Festival season is in full swing and nothing sounds more fun than being at your favorite festival, making new friends, selling your handmade art or delicious food, and making some money! Becoming a festival vendor can be easy or difficult – it all really depends on the festival you want to start vending at. If you are interested in vending at festivals, use the following tips and advice to learn how to become a vendor at music festivals.
Table of Contents
- How To Become A Vendor at Music Festivals
- Tips To Successfully Vend At A Festival
- What To Know Before Vending
- What To Prepare Before Vending
How To Become A Vendor At Music Festivals
Some festivals are more competitive than others. Some festivals have a lot more rules than others. And some festivals have a lot more requirements to even be considered to be a vendor than others. Every festival is different. Follow these tips to help you through the process and set your business up for success.
Narrow Down Festival Choices
It’s important to do some research about each festival you are interested in so you don’t waste time applying to festivals that may not be the right fit for you and your business. Do some research and try to find what vendors have been there in the past. You could even reach out and ask them about their experiences.
When picking a music festival you’re interested in vending at, be sure to consider these few things:
- Location (how easy it is to get to the festival)
- Size (larger festivals offer more sale opportunities)
- Indoor/Outdoor (if supplies will be needed to protect against wind, rain, and sun)
- Clientele (do attendees fit your existing customer demographic)
Research Process To Become A Vendor
Be sure to check out the festival website for more information on how to become a vendor at their event. Every festival is different, so make sure you find out the specifics for each one. If you do not see any information on their website or social media, contact the organizer of the event.
When conducting your research you’ll want to find information on these few topics:
- If applications are required or not
- Cost of getting a space
- Size of space
- If tables are provided
- When you will be notified by
Fill Out Required Applications & Paperwork
When figuring out how to become a vendor at music festivals, be sure to fill out all applications and paperwork that are required to vend. Send in any deposits or application fees. Some events require photos of products or crafts you intend on selling. You may need to secure permits to sell your goods, or even purchase vendor insurance. Depending on your state, you also may need a food handler’s license if you provide food and beverages.
Give yourself enough time and make sure you fill everything out correctly. Submit all required applications and paperwork before the due date to avoid being rejected.
Be On The Look Out For A Confirmation
The organizers of the festival will most likely reach out to you by phone, email, or letter to verify that you will be vending at the festival. Once confirmed, they will inform you of when you will be allowed to arrive at the festival site to set up, where you are allowed to park, what facilities are exclusively for vendors, what you will need to bring, and when you need to leave.
Helpful Tips To Become a Vendor at a Music Festival
Whether you’re selling foods or goods, consider these festival vending tips to help ensure a successful day.
- If you’re able to pick your location, try to choose a space in a high-traffic area so more people will see your booth. Familiarize yourself with the festival layout and traffic flow so you can position your signs accordingly.
- When a customer buys from you, try to acquire his or her email address. You can send out emails when you plan to sell at this festival again as well as others.
- Build friendly relationships with other vendors and try to keep in touch with everyone you meet. This will make your next time vending a bit easier. You’ll also be happy to see faces you recognize the next time around.
- Be active on social media! Use hashtags that are relevant to the festival and post pictures before, during, and after the event.
- Thank the organizer for the vending opportunity a few days after the festival is over. Consider asking about vending again for the following year and try to get any other information that you think may be helpful for you.
What To Know Before Vending At A Festival
Research Your Competition
Research the other types of vendors that will be at the festival. Knowing your competitors can give you ideas and help you determine how to price or bundle your products.
Plan & Think Ahead
How will you get yourself, your products, and your booth set up to and from the festival? Will you need help setting up your booth? What kind of tents and tables should you have? Are they the correct size for your allotted space?
Review Festival Rules & Regulations
Make sure you review the rules and regulations for festival vendors beforehand. All festivals follow different guidelines. Some of them can have strict requirements as to what types of signage or lighting you can use at your booth. Check beforehand time to avoid any problems the day of.
Know The Details
Know the hours of operation and if the event continues once the sun sets. If so, find out if the lighting is provided or if you’ll need to bring your own.
What To Prepare Before Vending At A Festival
Plan Your Booth Design
Research ideas and plan out your booth design ahead of time. You can find inspiration on social media platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram. There’s no shame in seeing how your competitors set up and decorated their booths in past years. Triple-check the square footage and dimensions of your space and plan accordingly.
Colors, Lights, & Decorations For Your Booth
When setting up your booth, consider using bright colors, lights, and decorations to attract customers. Bring your booth to life with themed decor, props, and other items that represent your brand and the overall vibe of your products. Use big signs and order vinyl banners you can hang along the inside of your booth.
Prepare Product Pricing Displays
Prepare your pricing displays to make it easy for customers to shop and buy. If most of your products fall into a few pricing tiers, print a few posters with everything priced out accordingly. If the prices of your products vary immensely, print small cards to display near them.
Plan Product Display & Setup
Plan out your product displays ahead of time. Use vertical displays, wall panels, or adjustable shelving to showcase your products instead of having to lay your products flat. Another great tip is to use contrasting colors that help your products stand out. If you sell a lot of bright-colored jewelry or kandi, use dark tablecloths or risers. Both these tips will help customers see your products more easily.
Prepare Payment Options
Giving customers a variety of different ways to purchase from you will be beneficial. Nothing is worse than having to turn down a customer because you can’t make a transaction. Buy a cash box and bring enough cash for change. Also consider setting up a Venmo, PayPal, Cash App, or other similar types of account to accept payments. If vending is something you’ll want to continue with in the future, purchasing a credit card reader that connects to your iPhone or iPad will be worth it. Find out the wifi situation at the festival and bring along a hot spot if you need to.
Consider Branded Gear
Have business cards made and ready to go! Also, consider purchasing branded gear such as shopping bags or boxes to make it easy for customers to hold their purchases. Including a free sticker at checkout is always a nice touch too!
Prepare Inventory Lists
Make lists of how much inventory you’ll want to bring as well as how much you’ll need to produce if your current inventory doesn’t suffice. Make an inventory list of exactly what you are taking to the festival so you can see your sales at a glance each day.
Prepare For Bad Weather
PREPARE FOR BAD WEATHER! Even if the forecast says high 70’s and sunny, always pack jackets, umbrellas, fans, zip ties, extra containers, and so on. Nothing is worse than having to take down your booth to prevent your products from being destroyed due to the weather.
We hope these tips and advice help you when working through how to become a vendor at music festivals and have a successful and enjoyable experience. Read up on all the rules and requirements, set your goals straight, make a detailed plan, and start selling! Visit our blog for more information about the rave community such as What To Bring To A Camping Music Festival!
Juliet Norelli has been a part of the rave community for 10 years. She shares her knowledge through writing to give helpful tips and advice to all ravers.