Daylesford Organic Festival – Was it a Festival fail?

All Opinion pieces are just that - a personal OPinion

Daylesford Organic Festival - Was it a Festival Fail ?

Over an hour queuing to get in 

It was heralded as a celebration festival marking the 20th anniversary of Daylesford Organic’s.  It should be good I thought, as a regular customer of the Organic Farm shop.

I arrived hungry, deliberately having not eaten any breakfast. I was expecting to be tempted by delicious food options both from the food trucks and Daylesford Organic Farm Shop. Good food was why my husband and I had trekked to the festival.

Lunchtime comes and goes and we’re still stuck in the car for over an hour queuing to get into the car park. The parking attendant has no idea if we’ll be able to park – space is at total capacity and we had to wait for someone to come out of a space before we could go in. There were seemingly hundreds of cars behind us and with no parking attendants guiding cars into areas the situation is utter chaos. Will we ever be able to get out of here, I thought. 

Finally, having found an elusive space we made our way to the entrance where we still can’t get in as we’re in another queue to check tickets. A woman is passing out cans of water, apologising about the queues.

By this point attendees were getting very dissatisfied, especially as no wristbands were issued after the check-in process and queuing was a total waste of time. “Don’t we need a wristband or something?”. ‘No, Let us know if you need to go out of the festival’, I was told. The organisers, I was told, expected 20,000 visitors throughout the weekend, yet on the first day just four staff members were at the entrance manning the ticket desks.

The reward did not justify the wait

I’ve been to many festivals in Oxfordshire; big, small, quirky and totally whacky. None of them left me as disappointed as this one.

I’m happy to wait up to 5-10 minutes in a queue for a food sample and maybe up to 25 minutes in a lunchtime queue. This was another massive fail. Long queues to taste a morsel of cheese or a sip of gin? No thank you. The long queues did not justify the reward. The Daylesford Organic Farm charcuterie stall had totally run out of all meats by a quarter past two!  Visitors were so hungry I think I saw one eating a pickle sandwich! 

Seriously! A smattering of food trucks to feed thousands of people 

One Pizza truck, one South African truck, one BBQ, one pasta stall and a handful of other food operatives where the queues were seemingly 100 people long were filled with desperate parents phoning each other to ask if any queue was moving?!  Is that enough ? 

Even the Ice Cream cart had run out of most things except alcoholic lollies at just past two o’clock. In fairness, the G&T and the Rum and Coke Lollies were very nice. 

With long queues resentment started to build. Comments overheard included “this is nuts” “Did they do the math?, “There’s not enough food what can we feed the children?” Little seems to anger us Brits more than no food. 

I spoke to one man who said he’d been waiting 25 minutes to order and pay and then had to join another long queue to collect his corn on the cob after it had been cooked.  

More people than you can feed – always a MASSIVE fail 

I think and it’s just my personal opinion, someone either got a little greedy with the ticket sales or underestimated the sales dramatically, which inevitably meant that everyone’s experience was compromised. 

I have never left a food festival hungry. What did I eat? Nothing.

Even the queues in the farm shop were insane.

On the next anniversary Festival, maybe leave your audience hungry for your next food event rather than let them actually leave hungry!

I left this festival after one hour, went straight to a pub in Ramsden for a delicious G&T and a packet of trendy crisps. Delicious.

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