Cooking Your Own Food at Download Festival: What You Need To Know

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Cooking your own food at Download Festival is a great way to save money and stay energised.

Before you go packing your bags full of delicious and tasty food, it’s important to know what items are allowed in – like that small disposable barbecue or camping stove.

When it comes to music festivals, most people think of stuffing themselves with fast food and over-priced street food after a heavy night of drinking. However, there are other options! A great way to save money and have some fun is by cooking your own food.

Most festivals allow campers to bring their own camping stoves, so all you have to do is pack one in your bag.

Then gather up some basic staples like pasta or rice (that cook quickly) before your trip.

Cooking your own food can be great if you are a vegan or vegetarian when options may be limited. See more: Will there be vegan food at Download Festival

Once you’re ready just fire up the stove, mix together your ingredients and voila! You have yourself a delicious home-cooked meal that you can enjoy any time amidst the hustle and bustle of a festival crowd – it doesn’t get much better than that!

Let’s cover the basics that you need to be aware of when cooking your own food at Download Festival:

Can You Bring A Disposable Barbecue to Download Festival?

Thinking of firing up the barbecue at Download Festival? Yes, you can bring a small disposable barbecue along to Download Festival for grilling yourself some tasty treats.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are certain restrictions regarding where you can safely use your disposable grill.

Make sure you read all the rules and regulations before planning your cookout – a bit of preparation beforehand will go a long way towards ensuring you have an enjoyable experience (and protect yourself from any potential mishaps with festival security!).

Can You Bring A Camping Stove to Download Festival?

Yes, you can pack your camping stove for Download Festival to use at your campsite (they’re not permitted in the arena areas), but be sure to brush up on the rules first.

Only solid fuel stoves are allowed, so don’t bring any flammable gas-powered stoves or they may be confiscated.

Before you light that match and brew your morning cup of coffee, make sure you’ve got all the facts about using your camping stove safely.

Best Solid Fuel Camping Stove

Small and light weight stove that uses solid fuel rather than gas

Fire Maple Lotus Titanium Solid Fuel Stove

  • A great alternative when a festival has banned gas or liquid fuel stoves.
  • Remember to buy fuel tablets like these Eco Friendly Fire Dragon Solid Fuel Tablets
  • Tablets burn for around 12 min
  • Boil time: around 5 – 8 min
  • Folds up to a tiny size, while containing fuel tablets

What Are The Rules About Cooking At Download Festival?

Both stoves and disposable BBQs are permitted onsite at Download, so you can enjoy all your favourite grilled foods without any fuss.

Just remember to keep them elevated off the ground at least 30 cm – this will help prevent unwanted fires and protect the ground from being scorched. Please note that all cooking must take place inside designated campgrounds only – you can’t bring your barbecue into the arena!

And as for camping stoves – these must be solid fuel stoves. That means no gas stoves.

You should also take safety precautions when cooking in an area surrounded by lots of tents. Use your common sense!

What’s The Best Food To Cook At Download Festival?

Don’t settle for the overpriced, unhealthy options that are usually served at festivals—instead, prepare a few dishes of your own!

You can read more about food to take by clicking here How to cook your own food at a music festival

How To Pack Food For A Festival

There are two main things to keep in mind when you are packing festival food – keep it safe and keep it fresh!

Some of the food you take will be able to survive the journey there, but when packing your perishable or softer food, try to pack it in something solid like a plastic tub or cooler box.

You should wrap pre-made food in foils rather than plastic wraps, foil is better at keeping your food fresh and maintains temperature better. You can also heat food in the foil.

Plastic wrap is also harmful for the environment as it can’t always be recycled.

Food Storage:

  • Cooler bag
  • Tupperware containers
  • Cooler box
  • Plastic tub
  • Cooler packs to keep with perishable food


Keep your cooking utensils, pots and pans clean! clean them as soon as possible after cooking, it will stop pests crawling in looking for a snack, but also saves you work later when the food has dried on!

  • A washing bowl (this can double as food storage)
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge/scrubber
  • Towel for drying
  • A bag for packaging waste


Cooking your own food at a music festival like Download can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Not only can you save money on expensive festival food, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you’re eating. However, it’s important to take safety precautions when preparing food in an outdoor environment.

Make sure to bring plenty of hand sanitizer, use a portable stove or camping grill, and keep your food stored in coolers to prevent spoilage.

Remember, cooking your own food at any festival is all about using common sense.

By taking the time to plan and prepare your meals, you’ll be able to enjoy all the fun of the festival without sacrificing your health or wallet. So why not give it a try and let the good times roll!

Image Credit: JunkersPVFC, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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