Musings & Contemplations / Travels

How to Survive a UK Music Festival as a Vegetarian

It’s that time of year again! In exactly one week I’ll be dragging my tent/ camping bag/ beer to a spot in a rough terrain field all in the name of Download Festival!!! Last year I posted some ideas for what to pack and a snapshot of the sort of things I ate whilst there.

Going to a festival is a great way to let loose, be carefree, run about outside, dance wildly, drink one too many and generally just be a free spirit. However you can’t leave your dietary choices behind! The best way to have a good time and not let food become a worry or a hassle is to be prepared and pack meals and snacks in advance!

Last year was my first time going to a festival as a vegetarian and it was easier than I thought! I’m using last year as a guide to get me through this year, Some of the things that helped me last year were (you’ll notice they’re a bit carb heavy but you can include protein with the food you buy (aim for green foods not more bread!) and things like quinoa, eggs and protein bars) –

Cous Cous – This is perfect because you can take it dry and then you just have to add hot water and cover it. I got a variety of flavours from the Ainsley Harriot range. My favourite is the mushroom flavour!

Pitta breads – Great for scooping up any juices from meals and it’s great for filling you up! Carbs are good for soaking up the alcohol :)


Cook meals in your mess tin then pile up any extras you’ve packed! A box of salad will last the first day, maybe 2!

Packet Pasta – Now I’m not saying this is the pinnacle of health but you can buy packets of pasta where you just add water and there is a powdered sauce. I have to admit these are my guilty pleasure at a festival and this is the only time I allow myself to eat them!

Soreen/ Cereal Bars – ‘Snack pack’ sized Soreen loaves were perfect, I popped one in my bag each day and they kept me going when energy levels were flagging.

Fruit and Nuts I took some sandwich bags with me and separated the pack into 5 portions then put a portion in my bag each day. These were great for snacking on and stopped me from buying chips/ crisps when everyone else did

My diet has taken another step forward this year and I have been cutting out wheat and gluten (although I am still not following it full time) so this year instead of pitta breads I might take along my fave gluten free crisp breads and we have bought some raw nakd bars instead of cereal bars. I wouldn’t eat cereal bars on a regular basis but the nakd bars are great for festivals because they are high slow burning energy. We bought the apple flavour which include cinnamon and peanuts…nom!

Lemons This year I plan to take a couple of lemons with me to squeeze into hot water in the morning. Every stall sells cups of tea so I hope to ask for hot water when I can’t be bothered to heat the kettle! This will help counter balance all the cider!….won’t it! 😉

Soup I really hate the taste of cuppa soups, they taste like powder! But I found these Food Doctor soups in Tesco which are really tasty and much healthier for you. Great as a snack or a meal along with some pittas and salad.


Quinoa I have bought some cous cous but I thought about taking quinoa as well because you only need to add water to cook it. I’m still browsing for any “just add water, flavoured quinoa”. This is also a great source of protein!

Baked Beans Or your favourite type…cans are heavy to carry but baked beans are a great source of vegan protein! You can get no added sugar versions but you do so much walking/ dancing whilst at a festival I don’t worry too much! These make for a preferable breakfast to pasta or cous cous!

Fruit Last year I kind of neglected fruit, but I did eat lots of salad!! Apples are quite sturdy low GI fruits which will survive not being in a fridge. They are great because they are filling and hydrating. Take a bag for snacks at the campsite.

Water Don’t forget to drink water!!!

Is anyone off to a festival this year? Not in the UK? Then what is the food like at your festivals!! Any Downloaders?? Who you looking forward to seeing!

7 thoughts on “How to Survive a UK Music Festival as a Vegetarian

  1. I’m going to Download too! I was meant to go last year as well, but that was when my gall bladder issues were flaring up and I was too ill. Now I don’t have a gall bladder, there should be no incidents this year but I do have to watch what I eat. I can’t eat pasta :S or bread and limited meat, but I’m taking cous cous and instant quinoa pots! They are in morrisons (the NuMe range) and you’ll find them by the pot noodles 😀 they are so yummy! I’m also taking oats for the morning, which I’ll prep each night (overnight oats) with choccy alpro milk 🙂 – the small cartons don’t need refrigerating! I’m also taking lots of canned beans and ratatouille (we’re in RIP camping so we don’t have to worry about carrying them), for quick snacks and extra brekky. I can’t eat to many nuts either, so I’m only taking dried fruit 🙂 phew, what a list! Hope you have fun, I can’t wait to see Iron Maiden again! 🙂

    • Yay!! Hope you have a great time 🙂 I’m so jealous your in RIP camping, they sold out so quickly! Love your idea of overnight oats, a perfect breakfast! I can see I’d just make a huge mess if I tried to do that lol. I’m tempted to take some small cartons or long life lacto free milk just for coffee and tea, you know the teeny one portion ones? If I took anything bigger I’d probably spill it hehe…oh dear I’m messy!
      Enjoy Iron Maiden! 🙂

      • My Dad is getting on a bit so he convinced us to get RIP camping (for this year) the week after Download last year! I’ve got lots of clip and lock bentos to put the oats in, so hopefully no spillages for me! I haven’t come across plain soya or almond milk in small cartons, only the milkshake things :S and I didn’t want to use UHT milk for the oats, eeew(although I do eat/drink dairy)! I hope you enjoy you’re weekend too, if I see you, I’ll give you a wave! 🙂

  2. Haha we bought our beer today and got a bit carried away, think it’ll take 3 trips to carry it all 🙂 this is why I try balance it out with healthyish food 🙂 xx

  3. I am laughing here…aside from Iron Maiden who RULE!, Slipknot are hilarious and I am in mind of Steve’s brother and sister in law who will be heading off to another music festival in a little while where their entire packed contents will be beer…beer…some more beer…money to buy beer…when they run out someone over the fence to go get beer…and the mother of all hangovers when they get home. But you only live once (a year) don’t you! 😉 Don’t judge them too harshly…I am sure that they have a few packets of crisps and twiglets in the back seat of the car in case all that beer gives them alcohol poisoning 😉

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