About the event

Wilderness is a foodie’s dream with banquet halls, myriad food stalls, and a mouth-watering array of culinary delights. This presents its own challenges: lots of good food means lots of fresh ingredients, which can often mean more surplus at the end. Fortunately, traders at Wilderness were more enthusiastic and involved in the project than at any other festival – they obviously didn’t want to see good food go to waste.

  • 18,000

    festival attendees

  • 42

    food traders

  • 15

    EighthPlate volunteers


The challenge

Our main issue at Wilderness was dealing with the large amounts of immediately perishable donations. We dealt with this by delivering small amounts of food to as many different organisations as possible.

Boxes of vegetables

The process

A breakdown of what we did, when we did it, and how…

  • 1 Arrived on-site and postered to inform festival goers that they could donate their uneaten food
  • 2 Visited traders and handed out a hotline number and fridge stickers that detailed what food we could use.
  • 3 At Monday morning briefing the team split into two: five people sorted at our onsite space, and ten people went out collecting food from traders. As well as roaming the site the team also took direct calls from traders.
  • 4 Logged food by type, weight, temperature and use-by dates using system devised with the help of NCASS.
  • 5 Full collection vans returned to on-site sorting area. Chilled food stayed in the refrigerated vans, and we only unloaded food that could be stored at room temperature.
  • 6 Delivered food to three depots, which then delivered it to registered organisations.

Unique considerations

We have to tailor our service to each and every festival. Because Wilderness created a lot of perishable and delicate food, we decided to trial a food collection hotline. This allowed traders to phone us as and when they had food to collect, preventing it from sitting in the sun and going off. Ultimately, that meant the traders could go home earlier, and we could collect more food. The system proved to be so successful, we now use it for every event.


The outcome

We collected nearly three tonnes of food and, with the help of FareShare Didcot, FareShare South West and the Oxford Food bank, delivered it to 244 organisations.

Working with Wilderness had an added bonus: the quality of the food we received. Food banks don’t generally receive the most nutritious food, and they were really excited to be receiving pallets of organic fruit and vegetables!

  • 2.783 tonnes

    of food collected in total

  • 6,626

    meals distributed

  • 244

    organisations received food

Without the help and advice of EighthPlate
we wouldn’t have known where to start.
Rufus Lawrence, General Manager of Wilderness Festival


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