As we re-imagine our G-Source exhibition venue this year – bringing it out into the festival and making it feel like a street market
– we thought it was time to take another look at our traders and caterers too, to make sure they were adding to the festival vibe and ethos.
So, this year for the first time in four years we put out a call for new caterers and traders – and the response was staggering! We had over 100 applications, which says a lot about Greenbelt’s draw for caterers and traders – they hear good things about us and so want to come and spend the weekend with our audience.
As part of the pitching process, we asked the applicants to be clear about how they felt they aligned with Greenbelt’s ethos, and we used this as a key criteria when deciding who to bring onsite.
We see the catering and trading onsite as a really important ingredient of the festival bill. Everyone needs to eat during the festival – and when you’re not in a talk or theatre show or listening to band, then being able to enjoy a festival environment that is engaging and interesting and in line with the festival’s values and aspirations adds so much to the festival experience.
There would be no point in coming to a festival and seeing all the usual high street brands. So at Greenbelt we try and bring together small independent traders, artists and makers to sell onsite – people who are sourcing their wares and plying their trade in an ethical way.
There are, of course, traders and caterers who have been coming to Greenbelt for decades now. And they keep coming back! They choose us as much as we choose them.
We love to see traders and caterers grow and develop with us. Greenbelt was one of the first festivals Goan Fish Curry ever did and, after a year off in 2015, we are thrilled that they are back with us at Boughton this year. Young maker Brittany Davis, who started out with one of our small ‘subsidised’ market stalls a few years ago, is taking a fully-fledged trader pitch this year.
We saw an increasing interest last year in contemporary crafts, with both Jane Follett Ceramics and Mamacha (contemporary alpaca knitwear) reporting really good trade. Folks like Mission Magic – who really pull all the stops out to make their stall appealing to festivalgoers – will be back, too, offering a range of activities as well as ‘pocket money’ magic tricks.
Our old friends at Plain Lazy will be back too. Not only do they trade their great gear at the festival but they work with us year-round to help us with our festival merchandise and volunteer tees too.
We encourage our traders and caterers to go the extra mile and we find people very willing to talk about where they source their goods, how they make things, and some even offer demos and workshops. Pizza Tabun, for instance, run a daily children’s workshop making pitta bread.
You’ll be pleased to know that we have old festival favourites Sea Cow back this year doing fish and chips. And we’re negotiating with Hull Pi to fill our pie-shaped hole since Higgidy stopped doing festivals.
We’ll see some new food options this year, too, with old friends Takodo opening a new Japanese street food stall and Le Cafe Crepe branching out into Cuban food on their new stall.
We’re also working with locally-based firm called The Incredible Bakery
– and they will offer great gluten free, dairy free, egg free and soya free, vegan and coeliac friendly food at the festival. Read more about the Warkton-based bakers here
As well as one of our longest Greenbelt traders MW Sweets being back on site again this year (the family started trading at the festival way back in the 1970s when Greenbelt was at Odell!), we’ll also have Phil Hughes and family offering healthier fruit options for desert! And, if you fancy a crepe and coffee while you’re queuing for the showers, La Grande Buffet will be running a satellite stall there.
Of course, festival favourites Callums Coffee
(with his toasties) and Barn Bacon
will be on hand. And, as if all that wasn’t enough, you’ll have an opportunity to carve a spoon with Wayne’s Wood
(something that has proved hugely popular at other festivals including Womad).
Far from being the hard-nosed, commercial traders you’d see at other festivals, Greenbelt traders, care about the products their selling (and the people who’ve made them). They care about the food they’re preparing. And, most of all, they care about Greenbelt, the space we’re making the community that gathers. They too, want to be part of the Greenbelt festival family.
Besides all these great incoming caterers, don’t forget we have our own homegrown festival cafes and outlets onsite too! From the Jesus Arms and the Blue Nun to The Tank Cafe (Greenbelt’s own festival cafe), the 24-Hour Kindred Cafe in the Campsite Hub and of course, the Christian Aid Cafe too.
Here’s a quick list of the caterers and traders who will be with us onsite this year:
A Piece of Jordan
Brittany Davies Art
Dalit Candles Ltd
Global Seesaw (Freeset Ltd)
Goodies from The Gambia
Hughes Fresh Fruit Ltd
Incredible Bakery Company Ltd
Jane Follett Ceramics
Karuna Action (Karuna Coffee)
La Grande Bouffe
La Grande Bouffe 2
Le Cafe Crepe Ltd
Le Cafe Crepe Ltd – EAT CUBAN
Neema Crafts Ltd
Saomao social enterprise
Shea Alchemy Ltd
Southern counties ice cream
The Barn Bacon Co
The Given Name
The Glass Barge
The Goan Seafood Company
The Roaming Rotisserie
Timprint Art & Craft
Tiny Tea Tent
Yvonne Bell Christian Art