Bakers Basco Diary - Glastonbury Festival  2100x1400

Source: Bakers Basco

Omega baskets stacked up in a field during Glastonbury festival

Bakers Basco’s southwest investigations officer Sam Reed recently enjoyed a successful weekend rescuing bakery distribution equipment at Glastonbury 2024 festival.

Having previously heard about a day in the life of national investigations manager Stacey Brown, British Baker now publishes Sam’s diary and finds out how he was able to save hundreds of Omega baskets and dollies from being thrown out with the piles of waste by vendors:

Thursday 27 June

As I prepare for my day at this massive festival, I wonder if I’ll actually find any misplaced bakery equipment. I’ve heard many horror stories from past events about vast amounts of equipment being left in fields uncollected. The idea of catering companies abandoning equipment in a field seems unrealistic. But I was about to be proven very wrong.

Arriving at a pedestrian gate, I spot a delivery van. Jackpot, I think. But it’s a false lead – a local butcher delivering food to the glamping hotel I’m staying at. Speaking to the catering manager, I explain my mission. He agrees to keep track of bakery product deliveries and let me know about the equipment.

I begin the 45-minute walk to the main arena. The crowds are swelling, and the distant music grows louder. As I track food deliveries, I overhear a driver asking a steward about the Saxon markets. Another 25-minute walk leads me there, but it’s still early, and not much is happening yet. I spend the next hour talking to caterers and stewards, handing out my card, and familiarising myself with the area, anticipating it will be a hotspot for bakery deliveries.

Suddenly, I spot a familiar logo – our Omega baskets! Anticipation turns to a mix of relief and frustration as I discover the bakery is an agent of one of our shareholders. This means our equipment is here legally, but I need to ensure it’s either collected or moved to a safe location.

By lunchtime, I’ve scouted various vendors. As a burger lover, my first stop is a burger stand. After a satisfying meal, I approach different vendors, quickly establishing that they have our equipment. Many vendors are dismissive, but a few are talkative. Some admit they plan to leave the baskets for recyclers. I ask them to stack the baskets neatly for collection after the festival, and most agree.

Friday 28 June

Today is the official start of Glastonbury 2024 and it’s going to be busy. I start my day early, at 5:30 am, to gather as much evidence as possible. After my morning routine, I head to the hotel where I’m camping, collecting information from the staff about overnight deliveries. At each of the four sites, I collect contact details, note delivery companies, and request they stack any uncollected equipment. I tally five major delivery companies servicing these sites, to be visited later by my team. Feeling accomplished, I head to the main arena. Despite the festival policy against photos, I manage to stack multiple baskets and wheels in various delivery yards and gather information on their origins.

glasto 9

Source: Bakers Basco

Saturday 29 June

Awoken by partygoers, I check my phone – 5:30 am, 23% battery, no signal. After my routine, I make my way to the main arena, weaving through the aftermath of last night’s festivities. The site is littered with rubbish, making my task seem daunting.

For two hours, I repeat my route, visiting delivery gates and vendors, and stacking up loose baskets used for seats and other purposes. More people are cooperating today, stacking equipment neatly for collection.

Sunday 30 June

Last day of the festival. After my morning routine, I secure 182 baskets and 23 dollies from the glamping delivery sites. I then head to the main arena. The crowd, still buzzing from Coldplay’s performance, is less helpful today. Stepping over debris, I make my way to the traders. One tells me about people using baskets for a game of catch. Despite the damage, I manage to recover some baskets.

As another hot day ends, I reflect on my experience. I’ve educated many about the importance of our equipment and gathered significant amounts for recovery. In total, I managed to recover 484 Omega baskets and 131 Omega dollies.

Attending Glastonbury was challenging but rewarding, providing valuable insights, and reinforcing the importance of vigilance and cooperation in protecting our resources. I will be back!