When your goal is to dance the weekend away, eating the right kind of food and having the right kind of snack is super important. You need the right food to keep you going, to be able to stay on your feet, have the excitement needed to enjoy every moment of the festival you possibly can.
Typically, EDM festivals are a mix of junk food options and quick deep-fried bites with tons of alcohol. But when it’s hot outside especially during the summer season, it is important to stay hydrated and eat efficiently. When we eat junk food, it can do havoc to our bodies especially in the hot weather. It weighs us down while we try to keep up with all the walking and dancing during the shows.
It is important to note that while there are tons of junk food options available; several types of healthy stands are popping up like smoothies, veggie tacos, and coconut product stands. The choices of how you want to enjoy the festival are up to you. With a lot of healthier quality food options now available, it’s easier than ever to stick to a healthy lifestyle and diet while enjoying your favorite weekend of partying and fun.
On another hand, eating snacks that are high in sugar and salt is a foolproof way to induce sluggish feelings. We recommend skipping the caffeine, if possible. Otherwise, there is a good chance you will have an inevitable energy crash. This is to be avoided of course, as it can be a major bummer when the closing act is about to play, and you feel downright gross. Where’s the fun in that?
While there are tons of unhealthy choices and it seems like festivals are the doom for our diets and healthy lifestyles, things are changing for the better with the festivals adding several new healthy options to choose from. But also, with a little preparation and research, you can save yourself a few bucks and pack several healthy food and snack options that will help boost your energy while enjoying the music and the great company. It’s easy to aim for something healthy: choose food high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. These nutrients will keep you feeling on top of your A-game, whether you’re rocking out to your favorite DJ or dancing with your ladies. We recommend snacks and foods like healthy trail mix, bananas, nuts, carrots, avocado and berries. In addition to dips like hummus, yogurt, energy boosters like chocolate balls, cookies and rice cakes.
Music festivals are all about the good tunes and good times; treating your body well will ensure that you soak in the entire experience.
Prior to embarking on the 12-hour marathon of dancing, shuffling and stage jumping, it is important to start with some good preparations. First, having a breakfast filled with protein, carbs, vegetables and fruits is of the utmost importance. If fruits and veggies are difficult to get down, try to have a protein-packed fruit smoothie. It will give your body the needed nutrients; it’s quick and easy to do. When thinking of fueling for a festival, we recommend getting whole grain carbohydrates and proteins. Whole grain carbs will keep you feeling full for longer, which means you will be able to spend more time dancing and enjoying the music. On the other hand, the whole grains will keep your energy going for longer because your body takes more time to break it down. Lean proteins that are low in fat are also an ideal option to consider. These will help you avoid the feeling of sluggishness. Protein sources are high in fat, they’re also heavy and can cause an upset stomach while you’re dancing around. Being stuck with these “porta potties”, which are already unpleasant to eat, can put a restraint on your entire day.
Now you’re asking, what are the best options of food to eat prior to hitting the festival grounds? We have a few great options for you:
A great option would be having some yogurt w/ ½ cup berries + ¾ cup whole grain cereal or granola. Or how about that turkey sandwich and some fruit? These are filled with the necessary carbs and healthy sugars to give you a great boost of energy. A small bowl of cereal with a banana can be a good option, bananas are filling and they are broken down slowly in your body so you’ll feel full for longer.
Another delicious classic option is the Peanut butter and jelly sandwich; add to that a healthy fruit and you’re good to go. We also recommend avocado slices on toast with a fruit smoothie to go with it. These bring a good healthy dose of proteins. Love something that’s more of a snack? Why not do your own homemade trail mix? Add one cup of whole grain cereal, 2 tablespoons of dried fruits and nuts. Quick and easy don’t you think? You can also try to for a some Graham crackers, some peanut butter and a small glass of 1% or 2% milk. Last but not least, a tortilla with low fat cheese and some apple slices can do the trick.
Notice that all these options contain a variety of healthy ingredients that will bring you energy, are easy to digest and are very cheap and quick to do. Now that you’re prepared and ready, let’s take a closer look at the foods already available at the festivals before giving you 22 snack options to consider yourself.
What foods are already served at EDM festivals?
There is a ton of tempting junk food at festivals such as ice creams, tacos and crab fries. While these may look delicious, remember that you need to sustain your energy; heavy foods will only weigh you down. Organizers of these festivals are always looking for ways to serve food quicker and cater enough. You’ll find unhealthy options and several types of carnival foods like nachos, burgers, pizza, and rice bowls. We don’t recommend these, some people complained that their rice bowls came with soggy rice, rubbery flavorless chicken and whatnot. Although you can find at festivals like EDC in Las Vegas fruit smoothie stands which offer fresh quality product that is healthy and an energy booster.
Some festivals are known for certain foods:
Belgium’s Tomorrowland easily takes home the trophy for festival with the best food as widely discussed by attendees of the yearly festival. The festival takes place in Belgium, where the food culture is thriving which results in a beautiful and varied selection of options to choose from. The festival offers everything from the quick bite to the fine dining experience. Delicious food that immediately stand out are the fresh strawberries which go perfectly with the classic Belgium waffles, in addition to the frozen yogurt stand. The festival also provides other delicious treats like the Belgium style croquettes, vegetarian/vegan dishes and they even have fresh sushi and steaks for those really trying to dive into the delicious world of food.
Tomorrowland also offers freshly baked bread and doughnuts in their famous Doughnutteria. You can also relax and enjoy several tea options at their Moroccan’ Teahouse.
Another massive festival is Coachella. It also offers a wide variety if food ranging from the Mediterranean all the way to Fat Dragon, the popular new school type Chinese food based in Silver Lake, California. Notable delicacies throughout the event are the filling Spanish Paella and the famous Eureka Burger. Mexican and Italian cuisines are also present with authentic street tacos and New York style Pizza. Coachella also has the Craft Beer Barn, which not only offers beer but also delicious snacks to go with it.
EDC Las Vegas offers a lot of food options as well. You can enjoy a menu of healthy food choices that cater to all tastes and predilections: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or meat-friendly. Festival operations and experience specialist Yvonne Liu played a big part in the choice of vendors. “Some of them are local but not all of them. I spent a lot of time Googling and tasting and doing my research,” she says.
The festival works with different food specialists, some specialize in unique Spanish tapas, others in Lao and Thai street food. Some vendors will have sandwiches with 10-hour pulled pork, Barcelona-style sausage, jamón serrano. One-side plates are also available the Spanish-style fries. EDC also provides Latino food trucks, foods with a lot of strong flavors from Peru, grilled cheese specialists, Ice cream, burgers and so much more!
Lollapalooza festival in Chicago offers some delicious Italian food in addition to the famous Chicago hot dogs. A cool offering during that festival is Chow Town which is host to thirty premiere food vendors that are local to Chicago. It is good to note as well that Chicago is known for their amazing Italian food so it only makes sense for the festival to be located not far from the famous ‘Little Italy’ district in downtown Chicago.
Although a lot of the food options in each festival are tempting and easy to grab and go back to your partying, It is essential that you make sure to avoid the food options that will have a negative effect on your body and will negatively affect your overall festival experience.
We recommend having with you several healthy snack options. And since you might not be sure regarding what to pack, the time has come to reveal 22 healthy energy-boosting snacks that are ideal for EDM festivals.
22 Ideal Energy-boosting Healthy Snacks
A quick tip to keep in mind: during the festival, be sure to re-fuel every 3-4 hours with a small snack. This will allow you to have sustained energy throughout the event. Because every festival has different vendors, your healthy food options may be sometimes limited. As we’ve seen above, there’s a focus on speed and heavy food options.
When packing and deciding on what snacks or food to bring with you, be sure to include carbs (bread, rice, potatoes, pretzels, fruit smoothie, juice), protein, and fruit/veggies. This will ensure you get more energy from the carbs, you can rebuild muscle with protein, and you can decrease damage to cells with fruits and vegetables.
They’re full of fiber and good nutrients. Bananas will keep you full as the day passes. On the plus side, they’re easy to bring with you in a bag or car. You don’t need to refrigerate them or to wash them, just peel and enjoy.
Fresh fruit smoothies are great! Blending produce into a smoothie, however, preserves fiber while also providing a boost of vitamins and needed minerals for the body. They’re light, keeping you feeling clean and fresh while providing you with the needed energy boost. They’re also good for hydrating your body, making you feel happier and increases the feeling of being full for longer with far fewer cravings for snacks and junk. If you’re interested in avoiding shopping for ingredients individually at the grocery store for a lot more, these delicious and healthy smoothies from Concord Foods are easy to make and perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth craving.
Dried fruits generally contain a lot of fiber and are a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols. A huge benefit is that you can take them anywhere. Unlike fresh fruits, they can last longer and are easier to transport. Dried fruits should be eaten in moderation as they contain significantly more calories per serving than fresh fruits. Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, prunes and figs contain high amounts of beta-carotene, vitamin E, niacin, iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium and little to no fat. They also contain significant calories per serving, making them a natural source of energy for athletes.
A big advantage of this delicious fruit is that it can last some time outside with no need for a cooler. You can take advantage of this by packing it for your festival experience and storing it in your tent. You can enjoy avocado with crackers or rice cakes (two greatly healthy options). You can even mix it with tuna, or whip up some guacamole for a healthy pick-me-up. Simply pack a small container of spices and you’re good to go. Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat. It is filled with Potassium (even more than bananas), a nutrient that most people don’t get enough. They’re weight loss friendly, heart healthy and, taste incredible.
There’s nothing like a simple handful of good berries, they’re sweet and juicy- the perfect midday snack on a hot festival day. While these will last longer in a cooler, you can get away with keeping them around in your bag for a few hours. Berries are a great source of antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ellagic acid and resveratrol which protect your cells. They’re high in fiber, which slows down the movement of food through your digestive tract, leading to reduced hunger and increased feelings of fullness.
Grilled sausage with peppers and a 100% natural fruit juice
This delicious recipe will add the necessary nutrients, vitamins, fiber and protein to keep your body supplied with all that it needs to keep going for long hours.
Pre-washed and cut bagged veggies such as carrots, celery, beans, snow peas, or cauliflower florets
These delicious, healthy, and easy to enjoy snacks will last a few days with you and will surely appeal to anyone in your group of friends who’s partying with you. Filled with a varied list of nutrients and vitamins, these veggies can surely come in handy for a quick boost of energy on the go. You don’t even need to sit down!
A slice of veggie pizza
Vegetarian pizza will contain toppings with nutrients that promote better health. Tomatoes are the main ingredient in pizza sauce and contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. It also contains calcium, protein and vitamin A. Another source of nutrients in this pizza is the dough, which contains some antioxidants due to the chemical reactions of the yeast. Need recipe ideas? Here’s an AWESOME resource to create amazing vegetarian pizzas. The book cover looks too good!
Coconut Water/Water Dense Foods
Hydration is key at EDM festivals, and coconut water is filled with the natural electrolyte, potassium to keep you hydrated a step beyond plain water. If you’re not a fan of the flavor, try mixing in fresh fruit or fruit juice.
Whether with vegetables or crackers, hummus beats store-bought dips full of saturated fat and salt. If you’re bringing along a cooler, consider packing hummus. It’s filling, healthy, and doubles as another source of protein.
Nuts & Nut Butter
A generous helping of nuts or nut butter will bring you a lot of much-needed energy. Peanuts and almonds are especially excellent protein sources, making sure you’re fueled up for the festivities.
This is a kick-ass option when you need something sweet, but also healthy. And, it’s the king of camping snacks so why not take it to your EDM festival camp as well. You can customize what you want inside, and create a healthy mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruit (we’d recommend staying away from chocolate- it might melt).
Sandwich wraps are a easy and delicious way to add variety to your snacks and meals at the festival. Take for example a granola crunch apple-peanut butter wrap. This well-rounded option has whole grains, fruits, and healthy fats to nourish your whole body. A great thing about the sandwiches is that you can leave them whole for a quick lunch or slice them into sushi-like rounds for on-the-go sharing.
Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
Replace the unhealthy salty chips with these. They can be easily prepared at home.
Greek yogurt cups
Settle your stomach with some yogurt. You can also add granola & fruits to make it into a small, deliciously varied snack.
Chocolate peanut butter oatmeal no-bake cookie
These pack a serious dose of fiber and protein to keep you full while you soak up the atmosphere at your festival of choice. You can find a lot of small packaged brands in the supermarket or you can also make a quick batch yourself at home.
Pre-made salads such as pasta salad, quinoa salad, or bean salad
Any type of these salads is packed with the necessary nutrients you’ll need. On the plus side the bean salad will surely fill you for longer hours than the quinoa salad. I’d recommend all three options if you ask me!
Cheese strings, slices, or shredded cheese
Packed with calcium and a variety of good nutrients, who doesn’t like a fun cheese string to eat quickly as they dance the weekend away? A practical and fun option to consider.
Root Vegetable Chips
Unlike regular chips, these are packed with beneficial vitamins like Folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fibers, and much needed enzymes. You can easily prepare at home several bags to take with you to the festival.
These can be eaten them plain for a super quick pick-me-up or used instead of bread as a delicious base for a peanut butter or avocado snack. They go well with a lot of healthy ingredients which might be available with you at the festival grounds.
Although nothing replaces fresh fish, you can grab some canned tuna, mix it with avocado and you’ll have quite a healthy meal. This goes well with crackers, rice cakes, or veggie flatbreads.
Chocolate orange balls
These balls are a great addition to have. They will satisfy your chocolate craving and will also give you a fantastic energy boost. Loaded with amazing nutrients that will benefit both your body and brain, this is the perfect snack to keep with you.
No matter what foods and snacks you decide to go for, know that all the above options can do you no harm! Time to dig in, and enjoy!