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Survival Guide For Festivals This Summer

Survival Guide For Festivals This Summer

  • The average festival goer will walk 17.24 miles, throughout the festival and burn an average of 2,940 calories per day
  • Glastonbury is the festival people are expected to walk the most, nearly the equivalent of a marathon
  • Festival goers will be spending on average £9.73 per meal
  • American comfort food makes up 30% of the food stalls available at festivals

Festival Nutrition Guide, Glastonbury

From walking long distances and lugging tents across busy campsites to dancing until the early hours of the morning, festivals can leave you feeling utterly drained. Festival goers may not realise now much energy they exert at a festival, and with all these factors to contend with its no wonder you can feel burned out.

Nutrition expert Kyle Crowley at Protein Works has provided the ultimate guide to surviving the hectic festival weekend without compromising your health, analysing the food options and costs at this year’s event.

Festival goers revealed as the real athletes this summer with data showing they’ll walk up to 25.5 miles!

Analysing step count data, we have estimated that the average attendee at five of the UK’s most popular festivals will walk 4.52 miles per day, a whopping 17.24 miles over the course of the events. The data also suggests that the typical attendee will burn 2,940 calories per day and up to 51,532 over the course of the event.

Out of the five festivals analysed, those attending Glastonbury are the most likely to walk the equivalent of a marathon, followed by Creamfields and Bestival goers completing 3/5th of a marathon. Finally, those attending Reading and Leeds festival are likely to walk the equivalent of a half marathon across the course of the event.

Festival Miles Per Day Miles Throughout Festival Number of Marathons Calories Burnt Per Day Calories Burnt Throughout Festival Cost of Food over the Festival
Glastonbury 5.1 25.5 0.97 marathons 3,400 86,700 £97.30
Creamfields 4.2 16 0.64 marathons 2,800 47,040 £77.84
Bestival 4 16 0.61 marathons 2,600 41,600 £77.84
Reading Festival 4.7 14.1 0.54 marathons 3,000 42,300 £58.38
Leeds Festival 4.6 13.8 0.53 marathons 2,900 40,020 £58.38

*food costs were calculated using the average cost of a meal at Glastonbury £9.73 (as similar food stalls work each festival). Then, multiplying £.9.73 for 2 meals a day for the number of days at the festival.

48% of food stalls available focus on high fat or sugar content, which may leave you feeling sluggish

We analysed the current food stalls available at this year’s Glastonbury festival to get an overview of the types of foods available at these events, allowing us to give guidance on the best options to maximise nutrition and enjoyment.

The most common food stalls are American comfort food such as mac & cheese, loaded fries, hotdogs and burgers (30%). Followed by Asian cuisine (22.5%), dessert stalls (17.5%), Spanish cuisine (15%) and finally vegan and veggie stalls (15%).

The data also revealed that on average, food will cost an individual £9.73 for one meal, meaning people could be looking at spending roughly £30 a day (for three meals a day) or £150 on food alone for the entire festival.

5 key ways to optimise your nutrition, wellness and enjoyment at a festival

In response to their findings and search trend data suggesting searches for ‘healthy food for festival’ have increased by 200% in the past month, Kyle Crowley, a nutrition expert at Protein Works gives his top tips on staying on top of your nutrition while at festivals.

“If you follow a specific diet, staying on track at festivals can be tricky and it’s completely fine to indulge whilst enjoying yourself. However, a lot of food available at festivals can be heavy, oily and salty, a combination that can lead to you feeling sluggish and lacking in energy. Festivals are no joke when it comes to the physical energy they require, as made apparent by the data.

If you blow your food budget on the first night, don’t fret and spend time feeling guilty, instead plan ahead now and think of options you can bring along so that you can continue to enjoy the event.”

Think about your comfort food options:

“As always, it’s all about moderation. If you fancy a burger, make sure to include salad like lettuce, tomato and onion to help get all the additional nutrients. Likewise, loaded fries are delicious but can be made more nutritious by opting for a high-protein topping like chicken or cheese to ensure you’re getting the added benefits. Doing this will help ensure your body is fuelled not just on high carbs and fats but also with sources of high protein and nutrients, which your body will need to function at full capacity while partying.”

Utilise the nutritional benefits of different cuisines:

“Asian cuisine is the second most common food stall at Glastonbury. Asian cuisine, especially Japanese, often includes fresh ingredients, seafood and veggies making it a great healthier alternative option to other deep-fried or heavily processed foods. These high protein and slightly lighter dishes will provide you with the sustained energy required to enjoy the festival without feeling heavy and overly full.”

“Vegan and vegetarian stalls will have more whole food options. These will include complex carbohydrates, allowing for a slow release of energy throughout the day, high in fibre to help maintain blood sugar levels and healthy sources of fats and proteins like nuts, seeds and avocados which keep you feeling fuller for longer.”

Plan ahead: Pack nutritious and easily portable snacks and meals:

Plan ahead and bring your own snacks including dried fruit and nuts which are small and easy to pack without taking up much room. Nuts are full of nutrients, antioxidants and fibre which are all beneficial for a healthy and well-balanced diet. Brazil nuts contain vital nutrients that are important for our health including magnesium, vitamin E, and healthy fats and are an excellent source of protein.

Fruit is another great option to bring along with you, with tinned fruit options costing less than £1 in many supermarkets. They can help to satisfy your sweet tooth whilst offering additional nutrients. Protein bars are another way to not only boost your protein intake but also give you a satisfying treat to enjoy and give you additional energy.

With the average meal costing £9.72 you might also want to consider easier ways to have a full meal without the need to spend.”

Take a portable water bottled and stay hydrated:

“Probably one of the most important things to consider to keep on top of a healthy lifestyle is to stay hydrated. Take a reusable water bottle to fill up through the day and ensure you are getting plenty of fluids. Dehydration can lead to tiredness, headaches and dizziness, always make sure you have access to water, juices or sports drinks to keep hydrated. Alternatively, pack electrolytes or hydration tablets to bring with you to the festival for added hydration.”

Bring vitamins:

“The long days at festivals with sometimes not so ideal food choices can leave you feeling low in energy. Vitamin supplements can help to give you an added boost and combat symptoms of fatigue. Ashwagandha as well as vitamins B and C are a great option to bring to a festival as well as other benefits they work to improve energy levels.

Greens powders are an easy-to-transport vitamin option, which take up little space within your festival packing. Simply add it to water to get a vitamin hit as well as added nutrients you may be lacking whilst at the event.”

For more nutritionist tips and advice on how to make the most of your festival experience, explore more articles on the Locker Room

Initial step count and calorie taken from previous data collected by Witherings (smartwatch company) for each of the five festivals. From this Protein Works then calculated how many marathons each festival goer would complete.

Data for the food stalls options available at Glastonbury 2024 and the average cost was analysed and calculated using the latest figures on