Many people will argue what the most important part of a festival is.
Some will say that the music and line-up is obviously the most integral factor while others will proclaim that your festival squad determines how much fun you have when you're part of the 7am deep crew. Of course, the location is also a hugely important aspect but one of the most underrated parts of any incredible festival experience, is the food.
Yes, that festival munch is the undercover star of the show. We're fully backing bringing a big bag of snacks for the duration, you know the stuff, we're talking sausage rolls, Tracker bars, a can of beans etc, but picking your festival meal from the hundreds of stalls at your favourite summer playground is one of the most important decisions you'll end up making.
No-one wants to spend that hallowed £10 on some dead burger or soggy, limp chow-mein. Selecting where you're going to eat is pivotal. Spending wisely means that you get a hearty, tasty meal that's actually worth the usually extortionately inflated prices and more importantly, you've got that rave fuel locked and loaded for the rest of the day.
We've been to our fair share of festivals and we've eaten some dodgy pie and mash suppers to be able to tell you the spots you need to be hitting this festival season in the UK. There are some classics you'll know and a few you'll be thrilled to discover.
Here's our list of the most essential places to eat during festival season.
Morty & Bobs
The humble cheese toastie.
A firm favourite around the world and a it's hard to dislike a grilled cheese. It's got all the necessary components for a festival dinner as well. Thick melted cheese is always a winner, the bread is there to soak up the booze and line the stomach and the meal itself isn't too big to handle if you're after something a bit lighter.
There are plenty of toastie stalls at lots of festivals but take it from us when we say that Morty & Bob's is the undisputed champion of the scene. When they're not supplying instant hangover cures at festivals like Lost Village and Glastonbury, they take up a permanent residence at Netil House in London and they're the best in town.
A standard cheese toastie with onions comes in at a respectable £5.50 so it's not breaking the bank but we'd recommend jazzing things up with mushroom and truffle for that extra pound. They're as greasy as you need them to be before the madness of a festival but they're freshly made and oh so fucking tasty.
The saver's choice when you've got money in mind.
Check Morty & Bob's out here
If you regularly attend festivals then the chances are you've seen Goodness Gracious somewhere over the years. The classic, underrated vegan and vegetarian spot has been feeding party people at festivals for as long as we can remember and if you like hummus, you're in for a treat.
Situated at hotspots like Glastonbury, Farr Festival, Standon Calling and formerly Secret Garden Party, Goodness Gracious is both fresh, healthy and completely meat-free, meaning if you're at one with the festival/the world, you can breathe a sigh of relief when eating at the vegetarian paradise.
Veggie burgers are there in abundance, as is the organic tofu but realistically it's all about the falafel wrap or salad with heaps of hummus and a few chunky slices of halloumi. You get a bit of everything for £7 and it's not going to offend your stomach before a big dance off.
Good fuel for a raver who wants fresh not fried.
Check Goodness Gracious out here
If you're from the London area, chances are you'll know about The Breakfast Club.
No, not the classic, coming-of-age rom-com directed by John Hughes, we're talking about the really tasty, breakfast-focused café that delivers gluttonous pancake stacks and brunches that'll keep you full till the following day. Basically, they're the shit.
With 15 restaurants around the UK, including spots in Oxford and Brighton, The Breakfast Club is a veritable hotspot for all things naughty and nice. So what better place to go for your morning bacon sandwich at festival than to this crew. Secret Garden Party used to play host to them and spots like Lost Village and beyond still do.
There are three ways of spotting out the breakfast kingpins and they're all pretty easy. Either look for the stall with 'BACON' on top of the car (seen above), head to the one with 'Breakfast Club' above it (so simple) or try and scope out a big purple, double-decker bus that doubles up as a place to eat your delicious first meal of the day.
Eggs Benedict, pancakes, coffees, bacon sandwiches, breakfast burritos, you name it, it's probably there and it's all reasonably priced considering it's so, damn, good.
Check out Breakfast Club here
Goan Fish Curries
Whenever we go to Glastonbury, we go and get a Goan Fish Curry. Fact.
It's almost become as regular a pilgrimage as travelling to the festival itself and there are few things in life much better than going to the West Holts Stage when the sun is shining, listening to some smooth, easy-going music from all around the world and of course, tucking into a Goan Fish Curry.
It's the ONE.
In the mornings you can grab a smooth, creamy kedgeree for breakfast and for lunch and beyond, the classic Goan fish curry is our go too. The Vegetarian Masala Dahl is also a huge shout for those who want that spice hit while wandering around, without the meat guilt.
You can also catch the Cornwall-based stall at festivals like Womad and Green Man although we must say, it's a Glasto ESSENTIAL.
Check out Goan Fish Curries here
Wait just one damn second, Hawksmoor? At a festival?
Yeah, we thought the same when we saw that one of the London's most famed steak restaurants would be entering the festival circuit. It's a stroke of genius to be honest and Lost Village pulled it out of the bag when they announced that Hawksmoor would take care of the Sunday Roast at the festival.
Aptly titled 'The Sunday Feast', last year Hawksmoor delivered their world famous, meat-drenched Sunday dinner for hungover ravers who needed the most beautiful entry back into the game. A truly unique experience but to be fair, Lost Village have been smashing it on the food front for a while, with Honest Burger and The Cheese Truck in attendance also.
This year Patty & Bun are on board and if you like burgers then you already love Patty & Bun but Hawksmoor at a festival is pure brilliance.
Check out Hawksmoor at Lost Village here
Chunky Chips & Wicked Dips
The premise here, as you can imagine is, very, very simple.
You get a nice big cone of chips, you slather on some really nice wicked dips and there you go, no nonsense, no over-the-top bravado, just fried potatoes and a sauce of your choosing.
If you've been raving for hours but the tank feels empty, chances are you don't really want to be drawing for the Yorkshire Pudding wrap with mash, stuffing and sausage. That's way too heavy.
You want something easy, something manageable and something that's not going to piss your stomach off when you're about to embark on another 10 hours of heavy dancing. So let us reiterate why this one works.
(Oh and you'll spot this stall at literally every festival, if you don't then you're not going to the right festivals, sorry)
Check out Chunky Chips & Wicked Dips here
Festival No.6, Bestival, Lattitude and Glastonbury, all stops on Paellaria's wonderful festival tour.
The travelling Paella hotspot has to be one of the cutest and quaintest eateries on our list and its combination of fresh fish, chorizo and veggie options are a joy to behold when you're in need of something with a kick.
Grab some olives as a snack or use the bright colours as a place to meet your squad, Paellaria is veteran of the festival munch. In fact, they've won awards for their food and for their stall.
No doubt they'll be back at it again this year and they're well worth checking out.
Check out Paellaria here
Funster is Mixmag's Digital Editor and he exclusively eats Hawksmoor for breakfast, lunch and dinner at every festival he attends, follow him on Twitter