Inspired by the creativity of the market trader stalls at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, HEL’s very own Senior Account Exec and resident festival aficionado Sam Kelly, has compiled a list of his top 10 favourites from this year’s event, exploring the artistry and visual allure of each of these remarkable trader stalls.
Sam Kelly | Friday 30th June 2023
The Top 10 Best Looking Trader Stands At Glastonbury 2023
There are over 360 top trader stands at Glastonbury spread across its 900+ acres of land, serving the 200,000+ residents of the festival city for 1 magical week per year. Being such a huge part of the visual landscape of the festival, the effort the traders put into the look of the stall does not go unnoticed.
In a crowded marketplace (quite literally) and without the usual marketing ability of a traditional permanent storefront, the creativity and prominence of these stands is their main tool for customer attraction. With this in mind, my initial selection was driven by who caught my attention while walking around the festival, and from there, I’ve selected my top 10 favourites (plus one honourable mention).
Read on to re-live a little of the Glasto magic and discover what caught my eye and why!
10: High Rise Camping Store
With its western theme, the High Rise Camping Store was perfectly fit for purpose. Its three-story height allowed it to literally stand tall and be visible from afar. Upon opening, the store’s aisles extended onto the decked and grassy area in front, offering a range of festival essentials.
Erected after this photo was taken was a large air bed on the roof. Ok, it somewhat spoiled the aesthetic, but was then able to catch the eyes of those who had suffered a popped air bed from the night before.
I also appreciated their focus on sustainability, with “pre-loved” tents and chairs aligning with Glastonbury Festival’s ethos and that of the conscious consumer.
9: Inflatable Wine Bar
Sometimes simplicity is all it takes to make an impact. The towering inflatable wine bottle at this stand stood out among the other traders, beckoning wine lovers across the field. The huge wine bottle is reminiscent of the Alice in Wonderland aesthetic, adding a touch of whimsy and making customers feel like they had stumbled into a magical wonderland of wine, feeling tiny as they looked up to it. I also loved how the forced perspective made the wine bottle seem to grow as you walked closer.
8: Burrito Boys
Based next to the West Holtz Stage this year, the Burrito Boys’ bricolage stand looked brilliant. Its design incorporated the same metallic truss structure as the nearby stage, creating a seamless visual connection. The hanging letters are what caught my eye – call me a magpie, but shiny things dancing around in the sunshine always catch my attention!
These guys were also part of Glastonbury’s £6 meal initiative this year, offering an affordable meal menu for festival goers on a budget. Bravo Burrito Boys.
7: New Orleans Kitchen
The New Orleans Kitchen stand captivated me with its simple yet elegant design. The colour schemes, detailed artwork, and mesmerising neon lights created a beautiful ambiance, especially at night when the stand exuded a true New Orleans glow. This aesthetic embodied the spirit of Southern hospitality, and really resonated with me, perhaps due to our frequent work with Jubba on Southern Comfort’s New Orleans-styled events.
6: Bird Cage Cocktail Bar
The captivating Bird Cage Cocktail Bar immediately caught my attention with its rotating and illuminated bird cage. Perched atop a vibrant cocktail van, sometimes you’d be treated to a live performance from within the cage, adding an extra element of delight! The vintage marquee text COCKTAILS sign added a touch of nostalgia and carnival-like charm to the stand. This one of course made the list as it was eye-catching, interactive and I loved the theming (not to mention the cocktails!)
I was also thrilled to find out that the bar is owned and run by one of our very own Angels – something I didn’t know when putting together this list!
5: Pizza Love ♥️
Playful and reminiscent of carnival extravaganza fairs and iconic vintage Las Vegas signs, the Pizza Love stand was perfectly at home at Glastonbury. My favourite quirk of this trader was their “Golden Pineapple” activation. They’d hide their golden pineapple somewhere around the festival grounds, and the lucky person who found it each day was rewarded with a free pizza! Simple, but effective – and fun!
4: Heavenly Indian
I loved the painted wooden facade of Heavenly Indian’s stand. Illuminated by lighting hidden within the pergola, it emitted a beautiful glow, enticing passing festival goers. The traditional Indian style painting of a woman – perhaps a goddess – looking down over the stand, combined with the Indian street food styled wooden facade worked perfectly. I also loved the continuation of colour with the vibrant crates to the side, used both as further set dressing, and a surface for customers to use. Practical and pretty!
3: Chunky Chips & Chicken Strips
Another artistic stand, albeit a very different genre of art, was that of Chunky Chips & Chicken Strips. The bold use of UV paint and black lights created neon glowing, trippy artwork that was both eye catching and a joy to behold. A simple but striking concept. The style reminded me of the Temple stage, with the central Eye of Providence also connecting to the Pyramid stage.
Not all vendors will have the budget to produce a complex stand, so this stall is a brilliant execution of a simple yet effective display to stand out in the crowd.
2: Woks Up
Another participant of the £6 meal initiative at Glastonbury this year was Wok’s Up Noodle Company. This stall was brilliant – every time I walked past it I was impressed with the design. The three story facade of the building imitates the style of a Pagoda building, which is a tiered tower with multiple eaves, common across Asia. Wok’s Up’s height meant that it could be seen from a far in the surrounding fields, beckoning noodle lovers over to the stall.
Just like highstreets of Shangri La and the Downtown NYC architecture of The Meatpacking District of Glastonbury, the replication of real buildings from across the world feeds the eclectic feeling that Glastonbury is so famous for – you feel like you’re walking from one continent to another in a matter of minutes.
Honourable mention: Sam’s Pies
With a name like Sam’s Pies, this stand obviously deserved an honourable mention on my list! The design was simple yet functional and could be seen and read from the other side of the field. As someone who once worked on a pie stall during my early days in the events industry, writing about Sam’s Pies on behalf of Hel’s after attending Glastonbury feels like a full circle moment for me.
and the winner is…
1: Vegan Pyramid
And finally, number one and my winner for the best looking trader stall at Glastonbury 2023 is The Vegan Pyramid.
This scale model version of the iconic Glastonbury Pyramid Stage sat along a row of stalls leading up to its namesake, and the minute I saw it, I knew it was my winner. Not only is the stall perfectly themed for the festival, and recognisable to every single one of the thousands of attendees, but it also looks brilliant by itself. The vegan menu also resonates with Glastonbury’s overarching ethos of sustainability.
This list only scratches the surface of the hundreds of traders at Glastonbury Festival, each with their own unique and creative decor. While the visual appeal is important, let’s not forget about the delicious food they offer (my favourite meal of the festival was the Jolly Hog’s Hog Roast) and any of their unique activations like Pizza Love’s pineapple hunt, or the birdcage performers.
So let’s beat the post Glasto blues together and reminisce – which were your favourites?
Did I miss any notable stalls? Would you have ranked them differently?
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