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Thriving Amidst the Chaos: A Guide to Catering at Glastonbury

Glastonbury. The name alone evokes images of epic music performances, vibrant crowds, and yes—lots of mud. For food vendors, it’s a unique opportunity to serve thousands of hungry festival-goers. But what is it really like to cater at this world-famous festival? Let’s dive into the experience.

The Excitement and the Challenge

Catering at Glastonbury for the first time is both thrilling and daunting. The sheer size of the event means potential for great profit, but also a demand for meticulous planning and execution. A successful stint at Glasto can significantly boost your business profile and profitability.

Image 3, Takeaway Times Magazine

The Preparations

Preparation is everything. You can’t just roll up to a major festival without a detailed plan. Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Team Selection: Assemble a reliable team. Ensure your staff are well-prepared, experienced, and ready to work in a high-energy environment. It’s crucial to have a fair rota system in place so everyone gets a chance to enjoy the festival and rest adequately.
  2. Solid Plan: Cover all bases with plans B, C, and D. Know what services and facilities will be available on-site and make sure your team is familiar with all essential information.
  3. Stock and Supplies: Ensure you have ample stock and a steady supply chain. Running out of food or essentials is a disaster you want to avoid, otherwise you will be forced to purchase from the festival suppliers at hugely inflated prices.
  4. Storage: You’re going to need a lot of food ingredients, make sure you have ample storage to hold your stock at correct temperatures etc.

The Mud and Rain

Glastonbury is notorious for its unpredictable weather. Rain and mud are part of the experience. Make sure your setup is waterproof and all electricals are safely managed. Equip your team with sensible footwear and gear to handle the wet conditions.

The Vibe

Festival-goers are generally a happy and relaxed crowd. Engage with them, make it fun, and keep the energy high. This isn’t just about serving food; it’s about being part of the festival experience.

Image 2, Takeaway Times Magazine

However, be prepared to deal with the occasional difficult customer. Handling complaints quickly and professionally without letting it affect your service is key. If someone is aggressive, it’s best to refund them and move on. Your time and energy are better spent on the majority who are there to have a good time.

The Rush

During peak times, you’ll need to manage queues efficiently. A two or three-line system can help handle the flow of customers. Clear communication with your team, especially the chef, is vital to ensure you don’t run out of popular items.

Enjoying the Experience

While the main goal is to make a profit, it’s important to enjoy the experience. Take breaks, see some bands, and interact with other traders. There’s a lot to learn from fellow vendors, especially those who have been doing it for years.

The Aftermath

Traders can’t leave Glastonbury until the Monday after. Some savvy vendors stay open on the last day, making extra profits from festival-goers looking for food before they head home. This can be a lucrative opportunity if you have the stamina to keep going.

Image, Takeaway Times Magazine


Catering at Glastonbury is an intense but rewarding experience. It requires thorough preparation, a dedicated team, and the ability to adapt to whatever the festival throws at you. If you’re considering it, go in with a solid plan and a spirit of adventure. The potential rewards, both financial and experiential, are well worth the effort.

Image 1, Takeaway Times Magazine

Thinking of trading at Glastonbury or another big festival? We’d love to hear your thoughts and share more insights. Reach out to us at editor@takeawaytimes.co.uk. Happy trading!

*Featured image: Image by freepik

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