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.