What to Bring (and What to Avoid) When Planning Your Music Festival Culinary Experience

Are you ready to rock your taste buds along with your favorite tunes at the upcoming music festival? Well, you’re in for a treat! With a plethora of food options available, it’s essential to know what to bring and what to avoid to make the most of your culinary experience. From finger-licking burgers to mouth-watering tacos, this guide will take you through the best food options to fuel your music festival adventure. So, gear up and get ready to feast on some delicious eats while grooving to your favorite beats!

Essential Items for Your Music Festival Survival Kit

When planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s important to pack essential items that will ensure your survival and comfort throughout the event. Here are some must-haves for your music festival survival kit:

Water and Hydration

Staying hydrated is crucial during a music festival, especially in hot and sunny weather. Make sure to bring plenty of water and refillable water bottles to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to bring an insulated water bottle to keep your drink cold.

Snacks and Energy Boosters

While there will be plenty of food vendors at the festival, it’s a good idea to bring some snacks and energy boosters to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Some ideas include granola bars, fruit leather, nuts, and dried fruit.

Cash and Credit Cards

While some vendors may accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to bring cash with you to a music festival. ATMs may be available on-site, but they may charge high fees. Make sure to also bring a secure wallet or money belt to keep your cash and cards safe.

Sunscreen and Sunglasses

Music festivals are often held outdoors, and the sun can be intense. Make sure to bring sunscreen to protect your skin from UV rays, and sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright sunlight. Look for sunscreen with a high SPF and broad-spectrum protection to provide the best protection.

Portable Phone Charger

Smartphones are essential for staying connected and capturing memories during a music festival. Make sure to bring a portable phone charger to keep your phone charged throughout the day. This will ensure that you can stay connected with friends, capture photos and videos, and keep track of your schedule.

First Aid Kit

Accidents can happen at any time, so it’s a good idea to bring a small first aid kit with you to the festival. Include items such as band-aids, pain relievers, and any personal medications you may need.

Reusable Water Bottle

In addition to packing water and hydration, bring a reusable water bottle to reduce waste and help the environment. Many festivals have water refill stations, so you can refill your bottle throughout the day.

Blanket or Beach Towel

Music festivals can be long and tiring, and taking breaks to rest and recharge is important. Bring a blanket or beach towel to sit on, lie down, or use as a makeshift picnic mat. This will give you a comfortable place to rest when you need a break from the crowds.

By packing these essential items for your music festival survival kit, you’ll be well-prepared for a fun and comfortable experience. Remember to also check the festival’s rules and guidelines regarding what items are allowed inside the venue.

Non-Perishable Snacks

When planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s important to bring non-perishable snacks that will sustain you throughout the event. Here are some great options to consider:

  • Popcorn: This classic snack is a great choice for music festivals because it’s light, easy to eat, and provides a satisfying crunch. Plus, it’s a fun snack to share with friends.
  • Trail mix: Trail mix is a versatile snack that’s packed with nutrients and energy-boosting ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. It’s also easy to customize to your preferences by adding or subtracting ingredients.
  • Dried fruit: Dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, or apricots are a great source of natural sugar and fiber. They’re also lightweight and easy to transport, making them a convenient snack option for music festivals.
  • Nuts: Nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats. They’re also portable and can be easily shared with friends. Just be sure to bring a resealable bag to keep them fresh.
  • Energy bars: Energy bars are a popular choice for music festival snacks because they’re convenient, portable, and provide a quick energy boost. Look for bars that are made with whole food ingredients and avoid those with added sugars or artificial ingredients.


When planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s important to consider the beverages you’ll need to stay hydrated and energized throughout the event. Here are some essential beverages to include in your festival survival kit:

  • Water bottles: Staying hydrated is crucial during any outdoor event, especially in hot and humid weather. Bring plenty of water bottles to refill throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle to reduce waste and save money.
  • Canned soda: If you’re craving something sweet or fizzy, canned soda is a convenient and portable option. Just be sure to recycle your cans to minimize waste.
  • Alcoholic beverages (in moderation): Music festivals often have a variety of alcoholic beverages available for purchase, but it’s important to drink in moderation to avoid dehydration and overconsumption. Stick to one or two drinks per hour and make sure to eat plenty of food to help absorb the alcohol.

In addition to these essential beverages, you may also want to consider bringing a reusable coffee mug for a caffeine boost or a sports drink to replace electrolytes lost during exercise. Whatever beverages you choose, be sure to consume them responsibly and never leave them unattended to avoid spillage and waste.

Cooking Tools and Utensils

When planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s important to have the right cooking tools and utensils to prepare and serve your meals. Here are some essential items to consider bringing with you:

  • Portable stove or cooking device: A portable stove or cooking device is a must-have for any music festival cooking experience. It allows you to cook your meals anywhere, whether it’s in your campsite or on the go. There are various types of portable stoves available, such as propane stoves, camping stoves, and even solar stoves. Choose one that suits your needs and budget.
  • Cooking pots and pans: Cooking pots and pans are essential for preparing your meals. You can bring a variety of sizes and shapes depending on your cooking needs. Stainless steel pots and pans are a popular choice as they are durable and easy to clean.
  • Plates, cups, and utensils: You’ll need plates, cups, and utensils to serve and eat your meals. Consider bringing reusable or biodegradable options to reduce waste. You can also bring a set of disposable plates, cups, and utensils for convenience.
  • Cooler or insulated bag for storing food: A cooler or insulated bag is essential for keeping your food fresh and cold. You can bring ice packs or ice cubes to keep your food cool. It’s also a good idea to pack non-perishable snacks such as energy bars and trail mix to supplement your meals.

By bringing these essential cooking tools and utensils, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a successful music festival culinary experience.

Personal Hygiene Items

  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Biodegradable soap

Wet wipes are a must-have for personal hygiene at music festivals. They are useful for cleaning hands, faces, and even clothes when access to water is limited. It’s important to choose wet wipes that are biodegradable and eco-friendly to reduce waste at the festival.

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Hand sanitizer is another essential item for personal hygiene at music festivals. With thousands of people in close proximity, it’s easy to catch germs and get sick. Carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer can help keep your hands clean and reduce the risk of illness.

Toilet paper is a basic necessity that should not be overlooked. Festival restrooms can be unsanitary and run out of toilet paper quickly. It’s best to bring your own supply to ensure you have access to clean, dry toilet paper when needed.

Biodegradable soap is an important item to bring to a music festival. Many festival-provided soap products are not biodegradable and can harm the environment. By bringing biodegradable soap, you can help reduce waste and protect the planet. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring a reusable soap dispenser to reduce waste even further.

Packing Tips for a Festive and Functional Music Festival Feast

When planning your music festival culinary experience, packing the right items can make all the difference. Here are some tips to ensure you have a festive and functional feast at the festival:

Key takeaway: When planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s important to pack essential items such as water and hydration, snacks and energy boosters, cash and credit cards, sunscreen and sunglasses, a portable phone charger, a first aid kit, a reusable water bottle, and a blanket or beach towel. Non-perishable snacks such as popcorn, trail mix, dried fruit, nuts, and energy bars are also great options to consider. Additionally, bringing a reusable water bottle and canned soda, as well as alcoholic beverages in moderation, can help keep you hydrated and energized throughout the event. Make sure to bring the right cooking tools and utensils, such as a portable stove or cooking device, cooking pots and pans, plates, cups, and utensils, and a cooler or insulated bag for storing food. Don’t forget to also pack personal hygiene items like wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and biodegradable soap. When packing for the festival, opt for single-serving packs or snacks, disposable plates, cups, and utensils, and consider a collapsible cooler. Prioritize easy-to-prepare foods that are both nutritious and satisfying, such as pre-cut fruits and vegetables, pre-cooked meats, instant oatmeal or cereal, and granola bars. Remember to stay safe and healthy by adhering to food safety guidelines, preventing cross-contamination, keeping perishable items in a cooler with ice packs, and disposing of trash properly. Be mindful of what foods to avoid, such as overpriced food vendors, deep-fried everything, and soggy or stale food. Finally, do your research and plan ahead to ensure a successful and enjoyable music festival culinary experience.

Water is essential for staying hydrated during a music festival, especially in hot weather. Bring a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day, and consider bringing an insulated water bottle to keep your drink cold. You may also want to pack electrolyte tablets or sports drinks to help replace lost minerals.

Snacks and Light Meals

Snacks and light meals can help you stay fueled throughout the day. Pack items that are easy to eat on the go, such as trail mix, granola bars, and fruit. You may also want to bring a small cooler with sandwiches, wraps, or other portable meals.

Trash Bags and Cleaning Supplies

Music festivals can be messy, so it’s important to bring trash bags and cleaning supplies to keep your area clean. Pack a few extra large trash bags to dispose of any waste, and bring wet wipes or hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean.

Reusable Utensils and Plates

Reusable utensils and plates can help reduce waste and make eating more convenient. Bring a set of reusable utensils, such as a fork, knife, and spoon, as well as a plate or bowl. You may also want to bring a collapsible water bottle or cup to reduce waste.

First Aid Supplies

First aid supplies are essential for any outdoor event, including music festivals. Pack a small first aid kit with items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. You may also want to bring sunscreen and insect repellent to protect yourself from the elements.

By following these packing tips, you can ensure that you have a festive and functional feast at the music festival. Remember to pack wisely and leave space for souvenirs and other items you may pick up along the way.

Choose Lightweight and Compact Items

  • Opt for single-serving packs or snacks
  • Bring disposable plates, cups, and utensils
  • Consider a collapsible cooler

Opt for single-serving packs or snacks

When packing for a music festival, it’s important to prioritize convenience and efficiency. One way to do this is by opting for single-serving packs or snacks. These items are pre-portioned, making them easy to grab and go when hunger strikes. Additionally, they take up less space in your bag, allowing you to pack more items without weighing yourself down. Some examples of single-serving packs or snacks include energy bars, trail mix, and granola bars.

Bring disposable plates, cups, and utensils

Another key to a successful music festival feast is having the right tools. Rather than lugging around a set of reusable dishes and utensils, consider bringing disposable plates, cups, and utensils instead. These items are lightweight and compact, making them easy to pack and transport. Plus, they eliminate the need for dishwashing, which can be a major hassle at a music festival.

Consider a collapsible cooler

Finally, if you plan on consuming perishable foods or drinks, a collapsible cooler is a must-have item. This type of cooler is designed to fold up into a compact size, making it easy to transport and store. It’s also a great way to keep your food and drinks cool, even in hot weather. Just be sure to pack plenty of ice or freezer packs to keep your items cold.

Prioritize Easy-to-Prepare Foods

When planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s essential to prioritize easy-to-prepare foods that are both nutritious and satisfying. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Pre-cut fruits and vegetables: Bring pre-cut fruits and vegetables that can be easily added to salads, sandwiches, or snacks. This will save time and effort during the festival, allowing you to focus on enjoying the music and other activities.
  • Pre-cooked meats: Bring pre-cooked meats, such as chicken or beef, that can be easily heated up and served as sandwiches or in wraps. This will provide a satisfying and protein-rich meal option that can be quickly prepared.
  • Instant oatmeal or cereal: Bring instant oatmeal or cereal that can be easily prepared with water, providing a quick and easy breakfast or snack option. This will be especially useful if you’re camping or staying in a location without access to a kitchen.
  • Granola bars or other easy-to-eat snacks: Bring granola bars or other easy-to-eat snacks that can be quickly consumed on the go. This will provide a convenient and energy-boosting snack option when you’re exploring the festival grounds.

Overall, prioritizing easy-to-prepare foods will save time and effort during the festival, allowing you to focus on enjoying the music and other activities. It will also ensure that you have access to nutritious and satisfying meal and snack options throughout the festival.

Stay Safe and Healthy

  • Adhere to food safety guidelines
    • Wash your hands frequently, especially before and after handling food
    • Ensure that food is cooked to the recommended minimum internal temperature
    • Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination
    • Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of cooked foods
  • Prevent cross-contamination
    • Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and for fresh produce and other foods
    • Use separate utensils for raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and for cooked foods
    • Avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose while handling food
  • Keep perishable items in a cooler with ice packs
    • Store perishable items, such as dairy products, meats, and eggs, in a cooler with plenty of ice packs to keep them cold
    • Check the temperature of the cooler regularly to ensure that it stays below 40°F (4°C)
  • Dispose of trash properly
    • Use designated trash receptacles to dispose of food waste and packaging materials
    • Avoid leaving trash on the ground, as this can attract pests and create a mess
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By following these tips, you can help ensure that your music festival culinary experience is both safe and enjoyable. Remember to always prioritize food safety and hygiene, even in the midst of the festive atmosphere of a music festival.

Festival Foods to Avoid: Why Some Options May Not Be Worth the Try

When planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s important to consider what foods to avoid. Here are some options that may not be worth the try:

Overpriced Food Vendors

One of the most common mistakes festival-goers make is choosing overpriced food vendors. These vendors often charge exorbitant prices for food that is not much different from what you can find at a typical fair or carnival. While the convenience of being able to grab a quick bite to eat is certainly tempting, it’s important to weigh the cost against the quality of the food.

Deep-Fried Everything

Another mistake to avoid is opting for deep-fried everything. While fried foods can be delicious, they are often high in calories, fat, and sodium. Additionally, many deep-fried foods are not very healthy, and can leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. If you’re looking for a healthier option, consider opting for grilled or roasted foods instead.

Soggy or Stale Food

Finally, it’s important to avoid soggy or stale food. This includes items like soggy chips, stale pretzels, and food that has been sitting out for too long. Not only can this type of food be unappetizing, but it can also make you feel sick. To avoid this, try to stick to fresh, hot foods that are cooked to order.

Overall, when planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s important to be mindful of what foods to avoid. By steering clear of overpriced vendors, deep-fried foods, and soggy or stale items, you can ensure that you have a delicious and enjoyable experience.

Overpriced and Overhyped Food Stands

Music festivals are known for their diverse and delicious food options, but not all stands are created equal. One thing to watch out for are the overpriced and overhyped food stands that can leave a sour taste in your mouth. Here’s why:

  • Expensive festival fare: It’s no secret that festivals are an expensive outing, but some food stands take it to the next level. You might find dishes that are twice as much as what you would pay at a regular restaurant, with little to no additional value added.
  • Limited variety: These stands often only offer a select few items, which can quickly become monotonous if you’re looking for a more diverse culinary experience. With so many other options available, it’s hard to justify spending your hard-earned cash on a stand that offers little more than a novelty.
  • Long wait times: The lines at these stands can be a testament to their popularity, but it can also be a sign of inefficiency. You may end up waiting a long time for your food, only to be disappointed by the price and quality.

In short, it’s best to steer clear of overpriced and overhyped food stands at music festivals. While they may seem like an exciting prospect, the combination of high prices, limited variety, and long wait times can make for a frustrating culinary experience. Instead, seek out other stands that offer a better balance of quality and value.

Unsanitary and Risky Food Vendors

While music festivals offer a wide array of culinary options, it’s important to exercise caution when choosing what to eat. Some food vendors may not prioritize hygiene and sanitation, which can lead to risky and potentially harmful food options.

Here are some common unsanitary and risky food vendor practices to look out for:

  • Poor food handling practices: Some vendors may not follow proper food handling procedures, such as washing hands or properly storing food. This can lead to cross-contamination and the spread of illness.
  • Lack of proper refrigeration: If food is not stored at the correct temperature, bacteria can grow and cause foodborne illness. It’s important to choose vendors who have access to proper refrigeration and storage facilities.
  • Vendors selling unlabeled or unknown items: It’s important to know what you’re eating and what ingredients are used. Vendors who sell unlabeled or unknown items may not be following proper food safety regulations or may be using ingredients that could cause allergic reactions or other health problems.

By being aware of these risks and taking the time to research food vendors, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable culinary experience at your next music festival.

Difficult-to-Eat Foods at a Music Festival

While music festivals offer a wide array of culinary options, some foods may not be ideal for the festive atmosphere. Difficult-to-eat foods can hinder the enjoyment of the event and even pose safety risks. Here are some factors to consider when selecting festival foods:

  • Messy or cumbersome to eat: Foods that are difficult to handle or require excessive utensils can be frustrating in a crowded environment. For instance, foods with a lot of crumbs or sauces can be messy and may end up on clothes or in the hands of fellow festival-goers. Additionally, foods that require extensive preparation, such as sushi or build-your-own-burgers, may take longer to consume and could cause you to miss out on live performances.
  • Limited options for allergies or dietary restrictions: Some festival foods may contain ingredients that are harmful to individuals with food allergies or specific dietary needs. For example, a deep-fried dish may contain cross-contamination from shared cooking oil, posing a risk to those with nut allergies. It is essential to check with vendors about the ingredients used in their dishes or seek out options that cater to your specific needs.
  • Time-consuming to prepare or clean up after eating: Some festival foods require significant time to prepare or clean up after consumption. For instance, a messy food like ribs or wings may require napkins, wet wipes, or even a change of clothes. These time-consuming foods can be frustrating, especially when the festival is packed with activities and performances you would rather attend.

Considering these factors, it is advisable to choose foods that are easy to eat, accommodating to various dietary needs, and quick to prepare and clean up after. This way, you can enjoy the music festival without any food-related hassles or concerns.

Tips for Enjoying Music Festivals with Food Restrictions or Intolerances

While many music festivals offer a wide variety of delicious food options, it can be challenging for those with food restrictions or intolerances to find something to eat. However, with a little planning and preparation, it is possible to enjoy the culinary delights of a music festival even if you have dietary restrictions. Here are some tips for enjoying music festivals with food restrictions or intolerances:

1. Do Your Research

Before attending a music festival, research the food options available and identify any restaurants or vendors that cater to your dietary needs. Many festivals now offer gluten-free, vegan, and other specialty options, so take advantage of these choices to ensure you have a satisfying culinary experience.

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2. Bring Snacks

Even if you plan to eat at the festival, it’s always a good idea to bring snacks with you. This way, if you can’t find anything to eat or run out of options, you’ll have something to tide you over. Plus, snacks are a great way to stay energized throughout the day.

3. Be Prepared to Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the food you’re eating. If you’re unsure whether a dish contains ingredients that you’re allergic or intolerant to, ask the vendor or chef. They should be able to provide you with detailed information about the ingredients in their dishes.

4. Stick to Familiar Brands

If you have a severe food allergy, it’s best to stick to brands you know and trust. While many vendors take food allergies seriously, mistakes can happen, and it’s better to err on the side of caution.

5. Bring Your Own Food

If you’re concerned about not being able to find food that meets your needs, consider bringing your own. Many festivals allow you to bring in outside food, so take advantage of this option and pack a picnic. Just be sure to follow any rules or guidelines set by the festival.

6. Plan Your Meals Around the Performances

Many festivals offer food options that are specific to certain areas of the festival grounds. If you have a favorite performer or stage, plan your meals around their performance times. This way, you can maximize your time seeing your favorite acts while also ensuring you have access to food that meets your needs.

  1. Be Flexible

While it’s important to stick to your dietary restrictions, sometimes it’s necessary to be flexible. If you can’t find anything to eat at the festival, consider trying something new or modifying your restrictions for the day. Remember, it’s just one day, and a little indulgence won’t hurt.

Plan Ahead and Research

  • Check the festival website for dietary information: Before attending the festival, visit the festival’s website and check for any dietary information or accommodations provided. This may include information about gluten-free, vegan, or allergen-free options available at food stalls.
  • Reach out to the festival organizers for specific accommodations: If the festival website does not provide enough information, reach out to the festival organizers and ask for specific accommodations. They may be able to provide information about which food stalls are suitable for your dietary restrictions or intolerances, or they may be able to make special arrangements for you.
  • Research nearby restaurants or stores for emergencies: Even with the best planning, sometimes it’s just not possible to find suitable food options at the festival. In this case, research nearby restaurants or stores that cater to your dietary restrictions or intolerances. This way, if you do run into a situation where you can’t find anything to eat at the festival, you’ll have a backup plan. It’s always better to be prepared than to go hungry!

Bring Alternative Snacks and Meals

If you have food restrictions or intolerances, it’s important to plan ahead and bring alternative snacks and meals to ensure that you have something to eat during the festival. Here are some tips for doing so:

  • Pack gluten-free, dairy-free, or allergen-free snacks: Depending on your dietary restrictions, you may need to pack snacks that are free from gluten, dairy, or other common allergens. Look for snacks that are labeled as gluten-free, dairy-free, or allergen-free, or bring your own homemade snacks that meet your dietary needs.
  • Bring a small cooler with meals or snacks that suit your needs: If you have specific dietary requirements, it may be helpful to bring a small cooler with meals or snacks that suit your needs. This way, you can ensure that you have access to food that meets your dietary restrictions throughout the festival.
  • Look for shared cooking areas or designated quiet zones for meals: Some music festivals may have shared cooking areas or designated quiet zones where you can prepare and eat your meals. These areas may have grills, microwaves, or other cooking facilities that you can use to prepare your food. Look for these areas when planning your festival experience.

Stay Hydrated and Energized

  • Bring a reusable water bottle: A refillable water bottle is essential for staying hydrated throughout the festival. Make sure to fill it up at the water stations or designated hydration stations throughout the event.
  • Choose snacks with natural sources of energy: While the festival offers a variety of food options, it’s best to opt for snacks that provide natural sources of energy. Examples include fruit, nuts, seeds, and energy bars made with whole ingredients. These snacks will help maintain your energy levels between meals and keep you fueled for the next festival activity.
  • Stay active and engage in festival activities between meals: It’s important to stay active during the festival to maintain your energy levels. Participate in workshops, performances, and other activities between meals to keep your body moving and mind engaged. This will also help prevent overeating or making unhealthy food choices when hunger strikes.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you stay hydrated and energized throughout the festival, even with food restrictions or intolerances. Remember to prioritize your health and well-being while still enjoying all the music festival has to offer.


1. What types of food should I bring to a music festival?

When planning your music festival culinary experience, it’s important to bring a variety of foods that are easy to eat on the go and can withstand hot temperatures. Some popular options include:
* Snacks like chips, pretzels, and granola bars
* Sandwiches or wraps made with fresh ingredients
* Fruits and vegetables, such as apples, bananas, and carrots
* Hydration-rich foods like watermelon and popsicles
* Protein-packed items like jerky or hummus and veggie cups

2. What foods should I avoid bringing to a music festival?

While you want to bring tasty and nutritious foods to a music festival, there are some items you should avoid bringing. These include:
* Perishable foods like tomatoes or potatoes, as they can quickly spoil in hot temperatures
* Messy foods like spaghetti or ribs, as they can be difficult to eat on the go and may make a mess
* Breakable foods like glass bottles or fragile fruit cups, as they can easily break in your bag or backpack
* Strong-smelling foods like fish or garlic, as they can attract bugs and other pests

3. Can I bring alcohol to a music festival?

Alcohol policies vary by festival, so it’s important to check the festival’s rules and regulations before bringing any alcohol. Some festivals may allow alcohol, while others may not. If alcohol is allowed, it’s usually restricted to designated areas and may be subject to age restrictions. It’s always best to plan ahead and bring enough non-alcoholic drinks to keep you hydrated throughout the festival.

4. What should I do if I forget to bring food to a music festival?

If you forget to bring food to a music festival, don’t worry! Most festivals offer a variety of food vendors selling a range of tasty treats. You can also check out local food trucks or restaurants in the area to grab a bite to eat. Just be prepared for long lines and higher prices than if you brought your own food.

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