About the event

A transient town, a masterpiece in set design and mighty logistical feat, Boomtown Fair 2015 had over 100 food vendors spanning China Town, Old Town, Mayfair, the Wild West and beyond. Because Boomtown is less food focused than other festivals, traders found they sold less stock than usual.

  • 50,000

    festival attendees

  • 121

    food traders

  • 15

    EighthPlate volunteers


The challenge

Boomtown presented two main logistical challenges. The first was geographical: half the site was at the top of a hill, and the other half was at the bottom. The second was chronological: traders couldn’t leave their pitch until 4pm on Monday, giving us just three hours to collect food and deliver it to the relevant organisations.


The process

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

  • 1 Arrived on-site and postered to inform ticket holders that they could donate their uneaten food.
  • 2 Visited all traders and handed out fridge stickers detailing what food we could take.
  • 3 Monday morning team briefing: split team into three: five people collected food directly from campsites, five people worked uptown, and five worked downtown.
  • 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 Sorted and divided food to make sure each organisation got equal, and varied contributions. Delivered food to the organisations.
  • 7 Took some of the disproportionately large amounts of bread to FareShare South for its projects.

Unique considerations

The lovely people at Boomtown gave us use of a buggy and trailer so we could collect food directly from campsites. We learned that campers – when prompted – were more than happy to donate food: we saved them carrying it home, and also saved it from being wasted.

Having collected half a tonne of food from just two campsites, we predict there’ll be around two tonnes of campsite waste in total to be collected in future years.

Girl driving truck

The outcome

We collected nearly four tonnes of food, and one and a half of these was bread. Because bread is light to carry traders tend to over order it, and because it’s perishable and cheap, they tend to leave it behind. Through Boomtown (and Bestival) we honed our skills in finding homes for large amounts of similar items, from bread to oranges via half a tonne of chilled chips!

  • 3.929 tonnes

    of food collected in total

  • 0.5 tonnes

    of food collected from campsites

  • 9,534

    meals distributed

  • 3

    organisations received the food

We were delighted with the service that EighthPlate provided us with at Boomtown this year and the feedback from our citizens and traders has been incredibly positive. Their organisation, determination and passion for the project has helped us give something back to our local community – whilst also saving us money on waste tonnage.
Emma Neilson, Assistant to Commercial & Operations Director at Boomtown.


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