Eat to the Beat marks 35 years at Reading Festival 2019


Reading Festival 2019 marked crew and artist catering specialist Eat to the Beat’s 35th year of uninterrupted service to the world-famous music festival, having worked at the event every year since its inception. orking with the promoter, Festival Republic, Eat to the Beat delivered catering for the main stage, Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra artists, along with the food element of the headliners’ dressing room riders. This year’s festival took place over the glorious August bank holiday weekend and was bathed in sunshine.

With sustainability high on Festival Republic’s agenda, having signed up to the Festival Vision: 2025 initiative and headline sponsor of the new Show Must Go On Report, Eat to the Beat was only too happy to assist and ensure that its service delivery was in step with their objectives.

Some of the initiatives that Eat to the Beat deployed to reduce its own impact on the festival’s overall carbon footprint included: using recyclable and bio-degradable (compostable) disposable packaging; not providing plastic drinking straws; not using any single use plastic packaging or cutlery; not using any single serve sachets; providing tea, coffee, sugar and chocolate from sustainable and ethical sources; checking the provenance of meat and fish, and offering meat free alternatives at each meal and only serving free range eggs.

Eat to the Beat served breakfast from 7am -10am and then a rolling buffet from 12pm – 10pm on each event day as Festival Republic wanted artist meals to be available throughout the day and available until the last band went onstage. All meals catered for a range of tastes and dietary requirements and included vegan, gluten free, pescatarian, vegetarian and nut allergy options. The menu featured sautéed gnocchi with kale, cherry tomatoes and pesto; handmade fishcakes served with salsa verde and tenderstem broccoli; beef stroganoff served with steamed rice; build your own dashi broth, using smoked tofu, coriander, spring onion, chilli and mooli; battered pollock fillets with curry mayo, samphire and pickled cucumber and a traditional Sunday roast of beef, Yorkshire puddings and Gravy, along with breads, salads and a dessert station.

The team also provided drinks 24 hours a day, along with post show meals, food for the dressing room riders and meals for the headliners’ touring crew who work through the night preparing the stage for show day. 2019 headliners included Twenty One Pilots, Post Malone, Foo Fighters, 1975, Royal Blood and Bastille who had a variety of specific requests.

Over the course of three days, Eat to the Beat prepared an impressive 7964 meals for artists across 2 separate dining areas and an additional BBQ for 100 artists each day within the BBC Radio 1Xtra compound. All of this was delivered seamlessly in Eat to the Beat’s legendary style, with smiles on every crew member’s face despite the incredible 30◦C heat.


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