Over the last decade, hell, even in the last few years, the music festival food ‘bar’ has been raised dramatically. With the scene so competitive, having great music headliners isn’t always enough to draw the biggest crowds. You need to sign some heavy hitting food headliners, too.
It may be that some of the edgiest food trucks in the area are rolling through to serve up some alligator nuggets (they are actually a thing) and soft-shell crab burgers, or A-list chefs bringing fine dining to the once humble music festival. Either way, music festivals are offering more – and better – food options. Fantastic.
Like food as much as you like music? Of course you do. Check out our list for the best music festival food for the passionate foodie below:
New Orleans Jazz Fest
When you think of the amazing food scene in New Orleans, it’s hardly surprising that New Orleans Jazz Festival is going to be anything but spectacular in the food department. From Creole and French to Southern American & Cajun, there’s a wide range of delicious bites on offer. Expect traditional New Orleans grub like boiled crawfish, po’boys, fried chicken, catfish and more. Food for the soul and music to match, you’ll be able to catch jazz and rock with a distinct New Orleans flavor at this 10-day jazzathon.
Dates: 28 April – 7 May
music festival food BottleRock Napa Valley
Expect to see legendary pop and rock icons – from Gwen Stefani to Steview Wonder – descend on wine country for BottleRock festival. Being nestled in the heart of Napa Valley, an area world-famous for its top quality wines, you’ll be able to sample some fantastic wines from the finest local wineries. Some of the valley’s best restaurants including Morimoto and Bouchon Bakery will be there serving up some highbrow fare.
Dates: 26-28 May
Coachella has set the standard for music festivals across the states. It’s evolved from a simple festival into a lifestyle. Possibly even a religion. As the more affluent crowds began to flock to Coachella, so did some of America’s top chefs to serve up some seriously lavish cuisine. You’ll find popular restaurants such as Phorage, Status Kuo, Eureka! and LA chef Roy Choi brings his food truck Kogi – a pioneer in the food truck scene. With plenty of other options catering for small to spectacular budgets, Coachella’s options for music festival food will never leave you out of options when you’re hungry, that’s for sure.
Dates: 14-16 April, 21-23 April
Sitting among the other big names in the music-foodie-festival scene, Wilderness is set in the heart of Oxfordshire. All day barbecues, long table banquets, Sunday feasts, field restaurants and even a twenties-style pop-up restaurant all hosted by some of the UK’s most respected chefs. There’s music too, of course, from artists and bands like Crystal Fighters, Lianne La Havas and The Flaming Lips to name just a few.
Dates: 4-7 August
Boomtown Fair has bags of character. You’ll be transported into a mystical, old-world themed city near Winchester. Get completely immersed in the world of Boomtown while enjoying food from the likes of Bunnyman Bunnychow, Meatcure, Chimichurri Argentinean Steak and more. Festival food is notorious for being budget un-friendly, so they’re running a cool program called Boomtown Bites, which basically lets you grab a monster of a meal from some of the great local street-food traders for a measly five pounds. Lovely!
Dates: 11-14 August
Marking the end of summer is Bestival – it’s always guaranteed to be one hell of a party. Known for booking huge acts such as The Cure, Major Lazer and Sean Paul, it’s perhaps just as well known for its food. The Feast Collective is Bestival’s take on food heaven – pretty accurate, to be honest. Le Rac Shack, Seadog’s Southeast Asian, The Cauldron and The Chocolate Bear Kitchen will be showcasing some of the UK’s best street food. If you need me, I’ll be there.
Dates: 8-11 September