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 2012 Festivals

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  • Total Posts: 322
  • Joined: 1/15/2008
  • Location: Cumming, GA
2012 Festivals Thu, 01/5/12 9:54 AM (permalink)
We are wishing everyone a prosperous New Year.
We are in the process of booking our 2012 festivals. It seems that every year the cost of being a food vendor is going through the roof. Our trailer has a foot print of 9’ x 19’ and most of the shows this year want us to pay for two spaces are have gone to a square foot or linear foot price. One of Atlanta’s largest events wants $20 per square foot with a minimum 10’ wide. That’s puts us at 190 square feet x $20.00 per square foot or $3,800.00 for a three day weekend.  We are probably going to pass on that one. We where hoping to get in with a local promoter who does three events per year but this year they are charging $30.00 per linear foot or $570.00 for our trailer plus electricity. That put us close to a $1,000 invested to do a two day show. We purposely purchased our size trailer to be able to fit in to events without having to pay for a double size booth space. Most of the events we do have 12’ to 14’ wide booth spaces so at best we may be charged for 1 ½ spaces. Our trailer actually fits into a standard parking space.
It is getting harder to offer a quality product made in a food grade unit these days. Unfortunately the event goers are going to be subjected to mass produced food items served out of tents. We tested our pressed sandwiches last year at a couple of smaller events and did very well. We just don’t think that we can do the production needed to offset the higher booth prices. We may have to scrap the sandwich concept for the higher price festivals and work with a local wing restaurant and do hot wings. We have already discussed putting an 8’ x 8, canopy behind the trailer to house a fryer for the wings.  We sort of tested this at a local high school event and it worked OK. Hot wings are easy to cook, hold well and can be served constantly.
On the plus side we still have several smaller events that are more than happy to accommodate us.  We tend to have more food vendor competition at the smaller events but our sandwich concept worked great. The sandwich press worked awesome and we got compliment after compliment about our sandwiches from the event goers and other vendors. Our trailer really fits in nice with the sandwich concept and we honestly believe that people appreciate purchasing food from a real food unit.
We are still working with the Atlanta Food Truck movement. We will probably see more of the Food Truck Parks pop up around the city and in the suburbs. Depending on our schedule we will try to do the lunch ones and pass up on the dinner ones. We like a lot of you have been trying to make this a full time gig but it just isn’t working out like we want.
Anyhow post your experiences on this years booking.

    • Total Posts: 414
    • Joined: 6/21/2008
    • Location: Badlands of New Mexico
    Re:2012 Festivals Thu, 01/5/12 10:49 AM (permalink)
    Seems the only people getting rich in this business is the promoters. lol
    I too am starting to book a few events for 2012, but really holding on to what I did last year. Don`t know if I`ll try any new ones as age is starting to set in on my weary bones. When I first started out I was doing around 32 to 36 events a year, down to about 16 to 18 now. As far as I know, entry fees haven`t gone up this year, but I haven`t heard from every event either. I do do a motorcycle rally in Texas, and every year they charge $25.00 more than they did the previous year.
    On a different note, if I recall, I think I contacted you off-line about a sandwich press here a while back. The other night I was watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and their was this guy doing sandwiches which made me think of you.  He had a home-made sandwich press, a big brick wrapped in foil! Much cheaper...
    Good luck in 2012, I think we will all need it.

      • Total Posts: 33
      • Joined: 5/20/2011
      • Location: Oshawa, ON, XX
      Re:2012 Festivals Fri, 01/6/12 8:58 AM (permalink)
      Last year we did 16 different street festivals in the Toronto area, and usually they give you a 10' x 10' spot. If you need more space, then you have to buy 2 spots.

        • Total Posts: 322
        • Joined: 1/15/2008
        • Location: Cumming, GA
        Re:2012 Festivals Mon, 01/9/12 9:53 AM (permalink)
        I think we are also going to hold on to the ones we have been doing. Between the pressed sandwiches and the shaved ice we have about 10 that we know we can may a little money on. We are looking to add a couple more events that we can do the sandwiches at in order to keep the trailer stocked. Seen way to many events that really didn't pan out the last couple of years.

          • Total Posts: 4
          • Joined: 1/20/2012
          • Location: texas city, TX
          Re:2012 Festivals Fri, 01/20/12 2:09 AM (permalink)
          I'm just now starting to look at what it costs to start up and site fees. I'm very new at this and looking for some advice. What kind of money can I exspect to make on an average doing concessions at fairs? I know thats kind of an open question but any info would be great.
            Buck & Vi's

            • Total Posts: 822
            • Joined: 4/19/2010
            • Location: dodging,snakes,spiders,roaches, armadillos.opposso
            Re:2012 Festivals Fri, 01/20/12 9:10 AM (permalink)
            Fotunatly, we are able to cut out all our festivals, car shows etc. with our new spot it keeps us pretty busy as is, we will still do the paint ball gigs as they are pretty good for us and the grand kids play, so its sorta a family affair ,and besides there are no cost what so ever to do them.
            I too was sick of the constant, lying, back stabbing,fore flushing,washed up sons a #@***# promoters!! LOL....
            p.s. texnewbie....when you find the answer to that post it on here i'm sure theres allot of peeps wantin to know.. the way I always did it was to take the promoters numbers divide by 85% add the cost of a pack of lucky strikes, subtract the cost of a worn out ticket to the worlds fair, add the postage of a letter back home to mother,then throw two eyes of a bat into the air, if they both come down together you'll do good!  but.good luck in your venturs.
            but always remember "you cannot make anymore than what you can put out"

              • Total Posts: 322
              • Joined: 1/15/2008
              • Location: Cumming, GA
              Re:2012 Festivals Wed, 01/25/12 3:14 PM (permalink)
              Unfortunately there is no real way of figuring how much you can make doing festivals. We know because we have tried. What may make money this year may not make money next year. In reality this is a part time business based on the love of doing it and not paying bills. Now don’t get me wrong we have made some serious money, but we have also walked away barely breaking even at some events. Start small and try it out. We worked out of 10’ x 10’ food booth (EZ Up canopy) for over three years before we purchased a trailer. There are hundreds of small events that you can get into to try it out. But also be warned there are probably manly of us who have said to themselves “Why am I doing this,”
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