Llyn Land & Seafood Festival 28th & 29th May

31 May

 It’s some years since I travelled north to Pwllheli to check out this festival, but despite a poor weather forecast I went there on Sunday.

There were a few AA signs driving into Pwllheli which was an improvement on my last visit, but of course more would have been much helpful in attracting even greater numbers of people to visit the Marina. My concern is swelling those visitor numbers and not just relying on locals who should know about the festival and where it is being held.

There were 24 food stands there on Sunday, including a bread man who wasn’t there on Saturday as he was busy doing a market and I spotted 5 True Taste winners too. The traders I spoke to were pleased with the event and had done reasonably well, so that was so good to hear. James from Ralph’s Cider had a good time too and had lots of people not just sampling, but purchasing too and appreciating what good cider and perry this company produces. 

I did wonder whether a £3.00 entrance fee would put people off. Possibly it’s just me that’s anti entrance fees, because the only real freebie was the cookery demos, so I’d love to hear your view on entrance fees. Two adults paying £6.00 to go in, or an extra £6.00 in their pocket to buy ice-creams, jams, chutney, cider etc. it is after all the traders that really need those sales and no more so than in this difficult trading time when everyone is looking for value-for-money and quality food too.   

A good attraction was a paid-for face painting for the kids, that was very popular with people patiently queuing for their child to be transformed into lions, tigers or fairies – that was great fun for them.  There was a cookery demo area too, but when I was wandering around it was used between demos with some musical entertainment, which was a good use of time and space.

It never ceases to amaze me though why traders will go to festivals and markets without business cards or any literature. PR & Marketing is an important part of any business and that does include food too. Come on guys, do the job properly!

I understand that Wag don’t want craft stands at their food events, I await official confirmation on this and so have no idea on their reasoning for this decision, unless they think that Wag are therefore subsidising the crafters. But if that’s the case what’s their view on the non-food stands that were at this festival: the county council, air ambulance, coastguard, coleg menai, and the pharmacy? Are charities excused, or are they looked at being subsidised or simply adding the the event? My view is that some quality craft stands do add to a food event and the longer the people stay there on site, browsing, chatting, eating and drinking, the better.

There was another tented area along with the food marquee that had tables, chairs and food and drink available. I think this was provided by the Sailing Club which was next door and in my view it was just a pity that it couldn’t have been worked to help the producers who had paid and travelled to attend. I’m not saying that this would be easy to arrange, but surely it’s something that is worth looking at for the future. My other huge disappointment was that though this event is titled as a land and seafood fest, there was only one fresh fish stand and one smoked fish stand. I’m not sure what happened to all the other fish producers, where were they? I certainly expected to see many more, especially as this event was situated just by the sea.


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  1. tara

    June 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Does trades description apply here for a land and
    seafood festival? Surely it is only a seafood festival if there are lots of fish stands there. No idea why the northern fishers weren’t there, it’s hard to understand.

  2. free entry

    June 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I agree about paying for entry. You don’t pay to enter a shop and if I wanted to watch cookery demos that much I’d watch the TV.
    £3.00 a person would be best in the stallholders pockets I think.

  3. fishy

    June 2, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    something fishy here. Where were the stands selling fish? I don’t agree that visitors should pay £3 to go in- you’d have to spend all day to watch every cookery demo to get your £3.00 worth. Free entry please.

  4. fish

    June 6, 2011 at 11:45 am

    fish is what this festival has been known for, this event was not as good. Not sure what has happened, but go back to what it was, a festival of fish and give our fishermen a boost that they so badly need
    Help our fishermen before you lose them

  5. FISHY

    June 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    this festival should celebrate and support Welsh fish not let foreign fish kill off the samll industry we still have here.
    Does anybody know where were all the fish stalls have gone?

  6. free

    June 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I agree it should be free entry and there should have been more fish there – – – – that’s not on especially for this area. Felt it rather let the north down
    I know it must be a huge job to organise but let’s focus on fish and free entry for next year.

  7. Crabby

    June 10, 2011 at 9:53 am

    What happened to all the fish people? If this was to be part fish it was rubbish to only have a couple there.
    I like this site, but I spend far too much time reading it. It’s a distraction, but also useful, so much info and news on here. I’ve learnt loads, but fear I’m getting an welshfoodbitesaddict now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m now coming on here every day, maybe because I frightened of missing something but I also keep my friends intheloop too
    This site seems to show that there are lots of people out there, producers and food lovers, who are of the same view, but it’s so disappointing how local food is going.
    In these tough times, food as much as any business, is suffering and we are not getting the support from Wag that we need. Give lots of money to Abergavenny and then Abergavenny are again turning away Welsh producers this year. Or sticjking some of them in the worst sites. It’s not fair that they are allowed to do this. They always have lots of producers from the other end of the UK, including the Isle of Wight. Why is it it’s ok for them to push out the Welsh producers and for Wag to push out Welsh craft? Visitors coming to a Welsh food fesitval expect to find WELSH food and I’m fed-up of being turned away from Abergavenny because the organisers say visitors want a change. It’s a yearly event for goodness sake. Do people say they want a total change of products every time they go into Tesco?
    Welsh festivals – Welsh food – diolch
    We’ve too many small producers that aren’t getting the help they need

  8. Mike Parry

    January 3, 2012 at 10:31 am

    As the organiser I have no problems with criticism whatsoever – which is why people need to be in possession of the full facts. In relation to some of the comments on the site I would like to comment as follows.Starting with the stands – stands that are perceived to be for the good of the public – air ambulance coastguard etc are given stands free of charge. The chemist purely provides health checks and advice (no sales) and has historically referred some urgent cases to their GP’s as a result of these checks. Some people did not know they were seriously ill !
    County Council, Coleg Menai etc. all pay
    Re the fish element an element of fair comment here, but – due to the transient nature of the huge Wakestock event in town (they continually move it to accommodate the tides in the harbour) we have had to move the date of the festival, which in turn unfortunately took us into a part of the year where fish availability is not as good, but we are trying to address this element !
    Entrance fee needs to be, I would suggest, balanced against the fact that we do provide free parking. I go to other festivals and pay a larger entrance fee and parking so give us some credit!! Kids are also let in for free and also get the free face painting, which as you say is extremely popular.
    For your info the Welsh Government are definitely not supporting food festivals where crafts are the main element. Free entry would in turn make it more expensive for the stallholders which is not acceptable – we try and keep prices to them reasonable. Fuel costs and distance is definitely impacting on exhibitor’s ability to attend festivals. Quite right, it is a huge job to organise, we do not however focus on making money, but on providing a spectacle/facility especially for small, new burgeoning producers, who need all the support they can get. Website should be online soon which is a cost but a necessity we feel. Thanks for taking an interest and bothering to post comments.