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Posted Jun 1st, 2015 (10:46 am) by James Hughes
You Are What You Eat: A Festival's Secret to Success is Not Their Music But Thei
Image by Official Governor’s Ball Website

Ah it is that time of year again, and with the festival season kicking off, I am excited to embark on wildly wonderful weekends at this year’s Governor’s Ball, Firefly, and Gathering of the Vibes. Of all my festival adventures, there has always been attention paid to food. A great music festival's secret to success is not their lineup of musical acts, but their lineup of chefs. At many festivals, the culinary experience can, unfortunately, be summed up as state fair meets backyard barbeque.

The 2015 music festival season is in full swing and millions of festival-goers are heading out to experience what could be the highlight of their year. But, seeing your favorite artist on an empty stomach can turn your favorite day into a tailspin. I have always been a huge proponent of bringing my own food to my musical long weekends, but sometimes peanut butter sandwiches, trail mix, and a 30 rack of beer just don’t cut it. And, when resources run low, festival attendees like myself turn to the events sometimes scarily overpriced offerings. For me, as a man who likes to travel light, I thrive and survive on whatever the festival has to offer.

Now you wouldn’t put cheap gas in a Ferrari, so you shouldn’t be fueling your body with trashy food that will leave you sluggishly dancing. According to a 2010 article in the Dartmouth University Journal of Science, your mood and your food are closely related on a micronutrient level; which puts an even heavier meaning to “you are what you eat.” You could have a terrible mood because your body is not getting what it needs to thrive in that environment. Providing the body with proper fuel for long days of walking, dancing, and any outside activity is essential to thoroughly enjoying yourself. That being said, I sure as hell would not want to sit around for a half hour waiting for a filet of Mahi Mahi that is going to seriously encroach on my festival experience - and my wallet.

Keep in mind that food is an experience in itself and, in my opinion, the food experience drives the festival. Eating a fresh, quality meal will always do the body good. Cheap carbohydrates and fats will leave you feeling bloated, greasy and will slow you down. Always try to focus on quality proteins, fats, and non-digestible carbohydrates like fresh vegetables. Whether it be a juicy, locally sourced burger or a chicken Caeaser salad, fresh food will always put a smile on your face and power you through the day.

On way too many occasions, I have set off to explore the long weekends of music festivals armed with only the most bare bones approach to my food. Attacking the weekend with aforementioned diet of PB&J, trail mix, and craft beer wasn’t out of the realm of possibility. After a few days of camping life a breakfast sandwich comprised of strictly of PB&J is vastly overshadowed by the smell of fresh bacon and smoked meat. So, when budgeting your festival experience, make sure to set aside a substantial sum of your funds for healthy options because many farm to table practices have been shown to cost more than their less than healthy counterparts. According to to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, organic foods cost more than conventionally grown crops for multiple reasons including more “expensive farm habbits and “higher standards of animal welfare.”

Festivals like Outside Lands, Mysteryland, and Governor’s Ball pride themselves in blasting their audience with top tier music and food. I am excited to go exploring through the food options at all three of my upcoming adventures. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and follow me as I explore the summer with daily live coverage though the links below. Tell me what food I can't leave without trying, and where I can find the best grub this summer and you could be entered to win photos from that day’s show.

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