meals we’re gonna mention below can be stored in lightweight tupperware, so it’s easy to stack and transport them.
- Chickpea salad: Make this simple salad extra flavorful by adding more lemon juice, a dash of cayenne, and a sprinkle of celery seeds. Keep the avocado fresh by storing it with lemon slices.
- Wraps: Prepare a variety of wraps with your favorite fillings. Opt for ingredients that won’t easily spoil, such as deli meats, cheese, veggies, and spreads. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil for easy grab-and-go meals.
- Quiches or Frittatas: Bake mini quiches or frittatas with your preferred fillings, such as spinach, mushrooms, cheese, and diced ham. These savory treats can be enjoyed cold or warmed up if you have access to a stove or microwave.
- Pasta salad: Whip up a flavorful pasta salad with cooked pasta, fresh vegetables, herbs, and a tangy dressing. This dish can be enjoyed cold and makes for a refreshing and filling meal during the festival weekend.
- Granola Mix: Create your own custom granola mix by combining oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and a touch of sweetness, like honey or maple syrup. Store in resealable bags or containers for a quick and crunchy snack.
Fueling your festival adventure with food is vital if you want to enjoy the event to the fullest and create unforgettable memories. With a well-planned assortment of portable snacks, quick meals, vegetarian and vegan options, hydrating refreshments, desserts and treats, you’ll be prepared to rock out to your favorite tunes while satisfying your cravings.
Share your favorite festival food ideas in the comments below and let’s continue rocking the festival scene together!