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Hygiene Requirements for Music Festival Vendors.

Andy Robertson

For any festival that spans several days personal hygiene can be difficult to maintain for event goers due to limited access to showers and washing facilities. Many visitors would quite happily forego washing for the duration of the festival and just enjoy the atmosphere. With so many people attending a festival site it can be a breeding ground for stomach illnesses.  


A large contributing factor to the spread of stomach illnesses are from poor hygiene standards amongst food vendors so for festival organisers it is essential to check any potential vendor's credentials when it comes to hygiene. All mobile food vendors must by law (UK) be registered with the Environmental section of the relevant local authority at least 28 days before trading and Environmental Heath staff are responsible for inspecting trading premises and vendors can be fined £20,000 for non-compliance.

Vendors are expected to have performed a minimum level of hygiene training for all staff and been given a hygiene rating at some point, many festival organisers will demand evidence of any hygiene rating given. Vendors should be prepared with the following before making an application for a festival pitch:

  • Health and Safety Documents. Risk assessments about the safety of equipment plus the staff and pitch set up. In addition, some event organisers ask for evidence of fire risk assessments and that any electrical equipment has been PAT tested.
  • Evidence of Food Safety Management Systems. Evidence of the vendors policies, procedures and due diligence for operating a food pitch.
  • A Written Scheme of Examination (WSE). The WSE is a legal requirement for any equipment that falls under the Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR). Operation of coffee machines, for example, where the event organisers permit the sale of hot drinks.
  • Allergen and Dietary Information. Obviously, there can be serious risks to life if event goers have a life-threatening allergy so all food sold should be labelled according to regulations.
    Assuming that a vendor's application is accepted the vendor selling food and drink must also comply with on-site hygiene requirements. These relate to the provision of hot and cold running water for hand washing plus paper towels for drying. The availability of toilet facilities and clearly defined areas for disposal of waste to avoid any contamination. In addition to the vendor's pitch equipment the all surfaces must be easy to clean and done so on a regular basis. Staff handling food must be trained for the correct processing of food and be suitably equipped with gloves and hair nets for example.

    With strict hygiene requirements likely to be a feature of music festivals in 2021 the hygiene standard of food vendors will be even more important. Expect to see more sanitizing gel and vendor staff wearing more protective equipment plus screens and cashless payments only. Music festival organisers may want to review their vendor application requirements and add in a new section to cover COVID-19 prevention measures.

    Using an events software management platform like FestivalPro music festival organisers get all the functionality they need to manage vendors. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features for managing vendor applications and logging evidence of all vendor documents and certifications for compliance with health and safety and hygiene requirements.  

    Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

    Andy Robertson
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