Oh my goodness – apologies for not posting in absolutely ages! One of the first things I was busy with was Farm Festival which took place 1st – 2nd August. This review is from a trader’s point of view. We arrived about lunch time the day before the festival opened, and set to work putting together our stall. I don’t know how it took so long to do this, but it managed to take several hours! Although we were ready by nightfall, we quickly realised that the festival wasn’t anywhere near ready….
The worst thing was that there was no water. Putting up a festival stall is thirsty work and we couldn’t believe that we weren’t able to get any water anywhere. At about 10pm we went for a wonder and luckily a guy working on the problem was able to fill our bottles up for us, so at least we were able to have a drink and wash our hands before going to bed. Machinery and tractors were making a racket all over the site until about 1am. The people next to us stopped talking about 2am and my airbed went completely flat about 3am. Work started again at 6am.
Anyway, Friday dawned and we were amazed at what had been achieved in the dark. Marquees and tents appeared and we could finally see the layout of the festival. It turned out all the stages are at the bottom of the field next to each other; the food was all on the left near the entrance to the camping fields, and the activity marquees were in the middle facing the stages. The semi-circle of stalls were right at the top, facing the back of the marquees. At this point I remained hopeful.
People began arriving along with the rain. It poured. We discovered that my gazebo is not waterproof. Rain came down through the canvas like a pretty mist covering all my clothes. The day was mainly spent covering them all up and uncovering them again whenever the sun came out and tying things up when the wind knocked things over. I must have burned a shit-load of calories that day.
Bed-time and I discovered that my tent wasn’t waterproof either. Most of my clothes and the bottom of my sleeping bag were sopping wet. Next-door stopped talking at 3am. Outer channels of my airbed went flat about 4am and I was left perched on the centre 2 channels. Very cold feet.
Saturday the weather wasn’t so bad. There was one heavy shower in the morning and after that the sun shone and the wind blew. Thankfully this meant that the clothes could dry out and people ventured from their tents. About 6pm I went to buy a pork roll and it was beautiful down there. Everyone sat about chatting; kids were running around playing and the atmosphere was friendly and fun. I didn’t want to return to my stall up at the top of the hill away from everything.
That night we decided to go home to bed.
Anyway, to sum it up: The pitch cost me £150 plus £35 for a ticket for my younger
daughter as traders only get 2 tickets. I just covered my pitch, but not enough to cover that extra ticket. I felt that traders were used to make sure the organisers have some money to run the festival, but then ignored. No-one answered my e-mails before the festival; no-one came to meet traders when they arrived on site. The lack of water was appalling. The people either side of me didn’t turn up, but if they had, they would have had to clear a load of rubbish that I think had been left from last year. We were tucked up at the top of the hill away from everything and with no passing footfall at all. I’m surprised I made as much as I did and that was entirely down to a particular small item that was very popular, so thank god I had that really!
It was such a lovely festival and is run for charities, not profit, so I would have loved to do this festival again, but unless they change the layout, it isn’t worth it. The customers are just right for me too – well-off older teens and twenties and young families – perfect for the items I sell, but we just didn’t see half of them. My daughter wants to come back as a festival-goer with her friends and it would be a perfect one for her. There is a good choice of music; nice and small and friendly and the food was lovely and reasonably priced. I’d definitely recommend the festival for customers, but not for traders as it is.
If you’d like to see more pictures, please take a look at Oshun’s facebook page.