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Giving Preference to Festival Vendors with the best Sustainability Credentials.

Andy Robertson

The biggest and most popular music festivals always make available a number of vendor pitches and these are usually oversubscribed. Vendors at a multi-day event can earn excellent revenues with the best pitches always in demand. What are organisers looking for when selecting form the vendor applications they receive and how can a vendor stand out. 

Festival organisers use a variety of parameters when selecting which vendors they will accept at their event. One of the most important aspects is experience and reliability so vendors who have previously attended a festival with good festival-goer feedback will probably make the short list. Organisers are also seeking to provide more variety and diversity in what vendors can offer so alternative food and beverage products could score well in an assessment. Increasingly important in the vendor selection process is the sustainability credentials of any potential vendor. 

Food and Beverage.
The days of the traditional burger van may be numbered as festival-goers seek out more responsible and healthy food and beverage options. Selling products that are gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan can give vendors an edge. If this is combined with evidence of organic and sustainable product sourcing along with creative tasty dishes the vendor has an advantage. Many food and beverage vendors even now make additional efforts by powering their pitch space with solar or other alternative power sources and even build their pitch spaces form reclaimed materials.

Non-food Vendors.
There are more and more vendors that can offer anything form merch to cosmetics and if they can evidence their sustainability credentials this adds value to their application. Increasingly popular are health and wellbeing products that are 100% natural. Other vendors in the non-food space that are gaining traction are vendors that sell useful festival products like eco-friendly bathroom accessories and essentials (bamboo toothbrushes, eco-towels and eco-toilet paper) which are vegan-friendly, reusable, biodegradable or recyclable.

There are a number of certifications available for vendors to explore and this can help with their sustainability credentials when applying for a vendor pitch space. This can be confusing for vendors as there are currently about 28 such labelling certifications available in the UK so it pays to find the most appropriate and recognisable ones. This may include certifications like:

  • Fairtrade.
  • Equitrade.
  • Hand in Hand.
  • LEAF Marque.
  • Organic Food Federation.
  • Sustainable Materials Rating Technology (SMaRT).
  • Whole Trade™ Guarantee.
  • Wholesome Food Association.
  • Future Fit Business.

Each certifying organisation will have varying procedures to earn the right to display their identifying logo, some are relatively cheap to join and others can be expensive.

There is no doubt that festival organisers are becoming more demanding when selecting the vendors for their events and any efforts that potential vendors can make to enhance and evidence their sustainability credentials will assist with their application.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics including a specific vendor management module. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by (Joenomias) Menno de Jong from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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