Tradestanders Must Pay NOW For Narbeth Food Festival

31 Jan

I was furious to be told by a food producer yesterday that they had been told they must pay, IN FULL by 31st January for a tradestand at Narbeth.

Narbeth food festival is a two day festival held around 25th September. I’m not sure if Narbeth usually ask for money nearly nine months up front, but I have to ask why? Why do they need the full payment now? Have they invoices to pay for this year’s festival already and the traders are needed to fund that? Well that’s hardly likely is it? Have Narbeth heard about the economic recession? Are Narbeth of a view that food producers in January are sitting on a stack of cash because their last trading year was so good? Surely they are more aware than that! 

Last year Narbeth were funded to the tune of £9,999.00. If  they’d had asked for £10k or more from WAG, they would have had to produce a business plan. Narbeth also charged all visitors on the gate, which is another source of income along with any sponsorship they achieved.     

 I am at a loss to know why all food festivals cannot do small stage payments for producers. In my view, spreading the costs should always have been done for food producers and without a doubt over the last two years. Far too many of you need a reality check.

 I have heard the good news that Royal Welsh Food Hall and the Cardiff events are doing stage payments this year. Cowbridge were the first I’d heard of that did stage payments last year and I was so pleased to see a festival understanding the markets forces that all of us are having to contend with.

I’ve been complaining about forward payments for years and I’m just grateful that at long last some festivals are listening.  I know our Best Of Welsh & Borders will be delighted of any festivals spreading the costs of their tradestands.


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  1. beer boy

    January 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    It’s about time this was highlighted the amount of money festivals want from me now is way beyond a joke and I have taken the decision if they will not do stage payments over 6 months then I cannot go.
    I’m happy to pay a deposit and if I pull out for them to keep the cash – that is fair. But this system of payong now for Narbeth is a complete and utter joke. That’s one I will not be doing.
    Organisers take note of Cowbridge’s way of working it is one of the best festivals I go to.
    thanks for putting this in the public domain it’s about time someone did.
    thanks Kath and the team – best of Welsh you lot are the best thing to have happened to Welsh food and I’m grateful. I’ve put a couple of our market traders onto you to join us and have more say in our living.

  2. time for change

    January 31, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    It is time for change and time organisers stopped taking our hard earned cash so soon. Nine months it’s like a pregnancy!
    There is no reason that I can see that it is necessary for us to pay up front nine months early. Where are these organisers living? Here in Wales? Recession, have they not got to grips with that yet?
    I’m not doing Narbeth and this is the reason why, I can’t find that much money now, it’s that simple!
    I must say thanks to you, not just for raising this, but for the many problems you do raise on foodbites. You have changed many things for producers for the better, you just don’t get the credit for it. Still that doesn’t stop you, so every credit for sticking up for us traders despite the aggro you are always getting.

  3. Tess

    January 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    About time the public also knew about this con job by organisers. Pay early, give us break before you help finish us off.
    Cowbridge did it last year and there’s no excuse for others not to follow their example.
    Well done Cowbridge for running a brill event, without taking advantage of us producers.

  4. realistic

    February 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    There’s a recession still here in Wales and organisers need to be realistic and spread payments
    grow up please otherwise some of us will not be able to attend as many fests this year.

  5. Trader

    February 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I have, in the last week or so, been sent application forms for a number of Festivals, most wanting their payments soon. Winter is not the best time to ask any trader for money, but this just shows the lack of understanding in the Industry. What worries me is that none of these festivals yet know if they will receive funding, so presumably they may not go ahead, but they will still have our money. Hmmm…

  6. admin

    February 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I am so angry that yet again this year organisers have the cheek to ask for payment now for festivals likely to be in 6 months time. Have they not been living on this planet? Let alone here in Wales, has the recession passed them by? I don’t know if some organisers are stick-in-the muds, we’ve always done it this way – or just thoughtless.
    My anger is also directed at wag for still not adding some strings to their criteria relating to tradestand payment. Wag are the purse holders and this is nothing short of a pathetic, again thoughtless and out-of-touch of them.
    The closing date for festival applications is 17th Feb, but when wag will confirm amounts – who knows. Don’t forget wag are now bringing in visitwales and then the Faming Committee too, so maybe that could just lengthen the process even further.
    This situation is not acceptable, but thank goodness Cowbridge and now a few others are getting the message and spreading payments.

  7. trader

    February 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Narbeth this is wrong and unfair and I am cross that you are so unsupportive of your food producers.
    This is an event that producers aren’t put first like many others.
    Often they pay name chefs instead of looking for local ones who might do it for promotion for their hotel or bistro instead of for a large fee.
    This is one I will not attend again.

  8. Poor Producer

    February 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Narbeth you are being silly and thoughtles. Just how much money do you think producers have in the bank in February? Well in case that’s far too difficult, I’d say most have only an overdraft, there’s no cash there yet.
    Are you just too lazy to split the payments, or just too greedy?
    This is a festival that as far as I can recall has charged entry fees for years. This is basically to buy food!!!!! The ‘free’ bits are music, which is not to everyone’s taste, and a kitchen with a few chefs. How much do you pay these chefs? I bet Angela Grey is not cheap. She’s usually there as she is invited to loads of festivals. Are there not some young chefs available around Narbeth that would love the exposure and to plug whoever they work for at the same time?
    Narbeth you are not being fair to food producers and I also know that you get funded by wag. I’ve just checked and you got just short of £10k last year but still can’t split payments for us.

  9. Joe

    February 10, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Narbeth’s nasty trick. After two terrible years of trading in this economy, Narbeth should know better and treat their traders fairly.
    I’d really be interested to know what they pay their chefs, because whatever it is, it cannot be real value for money for the festival or us producers. I do like the idea of using local young chefs and let them get experience of doing demos and allow them to promote their kitchen. I also like the idea that I’ve read somewhere on here that chefs at festivals should use food from producers that are paying to be there. It cannot surely be that difficult to sort out and does mean that the festival is working together and pushing the producers. Surely this is what these festivals should be all about.
    I know Kath has gone on about this for a long time, but ony a few festivals have taken her up on this. Do we have to have Steve Terry, Dudley, Ms Gray, even Bryn Williams and the rest, when we have got some great local chefs and some good youngsters coming through. Shouldn’t Wales be pushing this idea?
    I think wag should make these points part of their criteria and actually force festivals to do these things. If they don’t, then they don’t get paid. Festivals are not a charity, this is our money and food producers should be put first. That really would make a change and perhaps make wag talk to us, omg.
    Only when festivals and markets do that might there be some improvement in both these areas. I refuse to rage any more about £800k being pushed down wag food’s drain, what a shocking waste of money, but it created jobs at FBA, so all should be well in wag world.

  10. cup cake

    February 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    How dare Narbeth and other festivals still ask for our money up front?
    Are they living in Wales? Or are they too stupid to be hampered by the recession?
    I’m not surprised wag have done nothing about this but it’s in their hands to stipulate that trade stands can pay by instalments. Wag make enough demands on the organisers but this would be one on behalf of the producers and as people keep saying wag is supposed to work for producers. I know that’s the theory but if we did start a producer group they have no option but to listen to what we want and we need.


    February 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    You are out of order Narbeth. Pity it’s not jsut you, far too many festivals are still asking for money in full up front, but why?
    You should never, ever have even started asking for the full money in January for a September festival.
    If you don’t get funding from wag, can you still run in September?
    This festival is to promote Welsh food and your priority and loyalty should be with the producers.
    Instead, you charge people to come in and then I’m sure pay a lot for the posh chefs you bring in. This is not good value for money and not good practice in a recession.
    Friends of mine will not attend Narbeth because they say Narbeth’s really not got anything that warrants an entrance fee. Chefs and music when all they want to do is shop. Buying food is waht festivals are all about at the end of the day and if that is what they want to do, shop, why should they pay you for doing so?
    I wonder how many others have this view and how much trade us producers lose.
    I’d be interested in how much money you take on the gate and how much you pay your posh chefs. Be brave and tell us.

  12. Unfair

    February 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    It’s unfair of Narbeth and all the other festivals that are chasing full payment now for their festivals. I’m just not sure how these people have the nerve to do that. Are they s out of touch with life here that they think producers are sat in comfort on a stack of cash and wish to pay nearly nine months up front?
    Why can’t wag at least grasp this nettle and stop this happening for the festivals they are going to support this year? Is it too difficult for wag to do just one small thing to help the producers that their department is supposed to do? Wag set out various criteria but this is nver one of them.
    There are so many comments on here saying much the same thing and I admire whoever is sending a £10 deposit, love to know what happens next on that one and what reaction was received. If any was received.

  13. disgrace

    February 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    |Money eight months early is a disgraceful practice and never more so than in these tough times.
    Just what right have supported food festivals got to demand stand money in January for a Sept. event?
    Disgraceful is the politest word I can use to describe this sharp practice.
    One trader I spoke to about this was ok with it, but his is quite a big company turning over a fair amount. He said that festivals don’t always bank his cheque until a month before the event. Now that’s only helpful if you know WHEN your cheque will be banked. I cannot write a cheque out if there’s no money to cover it – I think that’s illegal, but it does still happen.
    Why can’t some festivals talk to us instead of following wag’s lead of ignoring us?