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Trade at a music Festival - advice please

Discussion in 'Trade Shows, Fairs & Exhibitions' started by TekPoint, Mar 12, 2011.

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  1. TekPoint

    TekPoint

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    Feb 19, 2011
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    Morning all,

    Apart from selling my bits and bobs on fleabay, my main pursuit is running a small catering outfit with a friend, we are in our first year, and have completed a few small events (10-15k visitors)

    I have a (albeit nice) problem today though... I applied for several festivals just to see how it went, and have been offered a pitch at the Isle of Wight Fest, V Fest and Leeds - these are all controlled by a company called Central Catering Services.
    I cannot find any info online from people who have done this kind of event before, or have done an event for CCS before - and of course whether there is good money in it.

    To give an outline, the costs for each pitch average out at around 6k.

    I believe i may get away with a product price of between 4-5 pounds.

    But, like i said, i have no idea at all if i'm like to make a bomb, or if i'll be lucky to wipe my face with it.
    I did speak to a guy last year who done Glastonbury (selling italian pasta). He said due to the hot weather, hot food didn't do so well. He took 40k - on an 11k pitch. There's major differences here thought - Glasto food retailers can open 24 hours, and are there for 5 days - which is not the case at theses three festivals!

    So, before i start writing 18 grands worth of cheques - any advice would be massively appreciated! Anyone who's been involved before in something like this.

    My pitch locations are unconfirmed for V and Leeds. However, i've been told i'm on the main arena at IOW - higher traffic, but this is the part of the festival which closes at midnight.

    Thanks guys, really appreciate the advice!
    Ant
  2. pete.mcal

    pete.mcal

    Joined:
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    At the festivals I have been at being a bit of a business geek I usually talk to the stall holders about their pitches etc :p

    At T in the park 08, a guy selling toasted sandwiches in the campsite area told me his pitch for the weekend (thursday through sunday) was £10k, I personally find that at festivals me and my friends ALWAYS go back to the campsite to eat, usually so we can drink our own water and eat extras and buy our main food from a vendor.

    Plus with 24 hour access to customers I am sure the business is higher, as I was told from a few people that the trade for camsite is steady during day and night ( due to drunken or under the influence munchies :p )

    Remember that during the day in the arena people are likely to buy lunch but in camping likely to buy breakfast and night food. I would try and get a camping pitch if I could.


    Hope this helps in some way.
  3. uhafmail

    uhafmail

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    A famimly of friend has a donut stall and does 5 festivals (Average) a year and makes £60k profit a year working just 3-4 weeks per year dependent on festival.

    He also tries to get pitches inside the main arena because although they close when the arena closes you also have a a captured audience.
  4. pete.mcal

    pete.mcal

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    Okay Tom has figures and personal references, take his advice over mine, as I was making an educated guess :p
  5. TekPoint

    TekPoint

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    Hey, thanks for the replies guys - i'm still unsure. Yes, being in the arena provides us with a captive audience, but its an audience that are busy watching music for most of the day, and will be that swamped by people they'll hardly be able to see the catering area lol!

    True about the camping pitches - but these are generally more expensive (i've been told).
  6. Nick-D

    Nick-D

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    Depends on the festival i guess, both times i have been to reading we ate mostly from inside the arena, the reason being that once the big bands kick off in the evening we wanted to stay put, the catering vans were positioned all round the edge of the arena so its easy to get to
  7. conquistador

    conquistador

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    Mar 16, 2011
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    go portable with a snack rack to walk around with. Hire 3-4 people on a days wages of £40 should bring in some people
  8. pete.mcal

    pete.mcal

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    Never seen this at a festival, is it done ?
  9. uhafmail

    uhafmail

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    Only time i have seen it is as stadiums with the guys selling beer. Never at a festival, it sounds like a good idea though to be fair if it is allowed!
  10. pete.mcal

    pete.mcal

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    Yeah I've seen it when I went to see AC/DC stadium gig. I guess that the reason festivals dont allow it is because anyone could walk around and make money selling like this (in the campsite) and they might not have the resources/time to check for permits off vendors.
  11. uhafmail

    uhafmail

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    I think it would certainly be something to look into even if it is just for drinks. Would do especially well inside the arena.
  12. pete.mcal

    pete.mcal

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    Yeah its something that definetly sells at festivals is drink :) haha
  13. dmwilson

    dmwilson

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    Sounds like a great idea! Also don't forget to stock up on smokes,skins and condoms in your shop, will make a bomb!
  14. pete.mcal

    pete.mcal

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    Only problem I can see with these ideas is needing an alcohol/tobacco licence, which may be too costly for the few days a year you can sell them in quantity.
  15. lighthousedirec

    lighthousedirec

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    A word of warning, all these type of events are heavily influenced by the weather, I used to do large shows with mobile phone gear, and one year I could make £14k profit in a weekend, the following year under £1k due to massive down pours and a total washed out site with 12" of mud everywhere.

    I expect the music festival goers are a hardy bunch, but it can make or break people depending on their finances.
  16. pete.mcal

    pete.mcal

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    Any update on how you are getting on OP ?
  17. bode

    bode

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    That's serious cash to part with and yes you would need to know where you are going to be! I would only eat at the campsite on the first night when there's no music and maybe in the evening. If you are in a section that's too muddy, you'll not get much business. I would be selling toilet roll and bottles of water with the lids kept on!
  18. TekPoint

    TekPoint

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    Hi all, and thanks for the replies.

    Well, I've scrimped, borrowed and plundered my way into laying my hands on enough cash to do the Leeds festival!

    I've really taken a who dares wins Rodney attitude on this one, and both myself and my business partner have agreed that if it all goes horribly wrong we'll sell up, and that will be that!

    Personally I think we can achieve 2000 units per day. (He hopes lol)
  19. pete.mcal

    pete.mcal

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    Awesome that's great news, I really wish you the best on this and hope you have every success. Fortune favours the brave (I hope)

    So is it arena or campsite your pitch is in?? Also don't know if this has been discussed but what is the food you are actually going to be selling?
  20. TekPoint

    TekPoint

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    I believe we will be encircling the main stage in the arena - so fingers crossed.
    I sell german sausages btw - seemed the way to go after spending 9 years there and seeing what a market there is for it (and a lack of one here).

    It's not a bad concept either - we done a couple of christmas markets last year and had a family turn up (after having driven 100 miles) just to visit our stand after finding our website! And 2 weeks later, in another part of the country they turned up again lol!

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