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Traders at Folk Festivals

GUEST,Howard Jones 28 May 08 - 11:46 AM
AggieD 28 May 08 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,Malcolm 28 May 08 - 07:55 AM
oggie 28 May 08 - 07:32 AM
Liz the Squeak 28 May 08 - 05:27 AM
GUEST,Neovo 28 May 08 - 03:46 AM
the lemonade lady 27 May 08 - 12:46 PM
AggieD 27 May 08 - 09:49 AM
the lemonade lady 27 May 08 - 03:38 AM
the lemonade lady 08 May 08 - 03:21 PM
The Villan 06 May 08 - 10:54 AM
the lemonade lady 06 May 08 - 10:40 AM
Howard Jones 30 Apr 08 - 06:22 PM
the lemonade lady 30 Apr 08 - 07:29 AM
GUEST 30 Apr 08 - 01:02 AM
GUEST 29 Apr 08 - 02:10 AM
the lemonade lady 28 Apr 08 - 01:40 PM
Liz the Squeak 24 Apr 08 - 06:29 PM
the lemonade lady 24 Apr 08 - 04:45 PM
Tig 24 Apr 08 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Mr Red wiping cookies becase - oh you don't 24 Apr 08 - 07:59 AM
The Villan 24 Apr 08 - 05:36 AM
the lemonade lady 24 Apr 08 - 05:32 AM
Mr Red 24 Apr 08 - 02:58 AM
Mr Red 24 Apr 08 - 02:49 AM
GUEST,Sandra 23 Apr 08 - 06:55 AM
TheAnu 23 Apr 08 - 06:35 AM
the lemonade lady 23 Apr 08 - 06:20 AM
Folkiedave 23 Apr 08 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,Neovo 23 Apr 08 - 05:34 AM
the lemonade lady 23 Apr 08 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,Sandra 23 Apr 08 - 05:23 AM
GUEST 23 Apr 08 - 05:21 AM
Folkiedave 23 Apr 08 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Sandra 23 Apr 08 - 03:46 AM
*Laura* 22 Apr 08 - 07:11 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Apr 08 - 06:50 PM
the lemonade lady 22 Apr 08 - 06:42 PM
*Laura* 22 Apr 08 - 06:16 PM
Tig 22 Apr 08 - 06:01 PM
JHW 22 Apr 08 - 03:34 PM
Susan of DT 22 Apr 08 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Sandra 22 Apr 08 - 10:41 AM
Banjiman 22 Apr 08 - 10:27 AM
Zany Mouse 22 Apr 08 - 10:23 AM
Ruth Archer 22 Apr 08 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,Sandra 22 Apr 08 - 10:05 AM
Mr Red 22 Apr 08 - 08:13 AM
Mr Red 22 Apr 08 - 08:08 AM
Ruth Archer 22 Apr 08 - 08:07 AM
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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 28 May 08 - 11:46 AM

Aggie, for partners/family of performers who get a free ticket it is part of their entitlement - the ticket is part of the performer's remuneration for appearing at the festival. It's entirely up to them how they use it.

As I said in an earlier post, the performer will often be offered a remuneration package which may involve a range of benefits eg cash, tickets, accommodation, etc. The festival will have put a value on that performer and will balance the elements accordingly when agreeing their contract. If the performer doesn't want an extra ticket, they can negotiate a bit more cash instead.

I've played at festivals for a ridiculously small cash fee, but when things like accommodation, extra tickets, parking permits etc were taken into account it was a good deal which the band was happy with. We and our families were able to enjoy the festival as well as just playing there.

It's disappointing that festivals appear to be pricing traders, especially craftspeople, out of contention, but they should listen to their punters and if it starts to detract from the festival then they'll take note


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: AggieD
Date: 28 May 08 - 09:57 AM

Liz I don't deny that you do help out doing stuff like clearing up, but I know of plenty of people who just take the free ticket & never think any more about it than it is their entitlement because their significant other is the one working.

It is a two sided coin with people getting free/reduced tickets as has been said if people are having to work at festivals most weekends then they may not get to see their partners/families without the free tickets.

And quite honestly I know that if partners of our team didn't get reduced tickets then we often wouldn't get many of our team to go to festivals, leaving families at home is not an option for many of them.

But I still think that festivals lose out on the genuine crafters. The craft tent at Chippers was quite honestly awful this year with the exception of a couple of stalls everything was imported tat. I was caught out by buying some things that I thought were handmade only to find the inevitable Made in China label when I looked later.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Malcolm
Date: 28 May 08 - 07:55 AM

"that seems like a perfectly reasonable compromise. It's what we've had to do with Morris sides - either offer a free limited festival ticket, which doesn't allow access to the mainstage events, or a reduced-price full festival ticket"
It has been discussed elsewhere, dancers - and traders - who are busy all day often only have evenings free. So a ticket that excludes the main evening events is absolutely useless.
Dancers and (relevant) traders are all part of the atmosphere. Without them, a festival is diminished.
I know at least one dance side which boycotts festivals that charge performers.
I also know Morris sides that really DO have bands of eight or ten musicians. Sometimes the musicians support more than one side. Perhaps the musicians should have to draw lots for the privilege of entertaining the festival's punters? Can't see it working, somehow.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: oggie
Date: 28 May 08 - 07:32 AM

In all fairness it's not just Festivals that are putting up prices, I find myself getting squeezed pretty well across the board.

I also agree with Ana's post. For me a festival is work. I do not expect to get to any of the concerts, if I catch one (or part of one)at the end of the day it's a bonus. For me it's a numbers game. Are there enough people for me to make a living from? Will I do better there (I hope) than if I go to my usual market (for which I still have to pay even if I don't stand that week, another squeeze).

The "we already have a trader selling that" angle is one I'm in favour of. A well balanced and mixed craft tent should work for everyone, traders, festival goers and organisers. Once you get (for the sake of argument) 10 jewellry stalls and a similar number of identical clothing stalls then two things happen, the mix has gone and the traders are fighting over a smaller share of the cake. Very few festivals (or general craft fairs) have enough footfall to sustain a lot of duplication, doesn't matter if it's a hobby and you're really there for the music, does matter if it's your living.

The issue of kids is one I see from another perspective. I have a wooden toy stall. The number of times parents will leave their kids with the words "stay here while we look round" is unbelievable and annoying. A stall full of kids playing stops serious punters approaching apart from the damage that gets done.

All the best

Steve


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 28 May 08 - 05:27 AM

As I have just attended Chippenham on a free ticket as a 'family of artiste', I would agree with Aggie in principle but object to her refering to me as one of 'the hangers on' who 'give bugger all and just take.'

We also give support in many ways - spending a large amount of money on craft items, helping clear glasses and mugs from venues, litter clearing and other little things.

For myself - I think I attended one concert that wasn't open to the general public - and that had plenty of room for others to attend if they'd wanted to, using my ticket only to gain access to the campsite, which is what I would have had if I were stewarding. For the other MOFFs (MOrris Friends and Families), I can't speak, because we don't do the same things.

I'd be more than happy to see traders given season tickets and free camping - although many traders at the festivals I've attended slept in their stalls or their van next to the stall for security so maybe camping isn't so important to them. However, having been involved in festival organisation, there are many performers and artists who will not attend if they cannot get a free ticket for their 'partner' (for which read spouse, significant other or latest squeeze) and it's written into their contracts that a certain number of tickets are to available to them. In my experience it's those who are the most likely to give "bugger all" . To allow one artiste free tickets means you must open it to all artistes in the interest of fairness - it's up to the MOFFs to decide if they want to come and the organisers to limit the tickets to a certain number.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 28 May 08 - 03:46 AM

I think there is a clear distinction between "crafters" - people who make items by hand using skill and "craft", such as wood turners, leather workers, knitters, weavers etc and "traders" who buy goods from retailers to sell at a profit. The former can be accommodated in a craft fair, the latter are normally in business and are traders.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 27 May 08 - 12:46 PM

Well said. Even when I've spent £330 on a pitch fee I have to then buy a camping ticket!!! Bugger that, I'm going to a decent campsite and paying a bit more for peace and quiet at the end of my working day.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: AggieD
Date: 27 May 08 - 09:49 AM

From a personal point of view I really miss the fact that real artisans can no longer afford to come to festivals because the items they produce are so expensive and they are forced to attend the large commercial 'Craft Fairs', where they can attract large numbers of punters with much deeper pockets than the average folkie.

I certainly don't have any problem with crafters making a living and charging a reasonable amount for their product, and I do try to buy hand crafted items, but I really think that with the costs spiralling so much these days we are losing a huge amount from festivals by not having even amateur crafters displaying their crafts. I'm always far more interested to watch the spinner, woodturner etc. than in buying the tat that is passed off in craft tents at many festivals.

I really feel for crafters as I know it's so expensive to not only buy the raw products, but to get to anywhere & then pay for accomodation etc.

I would much rather the trader was given some sort of recognition for making the effort of coming to festivals, like a couple of limited entrance tickets to say the evening events, than artists hangers on getting free everything, after all the traders can give a lot to the atmosphere of a festival, while the hangers on give bugger all and just take.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 27 May 08 - 03:38 AM

For instance   ... £250 in 2006...£300 in 2007...£330 in 2008 Now ok, this is for 7 days, but this is higher than inflation every year. How much have the season tickets gone up, does anyone know? If I charge accordingly I'm obviously going to be making a loss. The price of fuel is up, the price of lemons is up... i've decided not to trade if diesel goes up to £1.50 per ltr. I think charging over £1.50 per cup of lemonade wouldn't attract any customers, what do you think?


Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 08 May 08 - 03:21 PM

Festival organisers set a pitch fee (sometimes a percentage) and in order for us to have good trade and afford the pitch fee we need customers. Customers are attracted to an event by advertisements and publicity. If the foot fall is low at an event, the organiser could be at fault for not promoting the event properly. So we traders rely on the organiser and their publicity to get us the customers, so that we in turn can afford the pitch fee. Poor publicity equals poor trade. We shouldn't be held responsible for the fact that the festival organisers have failed in their duty to attract people. So therefore if they have failed, why should we be charged the full fee?

Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: The Villan
Date: 06 May 08 - 10:54 AM

>>Basically they are being squeezed <<

Is that you or the lemons, Sal :-) or both maybe :-)

Seriously, you make good points. I think traders at festivals should be by invite to suit what the festival requires. They should be charged a fair nominal stall fee or preferably charged nothing, since after all, they are working and providing a service to the general public. If they want to go to any of the concerts, then they pay like anybody else.
I think everybody likes to see a great variety of good quality of stalls and as many as possible. We all like having a good old browse.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 06 May 08 - 10:40 AM

Can we go back to the beginning?

'I have heard a few sad comments from traders over the past 2 years. Basically they are being squeezed financially. I doubt many will post here because it is not good business to moan. eg Traders not invited because they have a traders selling that sort of "thing" and now we hear of traders having to quote for the priviledge of attending. And having to buy tickets for the 1/4 of the time left to them.

I personally like the stalls, but currently the choice I find has diminished at some festivals. Making it harder to "like".

Notable by exception are Upton and Chippenham where the public have full access. Indeed Chippenham BH Monday is a riot of stalls in the high street. Which is organised by the Rotarians I believe.

Organisers should be aware - if you are serious about festivals - traders are part of the buzz, don't be greedy. And traders are as traditional as Folk Song - and as a tradition, as old. They are part of the line-up.'


sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 06:22 PM

Ana asks, "why free tickets to performers friends?"

Most of the performers at festivals, apart from the main headliners, are not full-time professionals. That means after a week doing a "proper" job they are away playing at festivals, and for some that can mean most weekends throughout the summer. If they couldn't bring their families along they wouldn't see much of them, which would soon mean that they wouldn't be doing any festivals at all.

The fees that festivals can afford to pay aren't usually that much, and taking into account petrol, food etc probably wouldn't stretch to buying a ticket for one's partner. So additional tickets are usually an essential part of the package, which may include accommodation as well as tickets. It's understood that more of one means less of the other.

Also, performers will often do these events for little or even no cash fee, if it's an opportunity to gain exposure and sell albums. They are also huge fun to do. At somewhere like Sidmouth, being provided with accommodation (and a town-centre parking permit) can be as important as cash. But if a performer doesn't want these things, they can ask for more cash - it's understood there is a trade-off.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 07:29 AM

Hey guess what, Lemons have gone up to 40p each for The Lemonade Lady.

Not happy today

Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 08 - 01:02 AM

Southern France third week of May. Bona Pecumae non flatuenci


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 02:10 AM

I see that trading and catering stands at the new Pickering folk festival are very reasonably priced. A friend of mine that has a shop in Pickering says that it's very reasonable. Not being a trader, I wouldn't know but she ought to.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 28 Apr 08 - 01:40 PM

Anymore for anymore?

Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 06:29 PM

"a limit to what a man on his own, dressed oddly, is able to do."

You realise that if you did it anywhere other than a folk festival, you'd be on the sex offenders register quicker than stewed prunes through a short grandmother.....!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 04:45 PM

Thank you Tig, sympathy most welcome.

Oh and I won't forget the sugar when we meet.

x Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Tig
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 01:00 PM

Anu, where as I agree with you that 'work is work and play is play' - and that if I attend a festival as a stall holder I am there to work but I wonder what your views are on festivals which close the craft fair at 6pm?

Where we could trade all hours you could often find the badge stall open until 1am if there was a late night concert. Some of the idea of the stall was also that you could talk to people who might want badges making either immediately(it was amazing what was wanted at a good concert or after a few pints) or later for clubs, teams etc.

Most of the festivals are too far away from home to nip home on a night and there's nothing more fustrating than having to pack in early and then it costing a fortune to see anything!

At no point did we ever leave the stall unmanned to go and see something TOGETHER. How ever I do sympathise with people like Mrs Lemon who has to cross her legs for 8 hours or shut up the stall because of the expense of taking a 'second' pair of hands with her.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Mr Red wiping cookies becase - oh you don't
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 07:59 AM

There are Festivals that use barcoded passes, not Folk Festivals as far as I know but once it becomes cheap enough and understood properly .............

Les Barker has already written "Bark Odes" - but I sense there will be more.

They are doing similar on clothes now, with RFID tags. It could be done with passes. You don't even need to stop people to read the ID unless the alarm goes.

I predict one or more of the above.

But just don't ask me to put a date on any.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: The Villan
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 05:36 AM

Maybe Tom Bliss should put Ana's post in his "Advice to Festival Organisers/Traders/Performers" section.

Makes a lot of sense to me.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 05:32 AM

Mr Red, I hope that never happens. I thought folk festivals were to promote our hereitage, ie folk songs/music. Bar coding tickets will have to have a whole new lot of songs written about it!

Ana: you wrote so much sense. I think you have it in the proverbial nutshell.

Sandra: it's not your fest to which i refer. I really enjoy supporting your fest; [as you did mine] I was at Bridgnorth more or less from the beginning and love watching all the development. It's definately the best thing that ever happened in Shrewsbury.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:58 AM

Oh I forgot what I was going to say.

It all comes down to how much the organisers want traders, as part of the look and feel of the event, and what the traders feel is a fair (good word) deal. And there are rumblings at some festivals and personnel.

the trader that gets a free ticket and doesn't trade can be covered by issuing tickets after the stall is set-up. But that takes sparse effort.

Once bar coding of passes starts to be cheap enough, ticket control could be made to work, lost tickets, restricted access, data collection etc and Mr Red apologising for the electronics industry yet again. But it is there already - just not cheap enough for Folk Festivals - yet.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Mr Red
Date: 24 Apr 08 - 02:49 AM

But don't get me started on their children....

Nothing worse than other peoples' bored children - except possibly your own.
A clear case for enough and varied kiddies entertainment. The bigger the festival - the more important that is. It only takes a few to spoil it .....

I see those kids as needing attention and I do my miniscule bit but there is a limit to what a man on his own, dressed oddly, is able to do. And there are sessions and stewarding calling me.

Don't get me started on what there is for those kids to do (and do do) in the evening .............


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 06:55 AM

blimey Ana!

So much said I can't respond to it all but I agree with virtually all you said.


Sal

I forgot, I also asked a couple of music stalls to submit tenders. I think they are in a different category (they usually own shops) to most Craft Fair traders. Lets face it they only have to sell one expensive instrument and they are presumably in profit.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: TheAnu
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 06:35 AM

I am only speaking here for the maker-traders who struggle to make a living from their craft, and judging from the other postings I am the meanest of them all.

To sum up the waffle to follow below:
Free pitches for traders: Yes please, so that we can make a living.
Free tickets for traders: What on earth for, we are there to work!

Free pitches will encourage traders to attend an event.
Free tickets will encourage traders to bring all their mates and have a free party and neglect their stall.

I make historical shoes and sell them on my stall at historical events. I have never considered pitching at a Folk festival as my stuff is too specialized to sell to anyone except reenactors. This is a good thing too and I am not going to change it.
When I work I work - at historical events.
When I play I play - at folk festivals.

What I find lacking in this thread is the distinction between work and play and the fact that the festival organizers can expect a professional attitude from traders.

For example on my own trading circuit English Heritage give me a traders pass to access the site and do my job which is stall-holding. It is business. I am expected to be professional about it which means that during business hours I work, not just close shop for a while because I want to see the joust or fancy a break at the burger van or am too hung over to open the stall on time in the morning.

Traders who trade for a living:
Need to make a reasonable profit to make it worth their while.
A reasonable profit should be at least minimum wage once you counted all the hours you are working at an event, from start to finish, which is usually from Friday 6am till Monday 10pm. That is often some 60 hours, and that is when you are not trying to hold down your stall in a storm or salvage stock from a flood. Plus the hours it takes you making the product you sell, plus petrol, plus public liability insurance, plus the cost of the materials for your product and other expenses.
You need to shift a lot of stock to end up with £5.00 an hour if you add it all up. I never make minimum wage at a festival once I have done the maths.
So a free pitch is one thing that would help with actually going home with some money in your pocket.

Okay, if you feel generous, give them free tickets for the evening events, and no more than two. Hardly any stall (except catering) I have seen at folk festivals needs more than two staff.

Non-professional traders:
Who are doing it for charity, for fun, as a hobby, who are running the kind of stall that a living cannot be made from, are obviously in a different category. However this kind of trader is usually on good personal terms with the festival organizers. I think nobody would object if they brought a few extra staff to work only part-time (part time as in 50% not 5%) on their stalls and be classified as stewards rather than proper traders.
However, the customers cannot tell the difference and I think that not-for-profit stalls should present themselves to the customers just as professionally as the full-time traders.

As to free tickets for performers:
For the day? For the evening? For the entire event?
Whatever is appropriate, but there should be a balance between what they are giving to the festival and what they are receiving.

Free tickets to performers friends:
Unless the performer is a megastar and needs placating, why at all? And even then would it not be fairer to pay the performer a higher fee and then let them buy tickets for their mates from their enhanced wages?
Because what exactly is the free ticketed performers mate contributing to the event?

Cheers,
Ana


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 06:20 AM

it's true you can't please everyone, and as a trader I would think all my birthdays had come at once if i got a pitch fee for nothing. I expect to pay, and if i wasn't asked, I would give a 10% donation anyway. If I remember rightly that's what i did for the Oysters fund raiser in Titley a few years back. It rained most of that day too!

A lot of festivals these days push up the pitch fee to cover lots of other costs, and get us to pay up front as early as January, when we have very little cash. I think the set low pitch fee followed by a percentage is fair for everyone. Yeah ok, so some sneaky traders might lie about how much they took, but trust goes both ways.   The fest gets some and so do we. If we do well, so does the fest. After all, the traders add to the atmosphere and lots of paying festie freaks love to catch up with gossip and have a chin wag with the familiar faces on their favourite stalls.

sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:45 AM

No trader I have ever met has expected to get in for nothing.

And there is no doubt that Some people have taken advantage of the generosity of festivals with tickets so they have started restricting tickets. My objection is to "blanket" bans because of a few people taking advantage of the system.

And I would be happy to pay full price for the partner of a dancer so I believe that a half price ticket is excellent value for money.

But I do accept it is not easy.

But I think everyone realises it's impossible to please all the people....

Indeed and my sympathies go out to you!!


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Neovo
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:34 AM

I wonder how much the ticket prices would have to increase by if traders were not asked to pay for their pitch in some way or other. I'm sure they have to pay at other kinds of events.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:32 AM

...only apply to caterers, but I know other festivals have started asking since last year... what i meant to say was that I know that other kinds of stalls [musical instruments, cd's etc ] are asked for tenders now. These are well known festivals that they have been trading at for many many years, and are expected to be there by the paying festival goers, and musicians who want instruments tweeked.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:23 AM

that Guest was me above - sorry forgot to enter my name


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 05:21 AM

Folkiedave

Our artist's guest tickets are limited to one per performer. Though reasonable requests are considered providing we know about it before the festival. Rarely is one ticket ever exceeded. Artists are generally not greedy.

Morris dancers pay £25.00 per weekend ticket for partners who are not performing.

I try to be fair. But I think everyone realises it's impossible to please all the people....


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 04:09 AM

I take what Sandra says about four people turning up to run one stall (there are just two of us and no children!!) and nothing annoys me more that a morris team that seems to have six dancers and a band with ten musicians - eight of whom seem to be drummers,triangle players etc etc.

I think allowing two people tickets is sufficient. If dance teams are not coming to the whole festival then they get tickets commensurate with their stay.

I also think guests for bands should be restricted - and in particular ordered well in advance and not as they arrive. (How many performers ask for tickets 'cos they have bumped into mates). The other thing with performers is if the band is only appearing Friday night then that is how long their guest tickets last.

And I would be happy to pay a percentage of turnover too. Would have saved me a lot of money last year.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 23 Apr 08 - 03:46 AM

Staff on my CD stall at SFF also get free festival tickets.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: *Laura*
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 07:11 PM

I'm not sure - possibly it varies with the festivals. But he pays a hefty pitch fee.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:50 PM

Laura, do the festivals get a percentage of Dave's CD sales?


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:42 PM

Tig that's a good idea and one that is used at some festivals at which I trade. Trouble with my little shop is that if the weather is horrible, no one wants lemonade so I'm sitting there doing nothing. Some festivals take pity on me and return some of my pitch fee, or reduce it the following year. These are the very big festivals I attend. Asking me to pay a set small fee, then 10% on my takings over that amount, works well for the festival if it's hot [and of course me] and if it's bloody awful weather, at least I can afford the fuel home!

I also believe that not putting the price up on my lemonade helps parents buy a drink that's not full of additives etc. If it cost more than a pound a cup, and you have say 4 children, that's an expensive treat. So if my overheads are kept to a minimum that helps my sales, and the festival does as well as I do.

The tender thing at Shrewsbury might only apply to caterers, but I know other festivals have started asking since last year. I maintain I will not be partaking in that sport.

One festival I am attending this year, having not done it before, has asked me to buy a £50 ticket for my assistant!!! I will be doing that festival single handed even tho it's one of the biggest music festivals in the country. I have suggested to them that it's dangerous for me to run my trailer single handed, because of the risk of leaving my trailer unattended during trading hours with the boiler bubbling (I use hot water for washing utensils and hands etc.) The EHO won't be happy with that... I've heard nothing from them as yet. (it's not Shrewsbury, you are always very fair towards me and mine, for which I'm grateful).

I dare say I shall have more to say, but that will do for now, I'm tired!

Sal


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: *Laura*
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:16 PM

Obviously it depends on the type of stall - but, as some of you know, I work on the CD stall at Sidmouth/Trowbridge etc.... and I know Dave is very much of the opinion that if the staff don't have tickets to go and SEE some of the music - how are they supposed to be able to advise customers on the music?
It's a good point I reckon....
but obviously doesn't apply to every stall.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Tig
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 06:01 PM

We've now stopped taking the badge stall to festivals It got to the point where we were having difficulty meeting stall fees(except for one very nice festival that classed us as a festival 'amenity')and the cost of badge bits, petrol etc had to be taken into consideration.

We felt that 2 tickets per stall was fair - which meant one of us had to pay when Firecat came too, but it was worth it. The 1 ticket works ok if it IS a ticket as you can pass it between you but most festivals use wrist bands these days.

A suggestion which we used to appreciate (since most of our stuff only cost 50p!) was a low stall fee plus a smallish percentage of anything taken over this. Then those who made the most ended up paying more - and the festival ended up winning out as even our stall often handed over more than the minimum. It also encouraged a range of stalls as people were prepared to give it a try.

Easy access to a well used thoroughfare is also useful. Then people pop in on their way past - and may go back if they've seen something but not wanted to buy it immediately.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: JHW
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 03:34 PM

Traders are good for the Festival feeling even when their produce is not folk-relevant. Darlington Spring Thing was lacking in atmosphere this year 2008 as the stalls had been moved from the hub area of the foyer. Must admit though to being so tight at Sidmouth that I wouldn't pay 3 quid to go in the Arena to be sold something. (And get muddy}
John


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Susan of DT
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 01:01 PM

Dick and I bring CAMSCO Music to several festivals a year (in the NE US). Some festivals charge a table fee (in the $25 - $100 range), others charge a percentage (5, 10, or 15% - the 15% is rough) and I think we give a donation to a small festival.

The free tickets enable us to get to our table/booth. I try to get to one workshop a day and don't always make that. Dick rarely gets away from the booth. Depending on where they put us, we may hear the main stage, a side stage, session area, or nothing. We never leave the booth unattended until we shut it down for the night, usually after the end of the evening concert/last workshop. Having a third person to help out at times means we can get to the bathroom and eat occasionally.

We are going to a festival this weekend. On Thursday we pick up a trailer and load it (1000 pounds of CDs plus). Friday morning drive to the area, check into the motel, and get to the festival site for the checkin/setup time. Have everything ready for the start of the festival and close up around midnight after the last workshops end. Be back an hour before the first workshop on Saturday (9, I think) and keep the booth manned until midnight.   Be back on Sunday an hour before it opens, keep the booth open until after the end of the festival (ends at 6 pm, but people always want to buy things after that), load the trailer when there is a place to park in the loading area. Drive home, arriving after midnight. Monday, unload the trailer and return it.

It is hard work, but fun talking to people and getting them the music they want. Since CAMSCO Music has so many CDs that people want, we usually do quite well financially.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 10:41 AM

just SOME traders children.

I think they and their parents get so used to going to festivals that they forget about etiquette and safety. Times I have needed to tell children to 'get out of the skip, don't sit on the skip, come out of that venue, leave that fire extinguisher alone, stop trashing the toilets by trying to flush loo rolls down them etc. etc. etc'. I expect the children get bored even though they can go to all of the children's events they usually choose not to. Sadly SOME traders just let their children run riot.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Banjiman
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 10:27 AM

"But don't get me started on their children...."

Is this a general comment about kids at festivals or are you especially down on traders children?

Paul


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 10:23 AM

I liked the Living Craft section at Sidmouth. The traders were charged a 10% tithe on everything they sold at the festival as long as they were showing the crafts being done. I've spent many hours at this section and would love to see it at other festivals.

I might even take a stall myself.

Blessings
Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 10:21 AM

"offering greatly reduced festival tickets to them. "

that seems like a perfectly reasonable compromise. It's what we've had to do with Morris sides - either offer a free limited festival ticket, which doesn't allow access to the mainstage events, or a reduced-price full festival ticket.

When you think about it, the morris sides aren't earning any money from being there, yet provide something which is as vital to the festival buzz as the traders, IMHO. And when you have a festival with limited capacity, it's hard to compensate them all for their contribution.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: GUEST,Sandra
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 10:05 AM

I don't have anything whatsoever against traders. As I said before I just try to get the balance right. And I feel that I have done that buy offering greatly reduced festival tickets to them.

But don't get me started on their children....


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 08:13 AM

typo without pointing fingers at festivals.
Not drinking wine - honest.


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 08:08 AM

Traders are not angels, there is a measure of anarchy inherent in the process. But there are ways of guarding against the grabbers, it does take organisers' time though. My original motivation for the thread was to voice disquiet on behalf of traders who probably feel inhibited here. And to add my preferrence to the mix, with pointing fingers.

One event ticket per stall would control it somewhat. Presumeably traders would have trader passes to get on site that would not be acceptable on event doors.

You do hear comments from punters - "it is the same tat everywhere" but they are expressing personal taste, one man's tat is a kiddies plaything. I usually browse the alledged tat and that is entertaining in itself, to a degree, call me sad.
I do buy wine from Granny West, and would be sipping it now if I could get the cork out. Cheers


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Subject: RE: Traders at Folk Festivals
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Apr 08 - 08:07 AM

Sandra, i can completely sympathise with you. We have very little FOH space for traders, so it's not so much an issue with us, but we do have to weigh up the huge numbers of comp tickets we're required to provide against our venue capacity and break-even points.

A lot of people probably don't realise the number of free tickets a festival has to provide for artists' guests and any additional staff and crew they bring. Add in stewards and volunteers, press, VIP guests such as local councillors, sponsors, local businesses who have offered in-kind support, traders, catering staff...unless you're very careful it can completely spiral out of control.

It may seem mean, but my experience is that very few festival organisers are themselves getting rich: all they're trying to do is make the event viable into the next year.


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