Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Vegan festival food

After my first festival season as a vegan, I thought I'd share my tips. Most of these translate to vegetarian or other diets too.

Tips for eating vegan at festivals:
  • Prepare - If you have a food allergy or restricted diet you are likely used to taking food places with you anyway. I plan to take at least - granola/cereal bars, instant porridge pots (just ask vendors for hot water if you aren't taking a camping stove and kettle, sometimes it's free too although sometimes they charge), a few bananas and oranges, a couple of packs of sweets and some uht portions of soy milk (I got mine off ebay) for cups of tea.
  • If you are not taking food then at any festival (even smaller ones) there are always going to be chips, jacket potatoes, some form of potato wedges/waffle/hash brown, some falafel type wrap and if you're lucky a veggie burger that's vegan. Also look out for mexican food as often that can be altered by asking for no cheese and sour cream. If you're going to a large festival there may be more choices like a vegan or vegetarian food vendor (at download this year there were 3 I went to!), some decent salad, vegan cakes or baked goods, pizza you can have without cheese or lots of healthy food vendors which will include some options for us. 
  • Some festivals release their food vendor list prior so you can research and know whether you need to take food or not.
  • Some festivals allow camping stoves or BBQ's, some do not, you can usually find out on their website. If you can take one this will of course broaden your food options and you can take some tins of beans, bread, veggie sausages or burgers. It depends how much time you want to spend cooking at the tent and whether you want to carry it all in (I do not)
  • Alcohol - I know what UK brands are vegan in cider and most festivals will be sponsored by certain brands so it's easy to find out what's going to be available (It is likely plastered all over the website). If you rely a lot on researching what to drink at the bar, then maybe look a few up before or ensure you will have phone battery the whole time by taking something to charge your phone with like a solar charger or battery pack. If in doubt go for spirits!
Basically you won't starve, and the festival food options have come on a lot more than the greasy burger van, but it's always worth taking a few snacks in case!

Also some of my general festival tips:
  • Take more bin liners than you think you will ever use, they are a godsend for putting wet muddy clothes in, keeping your camp litter free, and in a pinch double as a fetching waterproof coat.
  • Take wellies and a waterproof coat even if it's not meant to rain. It will probably still rain at some point. I have a cheap pac a mac that has been a godsend as I can just pop it in my bag even if I don't think I'll need it.
  • Take a tent that is easy to put up (not a massive 4 room one with 500 poles) but that is waterproof and sturdy, we have a dome tent we borrow from my mum for festivals. It goes up quickly but is a good tent and doesn't collapse at the first sign of wind. We have a big tent for proper camping but for festivals it's just too big and takes ages to put up. 
  • Take more socks and pants than you would usually use, if you get soaked through dry socks and pants will sort your life out!
  • Take something to sleep in, nothing worse than trying to get dressed hurriedly in a tent when you need a wee in the night! I am not usually a PJ wearer so have been caught out by this before.
  • Get a good camping spot, not on a slope and not at the bottom of a hill. You do not want to be flooded or sleep on an incline, you might have to walk up a hill to get back to your tent every time but it's worth it to be dry and not in the run off from the tents above you.
Have fun! Let me know if you have any vegan eating or festival going tips :) xx