Having a stall at a festival seemed straight forward enough as we filled out our application form for DogFest North, but as we sit trying to work out insurance policies and the wind-loading properties of a gazebo, it dawns on us that maybe we should have started smaller!
As boxes and boxes of stock arrived, we were starting to realise we had to get it all to the event, as well as tables, the gazebo etc:
With 3 small hatchbacks crammed to the roof with items, we made the 20 minute journey to Arley Hall at around 6am. By 8am we had to have all vehicles removed, leaving us trying to fit all our products in to a reasonable display! Around us, other stalls were spilling out of their tents, signs and displays sometimes taking up meters out in front of them! So we followed suit..
The festival opened at 9.30am, and there was a tidal-wave of people walking towards us! Rachel had disappeared in search of a much needed coffee, but had accidentally taken the float and keys for the card machine with her! After a frantic 10 minutes trying to find her, she appeared again, with seconds to spare before our first customer, and from there on in, it was non-stop selling all day.
By 11am, the card terminal had gone down, and unfortunately never came back to life! Many people had bought cash, and the collars in particular were extremely popular.
At around 3pm on the Sunday, the heavens opened, and the waterproofing of our tent was put to the test.. Which it failed. The needle holes from stitching the fabric let water through, but with a few quick adjustments, our stall stayed relatively dry! People quickly left after the storm set in, and by 4pm, most people were gone. Professor Noel Fitzpatrick took the opportunity to lighten the mood, and performed Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" on stage, with some enthusiastically dancing, hardcore Noel fans. The Supervet really was superwet!
Packing the tent and products back in to our cars - we now just need two - we got really quite damp! But after a fantastic weekend, we found that not a single item had been stolen, and with absolute credit to the dog owners of Cheshire, we didn't see a single dog poop left on the floor! We thoroughly recommend it! For anyone looking to have a stall, learn from our mistake, and don't try it for the first time in front of 16,000 plus people!