Swansea Food Festival Feedback

07 Mar

I had a chat with a producer who gave me some feedback on the Swansea festival which took place on Saturday 26th February. It was held in the centre of town but only attracted 20 food stands which I thought was very low until I learn that the stand price was nearly £200.00 for one day. I have no idea how we get organisers to understand that to pay up front such a huge fee for a single day is too big a gamble for many traders and only the start their overheads.  They’ve to make and organise their produce, sort out life at home, load up their transport, drive there, set-up, try to sell, break down, load up, drive home, unload, cash-up, do paper work ……….the list goes on and on.   

Organisers really do have to have a re-think. It’s will only be the popular ones like Abergavenny, Ludlow and Conwy that will have the luxury of cherry-picking traders, whilst others I fear will struggle to attract stands and simply disappear from our Welsh food scene.


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  1. Jo

    March 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Swansea has gone mad charging prices like this
    I’ve am amazed that they got 20 stands there – at that price I thought they’d have struggled!!! How can tradestands make money paying out that much for a stand? If they stick their prices up to customers that usually means they sell less and just don’t win.
    You feel ripped off living in Wales and food organsiers are seriously joining in. Play fair or just don’t bother putting anything else on – you’re taking advantage or producers without a doubt.

  2. Cheeky cawl

    March 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    look even the largest festivals had to start somewhere – you have to speculate to accumulate and given time the Swansea Festival may grown into a money spinner for the producers as not only will local people have an opportunity to experience local food but so will local businesses. Make the most of it don’t just stand behind your stand go and leaflet local food outlets in the area. Introduce yourself and see if you can work together. As they say time is money my friend, utilise it well!

  3. Gill

    March 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Of course I have no idea of Cheeky cawl’s connection with Swansea festival, but to expect producers to pay nearly £200.00 for a single day’s trading is totally mad. I don’t even think Cardiff is not that for 3 days trading. So whoever did your prices, was way off beam.
    Yes all festivals have to start somewhere, you are quite correct, but you don’t start off as being one of the most expensive!!!! With no track record and little marketing and advertising behind it.
    Shouldn’t it be up to Swansea Council to get behind this festival first and it still doesn’t excuse Swansea ripping off traders. Can’t you understand that traders, especially in these very lean times, are not too bothered about Swansea as a city or other businesses in Swansea – they are concerned about themselves and their very survival. They can’t wait for years for this festival to ‘pick-up’ they could well not be trading by then.
    I do agree with you though about traders ebinbg proactive whislt they are there but not always that easy if you’re down to running a stand on you’re own and it’s difficult even to have a natural break.
    Most traders are aware that time is money as most are self-employed and most can’t afford those rip-off prices. I still think you have got it wrong.

  4. Cheeky cawl

    March 8, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I cannot comment on the costs incurred by traders at the festival as I have absolutely nothing to do with it – what I would like to think about is the costs involved with a festival i.e. personnel, equipment, extra resources with police, planning, H&S, marketing, communication and I am sure an abundance of other things, I should imagine that these costs were not recouped through the price of the stands. We are a country that relies heavily on funding, a culture has been created where we expect it almost as a right of passage. The funding will come to an end – surely it is better to start pricing things realistically now than wait for the funding to stop and the businesses be flabbergasted at how much they then have to pay out for things that they previously received for nothing or was very highly subsidized. If action is not taken now the end result could be dire!

  5. Gill

    March 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

    In principle I agree with Cheeky Cawl, but in practice she is so far off the mark that she’s on another plane – Planet Welsh ZOG!.
    She talks of increasing her costs to a realistic level, falis to mention in any way the reduction of costs which is the other side of the recessionary coin. This has to be addressed more than the income.
    Justify please why traders should pay £200.00 for a stand and then have the organisers KINDLY switch over the huge screen to rugby around 1.00 – result few customers for the traders – how clever is that????? A decision by ‘somone’ who has never run a tradestand and gets paid each month maybe? Traders were due to close at 5.00 but the organisers changed their minds and said the site had to be cleared by 5.00, again not fair or honest to the traders.
    The price of £200.00 per day is I think more expensive than the Royal Welsh and even the Winter Fair. Swansea cannot hope to get the same numbers through, even if they did have someone employed that could do marketing and advertising. If in fact any was done. The majority of festivals are organised by volunteers, but what was the salary bill for this Swansea event – anyone know?
    I agree that Wales lives on grants and funding but to START on the food proucers is attacking the weakest sector – if food is so important for Wales why not start looking at government costs and wastage – look at how many programmes, some food included there too, that Wales has started and and then just folded at huge costs and achieved little. Too much money is wasted because of the silly schemes some civil servant comes up with and Wales then runs with.
    Traders want fairness and an access to markets so they can survive.
    You have shown with your comments that you have no idea about the life of a food producer. Talk to some of them whilst we still have some left here in Wales…..

  6. Dave

    March 11, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Cheeky Cawl has no idea what she’s talking about
    Go and talk to some one and two man or woman food producers and learn how tough their life is
    If Wag didn’t waste so much time and money more could be invested into local food and producers could have more confidence of a future in food
    as it is the future looks bleak for many
    wake-up to real life – cheeky cawl

  7. Jed

    March 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    It sounds a total rip-off and to have a TV screen is a huge expense that traders don’t need and certainly don’t want. Your clueless Swansea and need better organisers who know the food market.

  8. Chefbear

    March 19, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Swansea hasn’t been the same since the demise of the Cockle Festival- please bring it back- in the original form!

  9. Jess

    March 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Get new organisers who know how these events should run.
    £200.00 a day and TV screen – you were having a laugh at the traders expense and it’s not on

  10. reality check

    March 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Reality check is what Swansea and other festivals need.
    If a producer’s most expensive product is about £3.00, where can they find a profit margin to pay out £200.00 for a single day + a TV screen distraction – and still make a living?
    Swansea, you are so out of touch and I hope in 2012 the food traders continue to vote with their feet – then you can try running a food festivals without food tradestands!!