by Larissa Gutscher

We’re right in the middle of the annual weeklong Roskilde Festival taking place less than an hour outside of Copenhagen. With another sold-out crowd, more than 80,000 people will be enjoying a few days of music, art, communal living, and, of course, food.

While food and festivals go hand-in-hand, there’s a lot of thought required in putting together a menu that will serve a diverse group of people with different tastes and dietary restrictions. If you’re considering selling your dishes at such large events in the future, here are a few things to keep in mind when feeding festival-goers.

1. Keep them hydrated.

The weather is nice and everyone is spending every possible moment outside. After a long winter, chances are we’ve forgotten how dangerous the sun can be and aren’t drinking nearly enough to fight the heat. If your guests are tired of lugging around a water bottle all day, or if they simply prefer a beer with their meal, you can provide hydration by offering dishes with lots of juicy produce like watermelon or cucumbers.

Serving Food at Festivals

2. Provide vitamin-rich foods.

For some attendees, drinking is a necessary part of festivals. And with a week’s worth of partying, chances are you’re going to deal with some hungover guests. Even though it’s natural to be craving greasy, unhealthy food when nursing a hangover, they won’t speed up the healing process – so why not serve some vitamin-rich foods instead? Fruit juices and smoothies give the body a natural sugar boost; bananas help replenish potassium; and eggs work to eliminate some of the lingering effects of alcohol. Plus they are all healthier than a deep-fried Mars bar.

3. Serve healthy carbs for energy.

Festival-goers need to keep their strength up if they plan on dancing for hours every day into the night. You’d do well to serve some healthy carbs, like corn, oats, or sweet potatoes, to give your guests the energy they need to keep the party going. Just make sure not to serve anything too bloating – even in bad weather, plenty of people will still have brought along their crop tops and short-shorts.

Serving Food at Festivals

Photo credit: Per Lange via Roskilde Festival

4. Keep it clean.

Showers are a luxury at a festival. That’s why you need to ensure that you provide some mess-less food options so guests aren’t stuck wearing the same outfit for days on end. Try to have at least some dishes that aren’t swimming in sauce, and make sure your plates are big enough that they can catch condiments dripping from burgers. Always have enough napkins on hand.

5. Keep it clean – for the environment.

While you’re protecting your guests from sauce spillage, you should do your part to protect the earth from garbage as well. One of the unique aspects of festivals is the communal living, with everyone pitching in to help keep their temporary living quarters clean. Instead of using paper plates and plastic cutlery, why not try serving your meals on regular porcelain dishes and charging a deposit to ensure everything is brought back? You can also invest in compostable paper plates and utensils that are more environmentally friendly.

Serving Food at Festivals

Photo credit: Roskilde Festival

6. Test your new ideas.

Have you come up with a dish that you’re just not sure will go over well with your customers? Festivals are full of adventurous and open-minded people, making them the ideal venue to try out your new concoctions. With plenty of visitors coming from abroad as well, you can get creative with international dishes.

Serving Food at Festivals

Festivals are a fantastic opportunity to share your love of food. If you’re planning on selling at one soon, we hope these tips will help you to serve up a great experience for your guests as part of an unforgettable event. And if you missed the chance to set up a booth at this year’s Roskilde Festival, you can always stream the show live in your shop and get your customers in the mood for the next big festival.

Featured photo credit: Vegard S. Kristiansen via Roskilde Festival

Check out: How to Deliver Personalized Customer Service and How To Turn Distortion Into a Boon for Your Business