Being a vendor at music festivals allows you the flexibility to make money and be your own boss. Depending on the notoriety and size of the festival, getting a booth can be difficult or simple. Much of the time, it hinges on who you know at the festival and the relevance of your product to the festival-goer demographic. Below are some ways to make yourself a good candidate for any festival.
Make a list of every music festival you want to attend and plan far in advance. Much of the time, getting your foot in the door is as easy as signing up early. Plan ahead, set goals and follow directions on festival Web sites.
Find the director. Speaking to the head honcho of a festival should be your goal, as difficult as it may be. Make sure you speak confidently and inform the director of how your product is relevant to the demographic of the festival.
Be prepared to pay up front or at least a deposit. Start a bank account that always has money in it so you can afford the deposits as they arise. Being able to pay a spur-of-the-moment deposit says to the festival planners that you are legitimate and serious about setting up at their festival. Plus, you have to spend money to make money.
Network with other vendors. This can benefit you in several ways. First, if you miss a vendor deadline with festival planners and can't get an official booth, you can ask an already-approved vendor to share. The best chance of getting them to say yes is by offering to buy a little spot on their booth or offer to watch their booth while they're away. This is highly effective if you fail to meet festival deadlines and need a last minute spot.
Follow the rules of the music festival. Festival planners love it when vendors abide by festival guidelines, fees and protocol. They will remember you if you are easy to get along with, flexible and abide by the rules. Recycle where you need to recycle, close up shop when you need to close, don't sell glass containers--the list goes on. Every festival is different.
Mitchell Holt has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Abilene Christian University and has been freelancing since 2009 with work published in various newspapers and magazines like "BostonNOW" and "The Abilene Reporter-News." Holt also writes sales copy for small businesses. His clients include The Kyle David Group, ITNewton, 18 Vodka, RoboQuote and more.