So much for the Blues (festivals)
Boy did we get hammered in the month of August for Saturday special events. Sometimes we will book a “one off” event on a Saturday like a craft show or food festival. These type of events are usually expensive to enter which can run anywhere from $150 to $300 per day. As long as the crowds are willing and ready to buy kettle corn, you can certainly coupe your cost. We had a pair of music festivals appear this month and decided to cough up the money and go for it. We should’ve taken the warning we got from sticking around past the Onset Farmers Market and continuing to pop for the Onset Summer Of Love concert series that takes place on the same night and location. We hardly sold anything to this crowd because “real” food was just a few steps away at a pizza joint.
August 4, 2012 – Onset Blues Festival
This event takes place on a Saturday right on the same spot as the farmers market on Wednesdays. We we’re figuring “oh, we’ve already got some customers in Onset, they’ll just come by for this event.” Nope. First off, it cost something like 20 bucks to get in. Most locals weren’t going to cough up 20 bucks for music when they get it for free every Wednesday night at the concert series. Next, they stuck ALL the food vendors WAY in the corner. All the food vendors where bitching about their low sales that day. We’re talking about a 7 hour event, so with set up and break down, we were there for 12 hours. They also charged us $100 for the event fee and we needed another $50 to give to the health department, and this was after Dan negotiated the price down a bit. Oh yea, it was humid as hell that day. Total profit per person:
Eric: $38 – Dan: $38
The cruel irony here was that we made much more at the farmers market on Wednesdays because we didn’t have to pay the fees. Typically a farmers market only wants 20 bucks out of you, and Onset was even cheaper because they were trying to get started.
August 25, 2012 – Middleborough Blues Festival
This event was supposed to have taken place on August 18th, but it got rained out and everything was moved to the next weekend. There were red flags lying around all over the place, which I didn’t spot until it was too late. Again we thought, “the people will be TRAPPED inside of this event and we HAVE to get food from either us or the Lions club hotdog hamburger trailer. ” The cost of this one was only 50 bucks to enter. Another full day event, bands were lined up through out the day. We couldn’t miss and we needed a descent event to make up for the abortion of the Onset Blues Festival. Total profit per person:
Eric: $33 – Dan: $33
NOBODY, I mean NOBODY was at the event. It was surreal. I think there might’ve been 25 tickets sold? The day looked like it was going to go great. The promoters got all sorts of vendors to line the outside of this football field with their tents. There was room for a couple thousand people to watch the show. We started chatting with other vendors, “were you here last year?” No. Uh-oh. I’m thinking that’s not a good sign. The event has been going for 5 years now and nobody came back from last years event? You never walk away from a profitable event. The only people who were there last year were the Lions club trailer. 1 o’clock rolls around and I ask them how was the crowd last year at this time, since there was NO crowd forming now. “Much bigger”, the said. Not good. By this point we’re thinking the rain date screwed us because everyone had planned on arriving a week ago, and nothing was there. The only reason we made ANY money was because Dan sold kettle corn to all the other vendors. It was sad. Since this day was going to go down as the worst event of my kettle corn career, I was determined NOT to miss the Illumination Night back at the Onset Bay harbor. We bailed a half hour early, ran back to my boat and witnessed this: