Here, there and everywhere! The journey of ChicP at this summer’s festivals
Summer 2017 has been a busy spell for ChicP. Aside from our brand spanking new packaging, I’ve been hopping from one festival to the next, keeping the hummus lovers happy and the wonky veg away from waste! Here’s a round-up of ChicP’s summer of fun:
Field Day Festival – 3rd June
Kicking off the festival season in Victoria Park, Field Day gave festival-goers their first taste of ChicP for the summer. Collaborating with Soffles Pitta Chips - in their FANTASTIC pitta-mobile – we started setting up accompanied by nothing else but other food vendors, meeting and greeting each other, and asking to borrow bits and bobs. It was incredible to see the park’s setting transform from being beautifully empty to a total sea of people by midday! And we really felt the gradual increase in people, with lunch-time being slow and steady and then mid-afternoon suddenly seeing our hummus pots and the pitta chips flying off the stall, with everyone pre-snacking before the music got going. At that point, I have never seen somewhere SO busy, with hordes of people filling what-had-been empty spaces. It was a fantastic festival to be a part of, merely for watching the mish-mash of characters walking in – sometimes covered in glitter, sometimes in fancy dress, or sometimes in something else! It was a scene that I won’t forget, and festival-goers really enjoyed learning what ChicP was all about.
Glastonbury – 21st-26th June
They don’t get much bigger than this! Partnering up with Olive in a Bus in their red hippy van, ChicP arrived the day before the Glasto party begun and set up our Somerset-home for the week near one of the main entrances. I found it was a fantastic opportunity to show off ChicP’s multi-use, with the hummus displayed both as a part of Olive in a Bus’s mezze platter and as hummus pots again with Soffles Pitta Chips. The famous family-feel of Glasto really becomes a reality when experiencing the festival as a food vendor, with everyone from young children to grandparents coming to try our products. It was amazing to see them sitting around the nearby benches enjoying their snacks whilst immersing themselves in this historic festival. For me, it was without a doubt the best Glastonbury I’ve ever been to – not only was it SUNNY the entire week, but the line-up (including Chic headlining on the Sunday afternoon) was phenomenal. All of this made it extra lucky that ChicP were there for this year, and we absolutely loved our time!
Lambeth Country Show – 21st-22nd July
Brockwell Park was ChicP’s next festival destination, and what a fun weekend it was! Lambeth Country Show shared many similarities with Field Day, not only in terms of the festival-style itself but ChicP got the chance to have another ride in Soffles pitta-mobile! We had a very early start and parked up right next to the busy cocktail tent (where Soffles had been the year before). The music here was fantastic – none more so than the amazing instrumental brass band who were walking around the festival and stood by our stand performing for ages! Whilst people came up to buy their pitta chips and hummus, and stood listening to the band, I could see just how much effort everybody had put into dressing up. The constant flow of customers (rather than Field Day’s surges) made it easy for me to appreciate the different genres of music here, from local choir singing through to the reggae really kicking off on the Sunday evening. And thanks to lots of crowds asking us where the Dog and Duck race was, I was fascinated by the diversity of entertainment on offer. A fantastic festival for ChicP, both in brand awareness and overall enjoyment!
Port Eliot - 27th-30th July
Having been to Port Eliot in previous years, for me this one was the best yet. ChicP were there in full swing, with our own gazebo stand which was decked out with wooden boxes, ChicP décor and glass bowls. We were based right in front of the main estate house, which was a fantastic spot! I had 5 friends helping me out with this one, and the company was most definitely needed – we needed to stay upbeat during the three days of totally torrential rain! Although those days were quieter for us, ChicP was met with an incredibly warm reception from customers. Our hummus tubs were the main product, sold as a three-pack variety accompanied by our surplus fruit and veg salad boxes. I’d collected all the produce needed for these from New Covent Garden market and prepped them prior to arrival, producing a large variety - including aubergine salad, tahini and butternut squash salad and a complete range of roasted vegetable toppings to make ChicP a complete meal. We also put up a breakfast option (which went down a treat with hungry-girl demands) using our Banana, Avocado and Cacao hummousse topped with Primrose Kitchen granola and fresh natural yoghurt – an energising little bowl of heaven! This beautiful event located on the river went incredibly quickly, and I met a lot of people from London who were delighted to learn that ChicP was available to buy when they got back home!
Wilderness – 3rd-6th August
And then came one of my favourite festivals! Based in Cornbury Park near Oxfordshire, Wilderness is so local to me that it would have been almost rude if ChicP hadn’t been there!
Not too big, not too small, this picturesque setting for a lovely summer weekend has incredibly pretty lakes that many people hop in for a quick swim in the morning. To experience Wilderness alongside Olive in a Bus once again was fantastic – in the same mezze style as we served at Glastonbury – and was made even more of a success thanks to our great location next to the cider tent in the main courtyard-y area! Festival-goers really loved them, sitting on grass and hay bales to enjoy their food, with our whole range fitting in perfectly with the bright and colourful scenes passing us through the festival! Maybe ChicP will have its own van next year to show hummus off in all its glory?!
Soul Circus - 18th August
Our penultimate festival was an incredible yoga event with some absolutely fabulous teachers. Soul Circus, based in Gloucestershire, showcased the extreme realm of yoga in one weekend, with every session being led by teachers pushing their bodies completely to the limit – absolutely incredible! I can safely say that (bar the popularity of ChicP) the biggest result to come out of Soul Circus was my completely changed opinion of the practice! It was great for ChicP to be contributing as a part of the first big event for the main catering service, Solar Kitchen. There was a diverse spread on offer too – bright and colourful vegan salad dishes (using pulps), energy balls, turmeric lattes and (of course) hummus. ChicP was the option for the main lunches every day, and presented in a big bowl looked like a beautiful rainbow! Being in the VIP area next to the catering area was very special as well, and our spot meant we could see everything being in the middle of all the events going on. Amongst the yoga was a story tent, cycling tent, music stages and bars – which together formed a big circle of spectacular entertainment! I thoroughly enjoyed the day here, it was great to see what it was all about and we had a fantastic response to the hummus.
River Cottage – 28th-30th Aug
ChicP’s summer festival fun ended on an incredible high at River Cottage. An event founded and led by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall – and being a camping festival for the first time this year - we were lucky enough to experience yet another beautiful setting. We set up on the Friday night in a fantastic location in the market-place tent. Being a stone’s throw away from the River Cottage itself was incredible, as we could see for ourselves the setting for where the cookery school, recipe book exhibits and even weddings happen! It was great fun being surrounded with around 10-20 other exhibitors, ranging from honey cider to a sausage roll stand that sold out every day! ChicP were being paired with PopChips this time around, and the bustle of the families around our table in the fantastically fortunate weather created a great atmosphere. Having driven down in a car full to the brim with hummus, I had been worried that we may have brought too much – but what was I thinking too much?! ChicP completely sold out bar one pot by the Sunday evening, which I was incredibly happy with. On a more personal note, Sunday was a particularly special day for me, being fortunate enough to be contributing in the on-stage panel, alongside Hugh and two other sustainable brands, Snact and Toast Ale. The tent was absolutely bursting with people listening to our discussion - with people stood outside of the marquee as well, all we could see was people! This showed just how popular Hugh is, and it was a fantastic experience to be introduced to such an intrigued crowd by him. We all explained our businesses, and then there was a Q&A with him and all of us. This snippet of the weekend really did reinforce my drive and ambition to keep doing what I’m doing, with everyone giving random rounds of applause during the middle of the questions, staying behind to ask questions individually, and coming up to the ChicP stand to talk to me afterwards! I couldn’t have been happier with how the weekend went, and what a way to round off the summer!