Event Wine Solutions founder Paul Scaife talks us through his top wine matches for a jam-packed summer season of festival food.
With the rise in consumer demand for a full history of how food is sourced, as well as the popularity of gourmet street food in cities, it’s no surprise that music festivals have seen a strong uplift in demand for high quality, innovative food on-site. Okay, so cooking in a field isn’t quite as easy as in a restaurant, but that doesn’t stop the hottest names in street food from getting their dishes out there, alongside great music.
For many festivals, the food and drink experience is deemed almost as important as the line-up. For festival goers, that now means top provenance ingredients, creative interpretations of world food and no shortage of choice.
Alongside this high expectation for food comes an equally high expectation for the perfect drinks offering. With the rise of craft ale, artisan cider and the demand for premium cocktails, it’s important that wine isn’t left behind in the dark ages. In fact, in recent years, there’s been exponential growth in consumer demand for a seriously good glass of wine to complete the perfect festival experience. But, if no glass is allowed into the festival, how can the wine offering replicate the typical fine dining experience we are spoilt with off-site?
Enter multi-layer PET. It is virtually indistinguishable from a glass bottle in clarity, fully recyclable and a mere 50g when empty. It also has a lower carbon footprint than glass during transportation, making it the perfect, environmentally friendly vessel for wine lovers at festivals. To be able to share a full bottle of perfectly chilled and crisp mineral character pale Rosé with friends, while tucking into dishes from the Maghreb, Goan fish curry, Tibetan beef stew (with Momos, of course!)…is living the dream!
So, what are our top tips for food and wine matches? Well, how about a delicately fragrant Viognier, reminiscent of apricots on the nose, floral and soft on the palate, but with a crisp finish, to enjoy with that spicy Thai mackerel? Or maybe a crunchy, blackberry strewn Malbec from southern France, that’s just perfect with the Chorizo in a large pan Paella? Then there’s the gently tropical, but gooseberry character of a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand; whilst a delicious sipping wine style, it’s also seriously at home with all manner of smoky offerings from the kettle barbecue.
But for me, for the perfect sunshine wine – while
listening to the main stage from a respectful distance (I don’t want my wine glass jogged in the moshpit!) – it has to be a delicate, pale, perfectly poised Rosé from the deep south of France. There’s just something slightly ethereal about its dreamy colour; the burst of gentle red summer fruits and a touch of smoky strawberry. And anyway, Rosé sales are so strongly featured all year round in the High Street, it’s hardly surprising that their popularity at festivals should reflect the now universally accepted truth that they are truly versatile wines.
What’s your favourite food and wine combo during the event season? Let us know in the comments below. Follow Event Wine Solutions on Twitter @EventWine.
Last week we gave you five of our favourite brand activations from some of the UK’s biggest festivals. This week we’re giving you five more, including a couple of unique city-based activations.
6. Virgin Trains, No.6 Festival 2015
This clever activation from 2015 started nine months before Festival No.6 even took place. Virgin Trains targeted festival-goers planning to travel to the festival using public transport and offered them exclusive priority fares on Virgin Trains services, which was an industry first. On the day of travel, they ran the No.6 Express – an exclusive train for festival goers from Crewe to Bangor featuring live entertainment, face painting and a bar.
Within the festival, Virgin created the ‘Virgin Trains Village Limits’, a suspended dance floor hidden deep in the woods, with a line-up of renowned DJs including Jon Da Silva and Bondax. The huge success and ingenuity of the activation led to them winning Best Brand Activation at the UK Festival Awards 2015.
The Bulmers #LiveColourful Bar wasn’t strictly a festival activation, but as the first black-and-white bar ever created, we thought it deserved a mention. Open for only two days in July , this pop-up bar attracted a huge amount of interest and intrigue from trendy East Londoners, wanting to try something completely new. The concept was created to promote Bulmers’ ‘vibrant and colourful range of flavours’, by creating an environment in which the drinks (and guests) were the only source of colour.
Inside, every part of the bar was transformed into monochrome, including the furniture, décor and food. That meant black and white popcorn, monochrome cupcakes and black tortillas with sour cream. Even the bar staff were given monochrome transformations, with grey airbrush facepaint and black wigs. In total, the bar took over four months to plan, with help from designers and film industry experts. With the success of this pop-up, perhaps we’ll be seeing black and white bars appearing at festivals soon…
Last year Jägermeister brought ‘Jägermeister Unearthed’ to the UK festival circuit, in the form of the Jägerhaus – its biggest ever festival activation. The Jägerhaus comprised of four rooms, which transformed between night and day, revealing secret rooms and passages. The entrance tunnel greeted festival goers with a mist comprised of some of the 56 herbs and spices in Jägermeister.
The stage inside hosted some of the hottest new DJs and bands including TOY, Boxed In, Murkage and Telegram, to name but a few. The house contained several bars showcasing the brand’s Ice Cold Shot, Root56 and Jägermeister Spice and Cola. After launching at Field Day in Victoria Park, the ‘haus’ went on to tour Boomtown, Kendall Calling, BoomTown and Bestival amongst others.
Back in 2013, Cineworld brought a pop-up cinema in a shipping container to the VIP hospitality enclosure at V Festival. The container itself was converted to house a screen, as well as 40 huge beanbags, blankets, classic cinema snack and beverages.
The film screened a variety of films over the weekend, including an exclusive preview of the Linda Boreman biopic, Lovelace. Guests were even served sausage and egg muffins to accompany The Hangover screening on the Sunday morning.
This activation from Lipton Iced Tea wasn’t actually from a festival, but we love it anyway. The Rise & Slide activation was part of their ‘Be a Daybreaker’ campaign, running throughout last summer, encouraging people to take a break from their usual daytime routines.
Rise & Slide consisted of a 100-metre inflatable water slide running through Kings Cross, complete with inflatable rubber rings and samples to enjoy. The campaign also offered Londoners a chance to win tickets to a range of events across the city.
Secret Garden Party have just added even more fantastic acts to their eclectic 2016 line up. The latest additions include DJ Shadow, Anne-Marie, Natty, The Mouse Outfit and Jodie Abacus. Scroll down for the full line up.
They join Caribou, Air, Primal Scream, Milky Chance, Lissie, Submotion Orchestra, Rationale and Izzy Bizu and many more.
This festival will run from 21st-24th July in Abbots Ripon, Cambridgeshire. This year’s theme is ‘The Gardener’s Guide to the Galaxy’, which will bring together themed stages and activities, with an exciting opportunity for fancy dress.
For more info, head to the Secret Garden Party website.
Last Thursday, Peppermint joined forces with sponsors Unbranded Events to compete in the annual Isle of Wight Dragon Boat Race. The event raised over £60,000 for the charity WellChild.
A total of 20 teams competed in the action packed race from including celebrities Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Caroline Corr. The Isle of White Festival team were crowned the winners for the second year running.
Peppermint & Unbranded team
The Peppermint and Unbranded team came an impressive 1st place in the first race, 2nd place in the second race and eventually finished in a solid 7th place.
Thank you for everyone who made the race possible. We cannot wait to do it all over again next year!
Festivals are quickly becoming the place for brands to activate. Whether they’re promoting a product, service or lifestyle, many brands are aspiring to create unique and exciting brand experiences, which are worth sharing both online and offline. Before the festival season kicks off, we’re taking a look at some of our favourite brand activations from recent years, in no particular order.
Check out Part 1 below – Part 2 will follow next Friday, so keep your eyes peeled…
1. Hunter’s #BeAHeadliner, Glastonbury 2013
We’re kicking off our top 10 with a simple but effective activation from Hunter at Glastonbury 2013. The activation began before festival-goers had even arrived at Glastonbury. Hunter promo staff parked a large Hunter van on the side of the road into the festival, where festival goers were queuing in their cars.
They approached them with a simple offer: hand over your old worn wellies, in return for brand new pair of red Hunter wellies. And as if that wasn’t generous enough…the old wellies were then donated to British Red Cross! Over 5000 pairs of the red wellies were handed out, meaning you couldn’t go anywhere in Glastonbury without seeing them. A shareable experience at its simplest.
2. H&M at Coachella, 2015
Last year, high street brand H&M created a one-off line for the US festival Coachella. The line, H&M at Coachella was introduced in a pop-up shop, which also stocked pieces from other H&M collections. The pop-up shop offered air con, water and free wifi, serving as a sanctuary for shoppers wanting to escape the Californian sunshine.
H&M at Coachella
H&M at Coachella
3. Strongbow Tree, 2015
In 2015, Heineken brand Strongbow launched a 12-metre high tree pop-up at both Isle of Wight and Parklife music festivals. The unique activation included a bar, seating, a photo booth, face painters and an apple-shaped DJ booth that hosted a number of top acts. The tree was designed to be seen from any part of the festival and even featured a light laser show at night. As pop-up bars go, this one definitely catches our eye!
At Glastonbury last year, EE created an activation designed to solve one of the biggest festival headaches for anyone (with a mobile phone): getting internet coverage. The activation took the form of a full size ‘charging bull’ in the company’s brand colours, which acted as both a double-speed wi-fi hotspot and Power Bar charging station. The bold use of distinct brand colours meant the bull could be spotted and located from far away.
5. Personal’s Rhythmical Potties, Personal Fest 2013
One of the most unique activations we’ve seen was created by mobile brand Personal, for their festival Personal Fest. Personal looked to the most undesirable part of any festival – the loos – to create their activation, Personal Potties. Back in 2013, Personal transformed one of the busiest yet most unpleasant parts of any festival, the portaloos, into musical instruments.
The Rhythmical Potties were designed to make music and light up when occupied, to help out those in the queue and bring a fun element to a typically boring wait. Each cubicle made a different sound, which created a nice harmony when heard altogether. This quirky activation is not one of the most glamourous we’ve seen, but it’s certainly one of the most useful!
The festival landscape is changing, with the introduction of more premium food and drink outlets to UK music festivals in recent years. This year high-end food and drinks options are expected to be more popular than ever. Secret Garden Party are going further than most, having recently announced they’ll be opening a gourmet, table-service restaurant for party-goers this year.
[Photo Credit: Danny North]
Chris Gillard, former head chef of Michelin-starred restaurant, St John, will be responsible for the 80-cover restaurant, open for lunch and dinner service during the four day festival. The restaurant will bring a new, refined level of food to the famously alternative music festival. The arrival of a seated restaurant, complete with waiter service and gourmet food, is a first of it’s kind at a major UK festival.
In keeping with the intergalactic theme of the festival, the restaurant is called Milliways, a reference to the Restaurant at the End of the Universe in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Milliways will serve a largely Italian menu, cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Gillard said: “Quite often at a festival you’re walking around drinking warm beer out of wobbly plastic containers. It’s a chance to have a break from that. We’ve got plates, knives, forks, tables, waiters. It’s a restaurant in a field, a little oasis of civilisation.”
This year’s line up includes headliner’s Air, Caribou and Primal Scream, along with plenty of brilliant lesser known acts. Secret Garden Party will take place from 21st-24th July in Abbots Ripon.
Dutch start-up Kartent have created a fully recyclable and waterproof tent, without the usual irritations of reusable, fabric tents.
According to Kartent, one in four tents are left behind at festivals, producing a huge amount of waste. The cardboard tent, on the other hand, is 100% recyclable, so campers can leave it behind knowing that it’ll be reused or recycled to create another tent.
With no guy ropes or fiddly zips in sight, the cardboard tent is a far easier solution for campers trying to locate their tents in the middle of the night on a packed campsite. And amazingly, they are waterproof for over 3 days of consistent rain, so you needn’t worry about it collapsing in the wet British weather.
Not only is it waterproof, but the cardboard material is also thick enough to keep the light out, so campers can sleep well knowing they won’t be woken by the first sign of daylight. A vent at one end allows plenty of fresh air, preventing it from becoming too hot inside.
Large batches of the tents can be printed on, allowing advertising for sponsors. Alternatively, campers decorate their tents to personalise them and make them easier to identify.
In the UK, the tents will be available at Wildfire Festival in June. We hope to see them rolled out across many more UK festivals in 2017. A larger size (above) will be trialed in festivals throughout Europe this summer.
With no set-up time and a very simple structure, could the cardboard tent spell the end of reusable, fabric tents and excessive festival waste?
For a full list of where to find them, head to the Kartent website or follow them at @KarTent_.
The Croatian startup “Nearby Hostel” have launched the world’s first mobile hostel on Indiegogo.
Designed to be transported on the back of a truck and set up in 30 minutes, the mobile hostel brings the practicality and affordability of city hostels to typically uncomfortable and muddy fields. Unlike ‘glamping’ tipis, the Nearby Hostel provides electricity, water, air-conditioning and heating, all under one roof.
Every Nearby hostel has 9 rooms with 26 beds. as well as clean toilets and smart showers that use up to 70% less water. Each room is well insulated and equipped with comfortable beds, TV, Wi-Fi, lockers, AC sockets and a fridge. And there’s no need to worry about hanging onto keys the whole time, guests can simply unlock the doors with a smartphone. And you won’t have the worry of not finding where it is in the middle of the night. The Nearby App makes it a simple task to navigate back to the Nearby Hostel.
Nearby are hoping to raise over $100,000 so they can bring the mobile hostel to festivals all over the world.
With the average festival goer craving more luxury and comfort, are these pop-up hostels the future of festival camping?
Last night Peppermint won the Best Concession/Bar Award, sponsored by Event Wine Solutions, at the Festival Supplier Awards, held at The Hurlingham Club, London. They were awarded Best Concession/bar for their delivery at British Summer Time in June 2015, their third year at the festival.
Having worked with AEG Live at British Summer Time since its launch in 2013, Peppermint has continued to provide a full range of bar event services to the public and artists each year. In June 2015, Peppermint ran 24 x front of house bars in unique ‘village environments’. The front of house bars included brand sponsorships and activations with Heineken, J20 and Monopole.
Peppermint also provided 5 VIP and hospitality bars to 4,000+ backstage VIP guests, including a premium cocktail selection.
In addition to specific bar solutions, Peppermint were also responsible for the entire trader wholesale operation, servicing over 60 on site traders with soft drinks and supplies throughout the festival.
Aside from these services, Peppermint also integrated multiple technology solutions, providing cashless payment systems in association with Barclays and public-access ATMs, guaranteeing fast service and making the customer experience as enjoyable as possible. They were able to provide real time sales information to AEG’s sponsors to track how well promotions were performing and adapt accordingly.
All these services aligned to break records, by selling over 40,000 pints in one hour. Throughout the two weeks, over 1 million pints of Heineken alone were sold.
Pop-up specialist Peppermint Events is delighted to announce the launch of The Tasting Room in two Central London locations, Canary Wharf and Broadgate. Each year Peppermint takes the latest trends from the vibrant London food scene and delivers them to new audiences at exciting pop-up locations. Last year saw huge success with the launch of The Tasting Room in Broadgate, which looks to be matched and exceeded by the additional opening in Canary Wharf this winter.
A new artisan menu has been created this year, inspired by the sociable spirit of the festive season. The Tasting Room serves a variety of sharing dishes designed for family and friends, such as warm ‘baked in a box’ cheese and cured meat platters as well as smaller bites like mouth-watering hot dogs and sliders, perfect for after-work drinks. These can all be washed down with a craft beer, an Aperol Spritz or a winter warmer cocktail, all individually chosen to complement the new cuisine.
Peppermint is proud to be working with Stella Artois in Broadgate and Carlsberg in Canary Wharf, as well as craft beer brewers, Aperol, Baileys and Guinness across both locations.
Runwild Media Group are responsible for creating and servicing the ice rinks alongside The Tasting Room in both locations, where visitors can enjoy hour-long skating sessions, seven days a week. There are hour-long sessions each day, providing 15 more minutes of skating per session than most ice rinks in London.
Both locations are open seven days a week until late February, excluding Christmas Day.
Alex Brooke, Director at Peppermint Events comments:
“We are thrilled to be back in Broadgate, and launching in Canary Wharf this winter. We learnt so much from last year and have improved the offering to cater for everyone’s palette – whether it be tasting sliders or cheese fondues we have a fantastically versatile food menu. We look forward to welcoming you back to The Tasting Room Broadgate, and to the newly-launched Tasting Room Canary Wharf this winter.”