Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Eating Healthy At A Music Festival

*UPDATE- Wow, security was slack this year! There were no sectioned off mosh pits, I didn't have my ID checked and I could have taken a backpack, after all! A lot different to last years intense bag search and no backpacks in the mosh rule! *

With Melbourne's Soundwave coming up on Friday, I thought I'd share my tips with you about eating healthy at a music festival. Firstly, I have a horrific food-related story to tell (feel free to skip ahead- I'll never know!)

One day, years ago, in a place called Brisbane, a Soundwave Music Festival was on.
At the time, I wasn't a healthy eater. I wasn't large yet but, boy, would I get there in the next couple of years. Byron and I saw some great bands but we got a little hungry so we headed to the food district. There were large lines but we didn't care- Saosin were playing at the stage close by and we could see and hear them.

We chose the line for a Mexican food truck, excited at the possibilities.

And that's when it first happened. The power cut. Everyone let out a collective, exasperated sigh.

"What's happening?" Byron (probably) asked someone to which they (probably) replied:
"The power keeps cutting. I've been in this line for hours!"

We weren't perturbed. We were determined and DAMN hungry!

The power came back on to more applause than Saosin, who had just finished their set. It was okay because Madina Lake were up next.

"It's cool, we were going to see them anyway." Byron justified.

Half an hour had passed at this time. Fifteen minutes later the power went out and Byron and I joined in with the exasperated sighing. We hadn't moved in the line yet. We were getting worried.

This was just a taste of what was to come.

Hours passed- literally, truly hours.

We finally reached the service counter three (some say four) hours later, surviving numerous power outages. We forked over mega moneys for some sweet, sweet nachos which were promptly covered in pump-bottle sour cream, thanks to the service attendant. Pump-bottle sour cream.

We headed to a grassy noll, unfortunately near the port-a-loos.

I took a bite out of the nachos and what little was in my stomach was already threatening to come out.

They were disgusting.

Not just disgusting, but inedible. I couldn't stomach them. The pump bottle sour cream was the disgusting, rotten icing on the cake (nachos? Omg, is sour cream nachos icing?).
I didn't eat another bite. Byron powered through, determined to get his money and time's worth out of this disgusting little meal. We had missed so many bands for this inedible crap.

It was the worst Soundwave ever. I didn't eat nachos for a year. I was mentally scarred by The Soundwave Nachos, as they were forever known.

The face of a hungry music fan. 

Here's how you can avoid this situation, eat healthy, and save money for merch.

Top Tips:

  • Take a backpack. You have to clerk the backpack if you want to go in the moshpit (the ones they section off, anyway). It's a relatively new rule. The lines at the Cloaking Room will do your head in but the alternative is to waste money and time at a disgusting Mexican stand. 
  • Pack food such as sandwiches on wholegrain or wholemeal, muesli bars. Fruit is not allowed as it can be a projectile. Ditto with anything glass! 
  • Pack an empty water bottle that you can fill up first thing once you're inside. They won't let you take any old water bottle. I believe you can take ONE sealed water bottle in but I'd take an empty to be safe. 
  • Be mindful you won't be able to pack a frozen pack- it can be used as a projectile and they won't allow it, so make sure your food is non-perishable. 
Here's a really important tip:

  • Despite what the Soundwave website says (or has done in the past-this year I could find nothing!), I have been stopped by security who say I'm not allowed to take in food. So here's my dirty little trick: I lie. I say I have hypoglycaemia and am on a special two week diet. I didn't even get to do my full rant last year before being waved through. 
I've gone two or three times with my friend who is a Type 1 diabetic and I generally pack for him too, forever fearful of the Nacho Incident (Mexican Standoff?). 

And finally some food ideas:

  • Wholemeal sandwiches
  • Muesli bars
  • Rice cakes with separate toppings (like mini-peanut butter tubs)
  • Crackers (just don't take cheese-it'll go gross)
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • Home-popped popcorn
  • Healthy cookies
You'll be so focussed on the music that you won't even worry about eating, that's why higher calorie items like muesli bars are great for days like this- all that moshing really takes it out of you!

Stay safe, eat well and have a fantastic time!


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