Definitely Shakedown played a big part in Bonnaroo vendors hurting. Most of the kids who attended probably didn't grasp that the vendors outside weren't the real vendors who paid to set up inside. They spent their $$ before they even got in the gates. Hopefully next year will be better.
Actually- I used to be in marketing and I can say this-- its all about perception.
I have this observation-- people prefer shopping on Shakedown. They like buying in the campgrounds-- It has little to do with quality, or price-- or not knowing who the real vendors are-- its ATMOSPHERE.
I've been to Bonnaroo the past 2 years and perused the vending in camgrounds, but have yet to visit the organized vending. And I know there's some great stuff in there. And I know you guys paid money to be there.
Why? Its too mall-like for my taste. Too compact, too many damn people. Whereas little stops in the campground provide a spacious alternative.
I know that may sound stupid-- but I think its true for many festival goers. I didn't really sit in my car for 12 hours then walk 2 miles to SHOP. And if I'm gonna be cramming my grouchy stinky unshowered self up next to some happy unshowered stranger-- there better be some pretty kick ass band on stage to make me feel more friendly.
But if I can shop on my way
to a great show-- then I will buy the things I like. I'm not really comparison shopping or price matching (but lets keep that a secret, okay
). Plus, if I pick it up on the way back to camp-- I don't have to lug my goods all over the place.
I think vendors would have much more success if they could talk Big festival (eg Bonnaroo) organizers into dispersing the vending. That is, splitting it up into several groups just outside the Centeroo entrance. While that may cause problems (i.e. running electricity) I think you guys would get a better return on your investment.
Also- like I said, its about perception. My thoughts regarding the people in the festival scene, are that many tend to be anti-corporation, anti-big business etc. etc. Seriously- Clear Channel fans? Anyone? Yeah, not many. And while most vendors (I assume) are small operations-- paying vendors are a larger operation than non-paying. Or at least appear
to be. By that, I mean-- if all other things (price, quality, originality, merchandise) are equal-- people on the festival scene have a greater desire to purchase items from two hippie chicks selling shirts out of the trunk of their car, than from the two hippie chicks standing inside a tent with collapsable garment racks and printed price tags.
Its the same deal that people LOVE to buy shit at yard sales and thrift stores. They love the thrill, the hunt, and the idea
that its a bargain (whether or not it is). And don't even get me started on EBAY. . . (Can I please wait 4 days to purchase that thing at full price+4%+shipping because some doofus in nutsville didn't see it on sale in last year's catalog?) And I thought I was gonna get a deal- sheesh!
Thats just my two cents. I say it because I want ALL of you guys to do well-- I applaud artists & entreprenuers (my fiance IS one)
And lord knows I LOVE coming home with new treasures . . .
Hope that perspective is helpful in your quest for financial security in these turbulent times. Take Care.