I have visited the Chester food and drink festival for five of the last seven years and have always found it very enjoyable and a worthwhile trip.
This year I was extremely disappointed with the event for a number of reasons:-
- There seemed to be a real lack of atmosphere at the event and very little enthusiasm from those promoting their goods (The Saddleworth Cheese Company and The Gift of Oil being exceptions)
- My perception was that there were considerably fewer exhibitors this year, some had even doubled up and had stalls at different parts of the exhibition
- There was a “much of a muchness” amongst the exhibitors, can’t say that I am a big fan of cupcakes!
- Many of the stall were given over to “fast food” most of which did not look particularly appealing (and I have a very broad taste in food from all over the world)
It may well be that as the festival has grown in recent years that costs have increased and this may have put off some possible exhibitors, or possibly that the organisers miscalculated, hiked prices and the reaction has been that many exhibitors simply made an economic decision not to attend.
Possibly the organisers have become blasé and simply expect that exhibitors will be falling over themselves to attend?
I thought back to the York Food Festival which I attended several months ago and there is simply no comparison, and a small town like Huddersfield can put on a food festival with tremendous atmosphere and almost as many exhibitors as Chester. What is more interesting is that there was no charge for attending these festivals whereas Chester charge £8.00 (with concessions) for entry.
I doubt I will be attending next year………………….