Anyone over 20 will remember the bad old days of festival food: grey burgers in stale buns covered in greasy fried onions – and yours for a tenner. A few years ago, the festival food scene started to change, with well-intentioned but equally lacklustre grub options stretching the culinary offering to overpriced falafel wraps and watered-down Thai green curry. But with street food stars gaining rock-star status in their own right, and customers expecting more ‘mmm’ for their money, festivals are no longer just about the acts; the stage finally is set for decent festival food.
Take Field Day (pictured above), the two-day music fest in Victoria Park, the latest edition of which the organisers promise will be the ‘foodiest’ yet. While the musical line-up – which includes FKA Twigs, Gaz Coombes, Django Django and Patti Smith – may still be what convinces people to stump up for tickets, the food offering is by no means an afterthought.
This year, itinerant London night-market Street Feast will join the party, offering everything from Smokestak’s slow-cooked ribs to steamed gyoza from Rainbo, plus signature dishes from London restaurants such as HotBox and Bleecker Street. Street Feast will also feature a Meantime Brewery ‘beer tank’ dispensing brewery-fresh beer. This is in addition to the festival’s usual food offering from Venn St Market, and the London Brewers’ Market – a kind of ‘street-beer’ market, if you will.
Music to your ears? There’s more: thanks to the no-reservations restaurants and street-food stalls that have besieged the capital, we Londoners are now so used to queuing for our food that the time spent waiting in line with the rest of London will be no big deal – like Taylor Swift, we’ll just Shake It Off.
Field Day takes place from June 6-7; tickets start at £38.50. Find out the full Field Day line-up now and find out why street food is smashing it at festivals these days.
By Nicola Arencibia