Q&A with Nigel Birch, Food Trader Manager

We’re turning the lens on some of the brilliant and highly-skilled professionals behind the scenes at Standon Calling festival. 

Turning a festival dream into a reality each year, you simply wouldn’t have the festival you know and love without them. 

This time, we’ve asked Nigel, our Food Trader Manager to fill us in on what happens during the build-up to Standon Calling and how he handpicks what to serve our hungry festival goers!

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your role at Standon Calling.

I’m Nigel Birch and I curate and manage the food traders at Standon Calling. I choose which food traders are most suited to the audience and find the very best street food offers there are to satisfy a hungry crowd. Over the last few years we’ve worked tirelessly to bring the very best of the Street Food scene to Standon Calling and we refresh each year to keep it on trend and one of the UK’s stand-out foodie festivals.

My team also looks after the plethora of non-food stalls around the festival site too, so all those vintage clothes, fancy dress, jewellery stalls in addition to the hairdressers, phone charging, glitter and make-up stalls that everyone loves, are all brought in and managed by us too.

2. What’s the best bit about your job?

I’m a real foodie and hand pick every food trader, so I enjoy going to lots of food markets and sampling all the latest food trends while keeping an eye on who the most popular traders out there are, in the hope of bringing them to Standon Calling. I love that the Standon owners trust me to bring in the very best traders and not be dictatorial over dodgy sponsorship deals.

3. What do you love most about festivals? 

I guess it’s the huge sense of achievement as the gates open and your several months of planning has finally come to fruition. It’s good to see everyone having a great time and being part of the team that’s made that happen. Ultimately my favourite part of any festival I’m working on is seeing the customer satisfaction as they smile when they bite into their food – it gives me a genuine warm feeling that my choices are well received.

4. Tell us, what’s special about Standon Calling?

The crowd is always lovely and well behaved. Did anyone mention the food line up? I am really looking forward to trying Only Jerkin’, Kolkati, Fannys Kebabs and Luardos this year. When I’ve had the chance to catch some of the music, I have seen some of my favourite shows ever – Suede, Idles and Grace Jones definitely spring to mind in the last few years.

Thank you Nigel! We can’t wait to tuck in and enjoy what you’ve got in store for us.

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