How much food does it take to feed a festival?

How many fries to make a fuck tonne?

Festival food. As nice as it would be to sit in the campsite living off Pringles for four days (and no doubt some of you do), this will do little to aid your horrible Friday hangover and general ill-health as you battle to make it to every party of what should be the best weekend of the year. So you amble over to the row of food stalls, all a bit overpriced, all with a silly queue, and you take a moment to wonder if the chips you’ve been craving for the past few hours are really going to be worth it.

There are thousands of people just like you, eating overpriced chips just like you, because there is no other choice. How many chips are needed to feed a large festival? How many tonnes of food are consumed? How much goes to waste? How much manpower is needed? We asked some of the biggest stallholders at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival to find out.

 

Meals and food in total:

Around 1,200 tonnes of food are consumed at Roskilde Festival. There are approximately 100 food stalls, serving one million meals over the course of the festival. That is a technical fuck tonne of chips.

festival food facts

Fast Food:

One of the biggest food stands at the festival, Time Out Burger, serves approximately 40,000 meals between Wednesday and Sunday.

8-9 tonnes of fries are consumed at this stall alone. Half a container’s worth of iceberg lettuce is ordered for the stand’s burger range. Over 90% of the food at Time Out is organic, in accordance with new Roskilde food guidelines.

250 people work at the stand over the course of the festival. Rene, who has been running the stand since 1982, is a full time policeman. During Roskilde, he runs Time Out like a military operation. They are all volunteers, and the stall helps to support young students with trips and activities at a local handball club. During the busiest times, before and after headliners, 40 people will be on hand to work at the stall.

festival food facts

Pork Fillets:

Meyers Mad (a pop-up of the popular Danish cafe and deli chain) is the largest food stand at the festival. It even has a bakery, where 30,000 rolls and 6,000 cinnamon buns are made over the course of the event.

They are famous for their popular pork fillet burger (the dish requiring all those rolls). 3.5 tonnes of pork fillet is ordered in for Roskilde Festival, and like Time Out, 250 people are required to work at the stand over the week.

Food Waste:

Sadly, it is impossible to organise a festival of Roskilde’s scale without some food waste. Peter Haugelund from The Round Table charity takes around 30 tonnes of waste food at the festival every year which is converted into nutritious meals for the needy and vulnerable by volunteer professional chefs. With only a tiny quantity of food added to supplement the meals, this waste is turned into meals for 100 homeless and support centres across Denmark.

There is no way of predicting what food they will have to work with each year, so they ask around the stalls to see what is popular and plan menus accordingly. A couple of years back, they had to find a solution for 2.2 tonnes of cucumber. This year they even have a contingency if something goes wrong with the innovative ‘Crick’it’ edible insect food stall. But that stuff is delicious, so they should be fine.

Festival food – facts in summary:

  • 1,200 tonnes of food is consumed at Roskilde
  • 30 tonnes of food waste is converted into meals for the needy
  • 1 million meals are served to 130,000 people
  • The largest stands require 250 workers in total, and around 40 to work at busy times.
  • The largest fast food stand uses 8-9 tonnes of fries
  • 3.5 tonnes of pork fillet and 30,000 bread rolls are consumed at just one food stand

Cheers to Roskilde and the food stands for the facts!