frequently asked questions

Here are some answers to some commonly asked questions. If the answers you need are not shown here then please use the “contact us” information at the bottom of the page and we will be happy to help.

How much does a stall cost?

Answer: Prices for trading sites vary significantly from event to event, and are dependent upon the location on site, the size of the requested footprint, what is being sold, the number of staff passes required and so on.  Your offer will be based on the information you provide in your application. Payment is required in advance if you decide to accept the offer we send you.  There is no additional cost related to turnover or profit.

What is the timescale?

Answer:

  • We post the online application form for the following year on www.rbvernon.co.uk during the month of November.
  • Between November and February we collect applications for all events specified in the form.
  • Traders completed applications are then considered for the events requested in the application form.
  • We send out offers of trading pitches in February/March. Each offer will be for a specific site based on the information in the application form.
  • Payment date will be specified in the offer letter but, if you decide to accept the offer, payment normally falls due around six weeks before an event.

We continue to accept applications after sites have been allocated right up to the event, as it takes some time before we know if traders have accepted their offers and have paid the pitch fees –  so please submit an application after March if you wish to be considered as a reserve should someone drop out

Is electricity available on site?

Answer: Electricity is supplied (at a cost based on usage) at all major events and traders are not permitted to have generators on site.  However traders may use solar power or battery lighting if they wish.

Can I advertise on the festival website?

Answer: Festivals guard their name carefully.  They do not permit traders to sell items with the festival name or logo, promote themselves using the festival name nor to make use of the festival website.

Do we stand a chance or do you use the same traders every year?

Answer: We welcome new traders and always have some turnover of traders each year at every event.  Of course we use some traders frequently but we are always looking for variety. Bright ideas and attractive stalls will always be of interest.  If you send pictures or drawings with your application you stand a better chance.

What does it take for a stall to really impress ?

Answer: Really it varies depending upon the type of stall and the products sold. We look at the application – does it make sense? (eg is someone is selling small valuable items and they have asked for a 9m stall and two staff passes I would guess they do not have much of a clue about festival market trading – they could nor secure stock with that frontage and that staffing.) Thereafter originality – in product range, in service offered, in presentation, and in stall design. Something different. Good photos to support the application help.

How easy is it to become a regular trader at festivals?

Answer: If you have your own stall and a clear idea of what you want to trade in, then complete the application form. Yes some traders are key landmarks at festivals and are there year on year, but at every event there is always some turnover each year. So it is quite possible – at some events more so than others as the frontage set aside for traders may be restricted, and we would be looking to avoid duplication of similar types of stalls. Originality is the key to becoming a festival trader. We are always looking for variety. Bright ideas and attractive stalls will always be of interest. If you send pictures or drawings with your application you stand a better chance.

Do traders have to reapply every year?

Answer: The new application page allows you to create an account with us, this account holds all the information you submit which you can edit/amend at anytime.

You can then use your account information to apply for as many or as few festivals as you like and your account info can be used year after year.

Why should traders trade at festivals?

Answer: It is a vibrant and exciting environment – and can be very lucrative – but like any lucrative venture there can be risks. Poor ticket sales and bad weather can affect sales, but the difficult events are put into the shadows by successful events. Since 2008, like all businesses, traders have seen a decline in sales, but last year the start of a recovery was in evidence. 2014 should be a good year!

Can traders sell alcohol?

The alcohol concessions for the festivals we work at are managed by the main alcohol concessionaire which changes from event to event.

Both food and non-food traders are prohibited from selling or sampling alcohol.

Do you accept applications from charities?

Answer:

If a charity (such as Oxfam, Greenpeace and Wateraid at Glastonbury) is a nominated charity that the festival promoter is actively supporting, then it’s a different ballgame – as in the Greenpeace field at Glastonbury, or the Action Aid tent at Reading. Exceptionally free pitches are offered, but as sponsorship budgets have shrunk since 2008, stall frontage is an increasingly valuable commodity and an important and essential source of revenue for the festivals. More normally a reduced deal is offered to charities, subject to the charity campaign being empathetic with the event.

If offering a reduced deal, I would pay attention to the size of pitch and location on site, but the most important issue would be the number of staff passes requested. A staff pass has a street value of a festival ticket, and the average festival ticket price is around £200 per person. So for Reading and Leeds for example, for a 6m pitch with 5 staff passes would be around £1,000 for the duration – and at these events where the campsites are open from Wednesday midday until Monday midday with an audience of around 90,000, it does offer cost value exposure. I would point out that passes are not transferrable under licence terms, so the same people have to be there for the duration, although of course they can come and go if necessary.

Normally festivals do not agree to money collection ( and certainly not bucket shaking for security reasons), but are OK with signing up people as members and regular donors. While charities can have leaflets for people to pick up, leafleting or flyering is not permitted at festivals for environmental and waste reasons. The important thing is to have an attractive stall with some activity to draw the punters in, so that is where charities have to be creative. I would mention that there are sound constraints placed on stalls, so a big sound system would not be a starter. Food outlets are separately licenced and have to meet the same environmental health regulations as a high street restaurant, and as such do not tend to be feasible for most charities.