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I love to eat, and being born and raised in Portugal, i was blessed with an amazing roll of Mediterranean products and recipes. Portuguese people not only love to eat but also see their meals as a sacred ritual and crucial socializing opportunity. We love to sit and dine with family and friends for hours, and the more at a table, the merrier.

Having worked in two of the main music festivals here during this summer in a hospitality and backstage crew, I had the chance of analyzing the hospitality riders (list of food and beverages) that each band wanted in their dressing rooms, and may I tell you, I don't really think these modern bands love eating as much as I do, in fact, I think they only ask us what they think its cool and hip to order. Seriously, there are so many “hipster foods” in the market right now, I didn't even know...

I can't help to wonder what the people who invent this sort of things look like. I'm not the one to judge and put labels on...but I keep imagining this bearded man with some Wayfarer RayBan's and a tartan vest on, writing down weird product ideas to put on the market. For example, two of the most wanted products are the Aloe Vera syrup (???) and the Kombucha Tea bottles (which is basically fermented tea using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast!), I mean... what is wrong with you people, what happened to the good old beer?! Or sangria? Nope, I think bacteria shall put an end to your thirst in no time.

Another weird thing that keeps happening is that no one cares about meat anymore, only veggie platters, hummus and fruit. Nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, but if I was in a rock band about to give my all on stage and rock a huge crowd, I'd sure love some steak or chicken wings to go with that. I wonder if the hospitality crew on Woodstock had this kind of problems:
”- Hey, Jimmy Hendrix, would you like some ripe avocado and biological blue chips to go with that spliff?” Jesus...how do they deal with the munchies? Celery and carrot sticks?!

I came across a lot of dressing room divas as well, meaning: these are bands who order tons of different stuff and end up eating nothing apart from salty crackers and juice... is this some sort of new hip American diet I’m not familiar with?

All in all working at festivals is always fun. You get to meet all sorts of fun and interesting characters with horrible food habits, but once in a while you get good surprises. You get the ones who are willing and open to try new foods and who are interested in getting to know typical recipes of the country they're playing in, and when this happens, man, they go crazy over our Bacalhau! (cod fish) and talk about it for hours! There's really nothing more rewarding than doing my job well and to be thanked and then praised over email.

Last but not least, we have the freaks, who are not necessarily bad, they actually brighten our days sometimes, due to all of the strange and often hard to attend requests. From a raccoon in their dressing room, to a inflated dinosaur, to children's art and even mocha flavored condoms, I've seen it all... Some of these are impossible to fullfil, but when you do actually manage to get some of these, the faces of the band members... It's just like giving free candy to children.

Hospitality at festivals isn't really a job. You have obligations, sure, and really, really tight schedules, but when you get pass that and enjoy the rest, it sure is an amazing time, and also very good material to a weird sociological study. The worst part has to be the end of the working day, aka 4 am when the bands leave and you have to go and
take care of the dressing rooms for the band next day... You wouldn't believe the mayhem, nah, the madness, the chaos... Why do they do that to food, and most importantly, how? Sushi in the ceiling? Martinis with M&Ms?? Spoiled food on the floor... It's so terribly sad to see the spoils and the unnecessary waste but it always ends up to be unavoidable. Maybe it's just a spazzy side effect from that fermented bacteria drink thingy, the stuff bacteria puts them up to? Sangria and Bacalhau are much more safer options. Safer and way more yummi!

So remember kids, if you are in a band, don't be silly and eat appropriately. No one will ever judge you if you order chips and steak. It's good for you and healthy. But if you are contemplating the idea of being cool and order weird stuff that tastes of green dirt and dehydrated flowers, be prepared for hunger and of course, to read something about it in the following months.