First Time Festival Trader Tips

The weekend of June 10th – 12th 2011 there took place a great event, in the hills of Dumfries and Galloway, nestled amongst the trees, cows, river and green green grass, The Eden Festival was calling.

Eden Festival Logo Flyer

I had been to The Eden Festival for the previous two years and thoroughly enjoyed myself. This year I had decided I would like to take my Linziloop stall to the festival and try out how being a trader would suit me. As a fresh festival trader I would like to share with you my experiences, findings and advice as someone who was seeing it all for the first time. I don’t pretend to know it all, I have a lot to learn, but I would hope (especially as there currently doesn’t seem to be much advice out there for first time festival traders) that any of you hoping to take on this task for the first time yourselves, would find some useful bits of info here.

There are a lot of practical points I have noted down over the course of taking this task on, and rather than ramble on in an incoherent babble or rant (because there is a LOT to say) I think the best way to present my findings is by good old bullet points. So, here is a list of hints, tips and advice from me, as someone new to the festival trader scene:

  • Stall fees– First and foremost, festival trade patches are expensive. I’m talking in the range of £250 to £800 (perhaps more) depending on the size of the festival and how good you are at getting a good deal. If you’re not willing or able to fork out this money, don’t do it. You have NO guarantees you will sell anything as a first timer with no experience of selling your products to this particular market.
    • The stall fee will usually include tickets to the festival (on this occasion, two, but I’m not sure about other festivals). Bare this in mind as if you were going to the festival anyway then it’s not really an additional cost, it’s one you would be spending anyway. You may also be able to get discounted tickets for additional staff, so if you have friends who are willing to help out on your stall for a couple of hours, repay the favour with a cheap ticket!
  • Sharing a stall – Try and share your stall – I shared with two other ladies meaning I only had to pay a third of the stall fee and I had someone there to cover when I wanted to go watch a band, grab something to eat or nip the loo!
  • Insurance – As per craft stalls, you are going to need Public Liability Insurance in order to trade at a festival. Please see my Makings of a Craft Stall posts or get in touch with me for more info about how to obtain this.
  • Other forms & Procedures – You will also need to fill in a risk assessment form in order to trade at the festival, again, please see my Makings of a Craft Stall posts for more info about this not-as-scary-as-it-seems task.
    • PAT – If you have been a student, or work in an office, or any commercial setting which needs a safe electricity supply, you may have seen those little green testing stickers on the plugs of some items. This is to say the item has been PAT tested and is safe for use. Most festivals will require any electrical items you will be using to have  been tested and have this sticker along with the certificate. It can be done for a fee – usually a flat fee plus x amount per item.

PAT Label Example

  • Power – In your application to the festival for a stall you will more than likely be asked what kind of electricity supply you will be needing. I was offered either 16A or 32A. Learn from my mistake – 32A is WAY too much for a normal stall – you could run entire stages off that much power. Yes you’ll be able to charge all your friends mobiles, run a kettle, your hairdryer and a soundsystem to boot but if you want to save money and have only what you need, then one 16A connection is fine.
    • To plug into your 16A connection you will need something like this: 110V Cable reel 16A. Or, if you have a Dad like mine who seems able to run his own festival supplies business, you can borrow one off him 😀
  • Your physical stall – You will need a gazebo/marquee/big tent or something for you stall to reside in for the weekend. This will need to be strong, waterproof and tied down VERY well. I have been informed by a seasoned festival trader that he has seen your normal garden gazebos take off in strong wind, and you don’t want that. Buy or borrow the best you can possibly afford, it will take your worry away. I worried about my blowing away a fair bit.
Linziloop Festival Stall at Eden

My stall complete with banner, mannequin and seating area!

    • When buying a gazebo or marquee, find one with zip up sides that you can put padlocks on at night – I had a gazebo that only had three sides haha! Meaning I had to lock everything in the van at night, which was a laborious and time consuming task and one which can be easily avoided.
  • Tables – I was told that decorating tables would be a bad idea because of their inherent tendency to collapse under the slightest pressure like a celebrity in the jungle. We used two of the cheapest crap decorating tables from B&Q plus one slightly more expensive (and sturdy) one borrowed from (yes, you guessed it, my Dad). None collapsed. But then none were leaned on by some wreck head in a moment of urgent relaxation required, so then they were never really “put to the test”. So, in conclusion I would say you are fine for the first time with these kind of tables, but they won’t stand up to much so if your stuff is heavy and you can afford or already have better tables, then do so.
  • Lights! – You are going to need to illuminate your stall at night. Trading hours are long and you will find yourself selling in the dark. How you do this is entirely up to you, get as creative (or not) as you would like, but it’s worth doing a little test run in your living room before you go just to see if what you have will light up your stall enough. We had 3 sets of fairy lights plus two lamps, which worked lovely without being too blinding.
  • Trading hours – I found that stalls open typically around 10am and close around midnight, some later. And you will be trading from the day the festival opens to the day it closes, no sharking off early. You may (and probably will) also be required to arrive at the festival AT LEAST the day before it officially starts in order to set up.
  • Pricing – I found that people want cheap, fun stuff. One of the ladies I was sharing my stall with (Sally of Alula Jewellery) was selling feathered jewellery and headbands (beautiful stuff) which was sold for between £3 and £10 – this did REALLY well. The other lady I shared with (Buggedup ) also has amazingly beautiful jewellery, of a completely different style to Alula, priced at around £10 to £30, and this didn’t do well at all. My stuff ranged from £5 to £45, I found that the more fun items such as top hats did rather well, but the expensive and practical items (like a really long cosy hooded chunky red riding hood scarf) got plenty of attention, but no buyers. I’d say have a variety of stuff to entice people in, but plenty of cheap and cheerful stuff to sell. There are rarely cash machines at festivals so people tend to have only the cash in their pocket, making them spend that last little bit on your stuff is difficult with so much competition! BUT REMEMBER – price things with room for haggling!
  • Competition – if you have been to festivals before I am sure you will know the exact kind of thing you would expect to see. Skirts and dresses made from recycled saris, felted wool pixie hats, mushroom hats, beaded jewellery, blankets made from recycled plastic bottles – you know the stuff. What worked really well for me is being different from all that, and I think it will really do me a favour in future especially now I have an idea of what to make more of.  Do yourself a service and make stuff that will make you different. Properly different, not like these other stalls think they are 😉 But still with appeal to the festival market, of course.
  • Display – Your display is going to need a lot of consideration. It can be tinkered with over the weekend but it’s probably best to have a reasonable idea of how you want it all to look to save you some stress at the event itself. Some key points to consider:
    • how best to use the large space you have (think height!)
    • securing things so they don’t blow over in the wind
    • displaying things so people can easily take them from the display to try on, but at the same time securing any particularly high priced items so that perhaps you have control over people trying those on
Linziloop Eden Festival Stall Display

The red scarf got a lot of attention but sadly on this occassion, no buyers. I'm SO tempted to keep it for myself though and wear it all the time!

    • using the exterior of your stall to display your items – this is a great way of enticing passers by into your stall as they walk past – but do consider what you will do when it rains, is their space for everything to be brought inside the stall? Can you get hold of some clear plastic rain sheets? Could you extend you stall with some tarp or an awning of some kind?
    • make sure people have enough space to move around inside your stall when browsing and when doing so they aren’t going to knock things off your display or bring the whole thing crashing down
    • if you have offers on or some bargains, or sales items, consider making some signs to draw this to the attention of potential customers. I didn’t and I wish I had – I think people are looking for bargains at festivals as well as something different so this may help at least get them over to your stall.
    • wear your items! It’s the BEST way of displaying them for all to see! If you can afford to do so, pass some items out to your friends and get them to wear them too, that way if anyone asks where they got it from they can point the person in your direction!
    • if you’re selling handmade items, make stuff whilst you’re on your stall – perch yourself atop a seat inside or outside your stall, and get to work! People will ask what you’re up to and it’s a great opportunity to get a conversation going about you, what you do, and what you sell. They may not buy anything but do pass them on a business card so they can find you in the future.
Linziloop Handmade Creations Business Cards

My business cards I designed, what do you think?!

    • have flyers and business cards available and free for people to take – they may not have the money to buy something at the festival but may do when they return home
  • Music – it is usually not allowed for sound systems other than the ones cleared with the event organisers to be playing at the festival, so no bringing your own PA system, although if you really want to blast the tunes it may be worth having a word with the event organiser to see where you stand. You don’t want to be annoying the neighbours! I did have a small speaker rigged up to my ipod with some chilled tunes to just create a nice atmosphere within my stall. The neighbours didn’t seem to mind, but please do remember that people don’t all have the same taste in music and your gabba might not go down well 😉
  • Performance – one of the ladies I was sharing a stall with (Sally) is rather good with a hoola hoop. She had a few with her to sell, and what better way to show this than having a little demo outside the stall. It was a great way to get chatting to people and draws attention to the stall. If you have some way of rawing people to your stall, go for it! It is a festival afterall, people love the entertainment! Plus it stops you getting bored, as if you could ;p
  • Know you neighbours – it will make your festival so much more enjoyable! You might make some friends for life, meet some really interesting people, and get some really good advice from seasoned festival traders!
  • Trader discount – Many stalls (food and none-food) may offer discount for fellow traders, don’t be shy to ask! I asked every single food stall I ate at and got discount every time. I’ll go back to every single one of them. I didn’t buy any clothing or anything at this particular festival (but had a rather lovely iona greenstone necklace given to me as a gift from my lovely neighbour Claire), but I was reliably informed by another trader that discounts on none-food stalls would be easy to get too – people price to haggle!
  • Talking of food – If you’re setting up before the festival starts (which I’m guessing you will be asked to do so, and you can do so normally about 3 or 4 days in advance if you’re willing to stay that long!) then do remember to bring your own food and cooker etc, as food stalls won’t necessarily be open early – they may be, you may get lucky, but you don’t want to be left hungry after all that hard work setting up! I found just one food stall out of many actually open on the Thursday I arrived at Eden.
  • And now for the boring bit – take this bit advice and tear it up if you wish but I honestly don’t think it’s the best idea to have a stall at a festival and be planning on partying all weekend as well. The stall is hard work, it’s long hours, you’ll be glad of your sleep. But if you’ve got people working for you, then perhaps get yourself a late shift one day so you can have that all important party time hehe!

Phew, righty oh then! I think I’ve said enough! Some of what I said may be total common sense, but sometimes when you’re stressing out trying to get all the “important” things done, the common sense things just go out the window, so it’s nice to have it written down all in one place – I’ll probably refer to this list myself more than anyone else just to ease my mind for future events!

As I said, I don’t claim to know it all by any means so if you have anything to add then please do in the comments below.  Until next time folks, happy reading, happy crafting, happy selling!

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47 Comments

  1. Great post! I’d love to do this sometime. I have a small stall at a small folk festival every year but nothing like on this scale. Got my first gazeebo stall this weekend but it’s just for one day so shouldn’t pose too many problems……if this wind and rain clears up! It’s true that festival goers tend to buy things they can wear straight away that add to their festival feeling. I sell way loads more jewellery at festivals that pictures or other pieces. I just love getting out there and selling straight to the public. Good for you for going for it with a festival stall : )

    Reply
  2. shirley

     /  July 5, 2011

    Hi Linziloop, my you sound like fun. Ive just had at a look at your advise about trading at festivals and its good advise. This is what im looking at doing my self as a face painter . Im fortunate that i have worked for other people at festivals so I know its hard work!! but i love the atmosphere , so now i would like to have a bash myself. Do you have tips on finding plenty of events ? do you know of any directorys you can get hold of?

    love to hear from you

    Shirley Stone…ps im on face book salisbury look me up

    Reply
    • Hi Shirley! I would advise you to get on Twitter if you’re not already and perhaps follow all the UK festivals you can find, they may post details about looking for traders. Other than that, I’m not aware of a directory but a quick google of “UK Festivals” should show up enough to get you started – perhaps make a list of email addresses, put together a polite email asking for details of how to apply to a stall, and send it out to every festival you would like to attend. You certainly won’t be short of festivals – there are hundreds in the UK, so perhaps find the ones you personally would like to go to as that way you get to see bands you want to?!

      Reply
  3. Janine Loucaides

     /  January 3, 2012

    This is such a brilliant article, exactly what I was looking for before I send off my first application. I was just wondering how many people attend Eden festival and how did you work out how much stock to bring?

    Thanks for all your help! Good luck with future festivals. Janine

    Reply
    • Thank you Janine! I think Eden Festival had something like 6000 attendees. I just took all the stock I had, which wasn’t really that much, just enough to fill a couple of tables really – I would have loved to have had more but just don’t have the time to make so much with a full time job! Luckily I shared the stall so it didn’t look empty at all. Depending on what you sell I wouldn’t expect to get £1000’s worth of sales at a festival, people seem to want cheaper, fun items, rather than luxury handmade and I found I didn’t do as well as I had hoped – I covered the cost of the stall and fuel to get there, just about. Would certainly have a better idea of what would sell at a festival now though and I still maintain it was worth it! What is it you sell?

      Reply
  4. Helen taylor

     /  June 18, 2012

    This is brilliant thanks so much for posting it. I, doing Cornbury festival with my gifts etc at the end of June and I’m SCARED. Your advice is fab.
    Helen

    The bumbling heart

    Reply
  5. Holly Welek

     /  September 23, 2012

    What an inspiration and so much good advice. I will definitely be printing this out. I would like to try this and your tips have encouraged me not put me off so thank you very much! I just got back from a very small Autumn Equinox festival and although it was very intimate and small and probably very dissapointing for the stall holders, I got such a charge from it all and what a lovely way to make some money hopefully from all the obsessions and passions that I have. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Excellent Holly I’m really glad this post has helped you 😀 Plenty of time between now and the next festival season to get things in order – and not too early to be contacting festivals about possibly trading next year, finding out their rates etc. Do let me know if you end up doing a stall how it went!

      Reply
  6. Hi, I’m thinking of setting up a stall selling glamping accessories for the first time and have found your advice really useful. There is very little advice like this on the web. I am nervous about the investment, so I need all the help I can get. Can I ask though- My stall consists mainly of hand made bell tent chandeliers and tea light lanterns and as most festivals don’t allow glass, I was wondering if it was acceptable to sell glass items.
    Can you help?
    Jade
    Glampmycamp

    Reply
    • Hi Jade! That’s a really good question and I’m afraid I don’t know the answer. My best advice would be to contact the festival/s you are thinking of trading at and asking them the question. The reason why most festivals don’t allow glass is that the land is usually used for farming and livestock are quite often put out on that land – they wouldn’t want any animals getting hurt by broken glass left from a festival.

      I do wonder if there would be some way of minimising the risk by perhaps selling items but keeping them on your stall until the end of the festival when people are leaving, creating some kind of ticket/receipt system – this way people don’t have to worry about looking after the lovely item they have bought for the duration of the festival, and any breakages could be kept to a minimum. Perhaps you could say you will have a tarp on the floor of your stall so that if anyone was to accidentally break something, it’s easy to clean up. Just a few ideas, good luck!

      Reply
  7. Katharine

     /  February 9, 2013

    Hi Linziloop, thanks so much for this article! Its incredibly helpful. I’m just doing research on having a stall at festivals and found this which gives some great tips and breaks down really well what we need. I was wondering where you got your gazebo from? Whether you bought it or rented it? And did you just find a company on the net to make your banner?

    Thanks,
    Katharine

    Reply
    • My goodness! Bit of late reply from me here, I’m really sorry for that I must have missed the notification. Well, it’s probably too late now but I shall answer your question anyway. I actually borrowed my gazebo off my Dad, and knowing him he probably bought it in Macro (he loves that place!) but I wouldn’t recommend that particular one should you be buying one – it only has three sides so you can’t secure it at night. Most festival traders have a stall with four sides that can be secured at night and leave their stock inside (saves a lot of messing about believe me!)

      I designed my banner myself (my day job is a graphic designer) and used a local sign company to print it. There are LOADS of online sign companies that will do the exact same thing though – shouldn’t cost you any more than £100. Do let me know if you need any help with a banner, I can do a design for you and put you in contact with a printer x

      Reply
  8. Annabelle

     /  July 21, 2013

    What a fab post! Thank you!

    Reply
  9. Mollie

     /  September 10, 2013

    Hi, I am a 16 year old school student, taking Textiles for GCSE. My project for this year is to design a piece of 60’s style clothing, to be sold at music festivals. I was therefore wondering if I could email you to gather some research about festival trading, or if not, if you could perhaps put details here about your experience of the venue you sold at, in a few less words? Thankyou 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi there, sure I’m up for helping! I’m not sure what kind of information you would need from me about festival trading to help wit your specific brief, so I won’t start typing away just yet in case it’s a load of useless twoddle to you. Would you like to maybe out some questions together and I will answer them?

      Reply
      • Mollie

         /  September 11, 2013

        Thank you! Well this is my rough brief, “Design and make a textile product suitable for the 18-23 year age range taking your inspiration from the ‘Swinging Sixties’. If the product is successful it will form part of a limited range to be sold at Music Festivals throughout the country.” Therefore I mostly want to know about festival trading for research into where I would sell my product! Firstly, what range of products do you generally see being sold at festivals, clothing wise? And at what prices? What sort of customers do you tend to attract at festivals? How much are they prepared to pay? Finally, how do you or others display your stalls and products? Thank you so much for agreeing to help me 🙂

  10. bobbie bowden

     /  October 7, 2013

    Great post! Just what I was looking for!
    Over the summer me & my sister got really into doing traditional henna tattoos and it turns out were actually pretty good an got a lot of interest off people just before they were going to festivals to show it off, is this something that you could see a trader selling at festivals?
    We were thinking we could get a really cool tipi tent & deck it out with all colourful cushions etc and tattoo people for a small fee! Looking at a lot of advice though it looks like people only use marquee’s for their stands, did you ever see any tipis? Do you think they would fit in or would it just look weirdly out of place? Thanks in advance 😀

    Reply
    • Thanks! I think if the only thing you would be doing is henna tattoos you may find it difficult to re-coup the costs of a festival stall. So if you take for example that you would likely be paying somewhere in the region of £400 to £600 for the stall space, you’re going to have to do a heck of a lot of henna tattoos each to re-coup that cost before you start making a profit. I have seen people doing henna tattoos at festivals before but usually they have either setup outside of their tent at the campsite, or been part of a larger stall selling physical items. Also, whilst the tipi sounds like a lovely environment to be in, it’s difficult to make it inviting from the outside – with such a small entrance it would be hard for people to see inside, and for a lot of people this would put them off popping in – an open space is generally better for enticing customers in.

      What I would do if I was you is either try to find someone running a stall that you can perhaps ‘tag on’ to – although be aware that doing this will probably mean you still have to pay for your tickets into the festival as they usually only allocate two per stall and the owner will have already used them, OR, find some friends who wish to share a stall with you selling their wares, take the two free tickets and split the cost of the other tickets between you.

      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  11. Zoey

     /  November 18, 2013

    Hi! This post is great and very helpful thanks; there’s not that much info online about festival trading… My sister and I are thinking of starting up a festival cafe. I was wondering if you had any info on this (trader fees for cafes ect..) or know of any good sites online? It’s just an idea in the air at the moment and we plan to spend the next few years brainstorming ect, If you have any more tips they’d be much appreichiated!
    Thanks,
    Zoey

    Reply
    • Hi there! I’m actually working on a project at the moment that hopes to make it easier for traders and festivals to connect as you’re quite right, there’s not much out there and it seems the only way currently to get in with a stall is to somehow contact the person in charge of trading at a festival (ALWAYS difficult!) and then sweet talk them as quite often they have the same traders year on year and aren’t massively open to new ones. What you do need to know in terms of a cafe though is that pitches for catering are usually more expensive than non-catering, and for big events such as Glastonbury, for example, you can for talking £15,000 for one weekend pitch – no kidding!

      The best advice is to start at the much smaller festivals, build yourself a reputation for being something a bit special (you’ll need to do your research on what is already out there!) and take it from there. Some of the best cafes I’ve been to at festivals tend to concentrate on one ‘type’ of food rather than trying to do everything, they just do one thing REALLY well (so for example a cafe at Eden Festival called Ghandi’s Flip Flop that did a delicious curry, or the stall I often went to at Boom Festival which did some kick ass burritos). I think this approach makes it much easier for you to get it right and also if the time comes to hire staff, less training to do. The atmosphere you create (if you want people sitting in) is also key, I particularly liked the cafe at the I.D Spiral Area at Glade Festival way back in 2006, they REALLY put a lot of effort into the aesthetics, even did shadow puppet shows and had really nice chilled DJs playing. That’s one rather huge example though as they were like, an entire area of the festival, not just a cafe haha!

      Health and safety is obviously a key aspect of running a cafe and is something I don’t know a heck of a lot about but I believe you will need to acquire some kind of food safety certificate and at least one person who holds that needs to be present on the stall. Insurance will be another thing to look at, particularly public liability.

      Larger festivals tend to have whole infrastructures in place for electricity and water, but the smaller ones are often less well kitted out, so just be aware that having water on your stall could become a massive task every day in itself and you won’t be able to trade without it.

      I would imagine when you first start out, knowing how much stock you need to take is going to be very difficult so it may be worth looking into how difficult it would be to re-stock up if you run out midway through an event. Obviously you also don’t want to take so much that you end up wasting a load of food and t eating into your profits.

      It’s quite the task, it’s something I’ve thought of doing in the past but when I’ve weighed up all the pros and cons have decided against it, sure no easy job, so I do wish you the absolute best of luck Zoey! And thank you for your kind comments 😀

      Reply
  12. C THRU U body modification (Kerry & my husband Sean)

     /  January 26, 2014

    Hi there Kerry here,
    Can I say ……..Loved reading this! Would like to have a wee chat with you if you have time. So little advice out there. My husband found this he’s much better at googling than I am! Well done for taking the time to help other first timers out. It’s been the best piece of information we’ve found and we’ll be using as our checklist. (You have your very own short cut on my desktop! Lol.

    Like I said love to have a chat with you at some point.

    Kerry & Sean : )

    Reply
    • Hi Kerry and Sean! Wow, my very own shortcut, that’s a first! Flattered! I’m sure happy to answer any questions you might have, shall I send you an email?

      Reply
  13. Dawn Griffin http://originalbob.com/
    What a fantastic amount of information you have provided for us. I am new to the crafting business and was thinking I would like to take on a\festival. I think I need a bit more preparation (and money) before I tackle a festival. You have given me a lot to think about. My first fair that I did was called off, after all the tents started to blow away so totally understand the need for sturdy tent/gazebo. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience though- the fair not being blown away although that was kind of fun too.
    Anyway thank you

    Reply
    • Thank you Dawn! My my – actually being cancelled due to weather, what a shame! Outdoor events in this country always have that risk I guess hey. I’m really glad my blog can be of use to you!

      Reply
  14. Hi Linzil loop, Thank you so much helping us first time festival traders out! I make and sell festival style handbags and accessories. They are fair trade and ethical. I was wondering what sort of price range do Festival goers have to buy bags and accessories. At the moment i sell Retail online at http://www.littlehillpeople.com and I aslo supply to Boutiques . My bags are a bit pricey but i’d like it to be affordable to festival goers but do not wish to be at a loss! Please advise on the price range i can sell there. Regards,

    Reply
    • Hi there! Thanks for your comment, it’s great to know this post is being helpful to people! In terms of people’s budgets at festivals, in my experience both as a festival goer and as a trader I have found people tend to keep the amount of money they take with them at a festival to a minimum given the security risks of either leaving it in your tent or carrying it around with you when inebriated! Personally I only ever take enough to cover my food and drink for the weekend and then about £40 for anything I might see in the stalls that I would like to buy. There have been times when I have seen something out of my price range and asked if it is possible to pay via card only to find the seller does not offer this – many sellers can’t at festivals so I would say if you can find a way to take card payments (Paypal have a card reader and app that might be an option for you) then I would definitely go down that avenue. It’s also worth me mentioning however that although your items are beautiful (I checked them out, I LOVE them!), there would be quite a lot of competition at festivals selling a LOT cheaper so you would have your work cut out convincing people why your items are better – which I can tell they are, but then I have a vested interest in good quality, ethical goods 😉

      Reply
  15. Thank you! A most useful post … you are very kind to share! 🙂

    Reply
  16. rich

     /  May 16, 2014

    Wow, good info thanks and still getting replies 2 years on from your original post! Ive been talking about a mobile bar for about 10 years and have finally sat down and nearly finished my business plan. Thanks for the good info that I would have only found out at the event! Im slightly different to those above as Im looking at selling alcohol at festivals, yes i know there are hoops to jump through, but small festivals and events first. Its a but special so i hope all will go well and stand out enough. ive left it a bit late for this year but will plough on as am sure I can do xmas parties, weddings , winter festivals! etc…. I wondered when most festicals started applications …. say if they were in June would it be March tio send in applications.
    Personal license, public liability etc I have looked in to and all fine it seems – Im trying to work out fees – I thinks its % or anything from 300 to 1000 depending on size (unless galsto as mentioned)

    Any help appreciated

    Thanks
    Rich

    Reply
    • Hi Rich! Thank you for your comment, it is amazing that this post is so popular even 2 years on, I’m chuffed it’s helping people! Festivals usually start their application for stalls process VERY early – some as soon as immediately following the festival, but most between 6 to 9 months before the festival. The smaller festivals tend to have spots available until very close to the date but the bigger ones have a huge following of very successful stalls that sign up year after year so they are much more difficult to get into. You are right that it can cost anywhere between 300 to 1000 for a traders spec; food and drink usually at the upper end of the scale as they require more electricity, water facilities etc. Your bar sounds interesting, I do wish you all the best with it!

      Reply
  17. Soooooo helpful – thx a million x

    Reply
  18. arjdesign

     /  October 22, 2014

    do you have to give the festival any percentage of your profit or is it just the pitch fee that you pay, thanks (I’m doing design management and projection in uni where we have to come up with an idea.)

    Reply
    • As far as I know it’s just the pitch you pay for. It would be very difficult for a festival to be able to confirm how much a stall has made and therefore take percentage of their sales.

      Reply
  19. carly

     /  January 3, 2015

    Brilliant really helpful thanks !!

    Reply
  20. hi, I am wondering if you have any ideas on a reasonable percentage to ask for when helping a trader to run their food business at festivals, i wouldnt have to pay out any costs and the owner takes all the money at the end of the festival, but I will be running the show in some festivals whilst he is busy at others. Thanks so much for your time, I’d just like to get some more ideas on the subject.

    Reply
    • Hi there, I’m afraid this isn’t where my expertise lies. I would suggest however charging an hourly rate rather than a percentage of takings, everyone knows where they stand much better that way.

      Reply
  21. Richard

     /  March 28, 2015

    Really great advice & post, thank you, Richard.

    Reply
  22. Hi there, I’m looking into starting a facepainting tents at festivals and was wondering if you could email me on what you recommend how I go about getting into the festival secne? I’ve already worked for people( festival faces and vanity van ) I have everything I can do sorted but it’s just getting in touch with people to get the pitch.Look forward to hearing back. Spierson.makeup@gmail.com

    Reply
  23. great post, most helpful, I have done one local festival and only took £20 so need all the help I can get hahaha

    Reply
  24. Patm

     /  February 14, 2016

    Just thought I better just put a link for the correct 16a connector. You need a 240v blue one like this
    http://www.toolstation.com/m/part.html?p=91715
    And a h07 rnf 16a extension like this
    http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/252269673231

    Reply
  25. Hi Linzi Loop,

    I was hoping you could give me some information on PLI? I don’t know whether to go for a £50 per annum or £200 per annum. I’m on a budget for my first festival and will be selling jewellery and clothing. Any recommendations?

    Great blog by the way, really helpful 🙂

    Many thanks 😀
    Charlotte

    Reply
    • Hi Charlotte, thank you for your comment 🙂 I’m afraid I can’t give any advice regarding PLI specifically, I’m not currently trading at festivals or craft fairs so I’m a bit out of the loop at the moment. I got mine from the Artists Network when I had it, but I’m not sure if they would cover the clothing aspect of your business – certainly might be worth asking them the question.

      Many thanks

      Linzi

      Reply
  26. M Fab

     /  May 13, 2016

    In March I bombarded about 2 dozen festivals with applications as a non-food trader and have had a lot of pitch offers back. Some festivals we finish on the Monday and will be setting up at the next one that Thursday!. I’ve never been to a camping music festival before! Just this week we’ve now found out we can have a pitch at V Festival Staffordshire. It is the most expensive pitch fee for a 3x3m! It’s £800 plus VAT! Other small festivals we are paying £180 plus VAT. But this is the big world renowned one so I don’t know if we should do it as it could boost our brand? Will we make money or lose money. I’ve heard V Festival is rowdy (is that true) . it will be a hell of a lot of work and after all the added expenses we may only break even? And then 4 days after we do The Big Feastival in The Cotswolds. We could sell out of stock at V? They are very different demographs. V Festival is a younger crowd which is our target market though. What have you heard about being a non food trader at V-festival? My other question is do you think once the light goes we could lock up our stall and then leave and not camp behind our stall?

    Reply
  27. Jacey Jarman

     /  March 20, 2017

    Hello Linzi and others that have replied to this article with posts. I am helping a small festival in Tunbridge Wells. Pitch fees are £175 for a small pitch. They are expecting approx 3,000 capacity. They are looking for more non food traders. If you are interested, hola below and i will post details 🙂

    Reply
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