Food Festivals

04 Jul

Cardigan Bay festival takes place this weekend. So how do I know that? Well only because wag food eventually sent me through a list of food festivals they were funding. So I might as well remind you that this event asked for £9,500 and received £9k.

So you might well be asking yourself, what’s my latest problem? Well everything! Let me start with signage. I was in Aberaeron last Sunday, just one week before their big day and I didn’t see a single sign or a single poster and I’m only about 30 minutes away. So that’s not a good start and one of wag’s criteria ignored. So now with only days to go before the start, I still await a press release, but smug I’ve been clever enough not to hold my breath on that one.  I have to assume that my local paper had details sent through to them, but sadly I’ve been left out, poor me! Was it something I’ve said? In case you think I’m simply having another rant, this is another of wag’s criteria, saying festivals must send out press releases. Too many festivals are ignoring wag’s criteria and press releases are a basic PR tool if an event is trying to gain as much publicity as possible. It would appear that I’m a slow learner, because once more I’ve again taken the time and trouble to explain, by email to wag, what is happening so far with some food festivals. I’ve explained, working from my PR & Marketing background, that wag should be asking not just for copies of all press releases sent out by an event, but a list of where they were sent and finally where they were published, as proof of publication is essential. If publicity is not generated, visitor numbers will be limited to just local people, so in effect it’s a local fete. This important and essential, but it’s still not happening.

I’m worried because food festivals and hence our food producers, are missing out as so many people do not know what is happening and when and as this is often the case, why are wag still funding some festivals? But if wag food are happy with that scenario, then I am one of many that aren’t happy. But will this bother wag? I guess not as wag are not trying to earn their living in this industry are they? Wales has many micro magazines and websites and these are often well-read over a very limited area, but food festivals need to remember that there is a lot more media out there than their local newspapers, which are all operated by one of the big four publishers, and because of their nature are all well-supported with government advertising.

Now if that is not sufficient for me to grumble about, I just been on the web looking for a list of producer’s attending this event. Unfortunately this festival doesn’t have its own site but is linked into the town site, but even so, and some of you will not be surprised to learn that there isn’t one! I’m not surprised by this because this happening far too often.

Many of you are now aware, that TWO companies have been asked by wag to do an evaluation of food festivals this year. I’ve been invited to do an interview with them because of my – wealth of experience and strong views on food festivals and could undoubtedly provide useful information to the evaluators. Sadly wag:  cannot offer payment to interviewees in this situation and will fully understand if you choose to decline this opportunity.

Well I’ve refused their ‘kind’ offer as my name will then be linked with this review although I’ll have no control or input on the content. So although I shall be attending this event, I’ve no intention of blogging again about it and assisting wag’s two companies free of charge. Please don’t shout at me for not blogging about any more festivals. It’s a lot of work for me, and as welshfoodbites was used by Miller last year, I’ve basically had enough of being taken for granted by wag etc.

I’m not sure how much longer it will take wag to question themselves on why they are putting funding into Welsh food festivals that are then blatantly ignoring their criteria. Wag need also to ask themselves if they are funding food festivals so a few organisers can do some self-promotion, or are the food festivals first and foremost for our food producers?  If food producers are the priority then why, yet again, can’t I get a list of food producers attending this event?


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  1. producer

    July 5, 2013 at 9:44 am

    After reading so much about food festivals knowing that quite a few are not doing a good job for us, wag still don’t understand what is happening at the coal face. The Miller survey was supposed to tell them but we certainly haven’t seen that survey. But I do know thanks to this site, how much it cost but cant work out why it takes so long to do a report. We are now halfway through this year and no progress has been made and organisers haven’t made an extra effort with this recession.
    Now 2 more companies are both being paid to do another survey. More money flushed done wag’s big black hole.
    How dare anyone in wag food talk to Kath as though SHE’S their servant? They’ve spent too long in their ivory towers cushioned from real life in Wales and certainly in Welsh food. Kath would not have to do so much work for food if wag were capable of doing a good job. If wag worked for free, that rude civil servant would have a point but he doesn’t does he? But there’s no reason Kath should be insulted by wag food. When did that rude, arrogant person last visit a food festival to work in their own time? Bet I’ve never seen them on the circuit and if Kath have we’d have known about it on here.
    The fact that Kath is still not getting press releases from festivals when she’s been saying this for years, is down to the fact that wag food is ineffective and does not know or learn anything about our market.
    Kath was hopeful the new man would make a difference. Now it seems he’s already in post, so shame she’s wrong on that one.
    Perhaps Mr New Man will make an official appearance at the Royal Welsh, now I’ll really look forward to that!

  2. producer TOO

    July 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    A good question to ask wag is who do they work for?
    If they said it was for Welsh food producers, then as well as them reading this site since 2010, they should have been acting on what has been said. I don’t mean just noting Kath’s sensible and well-thought through ideas, but all the comments that have been left there by producers, organisers and foodies.
    Kath keeps saying that wag must be on here on a regular basis, otherwise her rankings would be as low as that fork2fork lot. So why haven’t wag done something over the last two years? It doesn’t make sense unless wag food think they don’t actually work on our behalf.
    From my side, that’s just what it feels like, wag do whatever they want and it bears scant regard to what we actually need. Good grief if they can’t sort out food festivals after all the advice they been given on here, then their end-of-term report is could do a lot better if more effort was put in and they could ask the people they work for their problems and act on it.
    I think though that might be a touch to tough for wag but us giving them an end of year report is a good idea, especially if it related to salaries