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Food and Drink Restrictions for Music Festival-goers.

Andy Robertson

A common complaint from festival-goers is the cost of food and beverages on a festival site and the restrictions placed by organisers on what can and cannot be brought onto a site. What are the current restrictions most festival organisers place on festival-goers when attending an event.

With the continued challenges form the cost-of-living crisis festival-goers are increasingly concerned about the costs of attending a music festival. Even after the purchase of tickets, accommodation and transport expenditure continues on-site where most organisers restrict food and beverage consumption to sales from site vendors. Why do these restrictions exist and what is typically allowed or not allowed. 

Why Organisers Restrict Food and Beverages. 
Music festivals usually take place in remote locations where the infrastructure needs to be built to support the event. This involves some considerable investment to bring essential services like water and electricity onto a site. Food and beverage vendors apply for pitch spaces and organisers charge them for their pitch along with any water and electricity they need to operate. The vendor incurs additional costs from producing and selling their goods on a festival site due to organisers commission, extra staff and transportation costs. All these additional costs are passed onto the festival-goers and even then, many vendors can struggle to make a decent profit. For this reason, organisers will do their utmost to support the vendors they have on site resulting in restrictions for festival-goers when considering food and drinks they may try to bring with them. 

Common Restrictions. 
The restrictions imposed by festival organisers can vary from event to event depending on numerous factors. Almost all organisers will have vendors on site selling alcoholic beverages which can be an important source of commission revenue for the organisers. For this reason, the majority of organisers always ban festival-goers form bringing any alcohol onto a site. Large quantities of food that festival-goers may use to feed themselves over several days are often restricted too for similar reasons. Festival-goers may attempt to bring alcohol and food onto a site disguised in containers and organisers therefore also restrict cooler boxes and other large bags which will be subject to thorough searches at entrance gates. 

What is Allowed. 
Organisers will usually allow non-alcoholic beverages like water, juice, and soda as long as they are in sealed non glass containers. Small snack type foods are often allowed including granola bars, nuts, and dried fruits for example. The exception to the common food restrictions are when a festival-goer has a dietary restriction or allergies that require them to prepare and consume a specific diet. 

Communication Essentials for Organisers. 
Festival organisers should ensure that they clearly communicate with festival-goers what is and is not allowed on a festival site. As well as forming part of the ticket terms and conditions of sale the restriction information should be posted on the event’s website and social media channels. Reminders can be emailed to ticket buyers and the posting of signage at entrance gates can ensure there is no misunderstanding by attendees. If sufficient notifications have been given to festival-goers they will have full transparency regarding any restrictions. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering. 

Image by freepik

Andy Robertson
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