Festivals are great places to sell products or services and make money. They’re a unique shopping environment and each festival will attract a different type of shopper, so you need to put some thought into which products will sell best for each event.
This article will share product ideas, as well as general product themes to keep in mind to be sure your booth is successful.
What Can You Sell At Festivals?
What you can sell at festivals depends on what the organizer allows and what you’re legally allowed to sell. When selling products for profit, you’re considered a business in most jurisdictions, and businesses have laws to follow (check out LAWS FOR SELLING HANDMADE). Many types of products will also have regulations to follow, such as food suppliers following health and safety regulations to obtain a food permit.
Once you know you’re following all the rules and laws, and have the proper permits, the possibilities are endless for products you can sell or services you can offer:
- Items festival-goers may need at the event:
- Bug repellant
- Rain jackets/ponchos
- Lawn chairs
- Thermos/to-go mugs
- Offer services:
- Face painting
- Balloon animals
- Phone charging station
- Photo booth
- Food and drink items
- Handheld items/finger foods always do well so people can walk and eat
- Home decor
How To Make Money At Music Festivals
Here are 5 tips to apply to the products you sell at music festivals that will make those products more likely to sell and you more likely to make more money.
1. On-theme Products
Festivals can be focused on a variety of themes. Such as:
- Season (e.g. Winter Festival)
Although not every product needs to fit within the theme of the festival, creating a collection of on-theme products will help draw more customers to your booth.
For example, at a Beer Festival, here’s how different vendors may offer on-theme products:
- Art – creating a collection of paintings/drawings/photographs/illustrations that are beer-themed.
- Accessories – beer-themed jewelry (e.g. beer shaped pendants) or jewelry that doubles as a bottle opener.
- Bags – totes with beer illustrations printed on them, made from beer-printed fabric, or with funny beer-themed phrases (e.g. “I make beer disappear, what’s your superpower?”), beer cozies, beer coolers, etc.
- Bath & Body – beer infused soaps, lotions, etc. Or beer scented products.
- Home decor – beer caddies, beer flight paddles, beer glasses, bar items, etc.
2. Necessity Items
Most people plan to attend a festival for an extended period of time and people are likely to forget necessities. If you offer items that provide festival-goers comfort while they’re at the event, you’re more likely to sell out.
- Art – an artist may turn some of their prints into fans that people can use to cool themselves down.
- Accessories – items such as hats, scarves, shawls, gloves, sunglasses, umbrellas, headbands, elastics, etc. can help people protect themselves from the sun, wind, rain, cold, etc.
- Bags – people may want a bag, or a more comfortable to wear bag to carry around items they’ve purchased at the festival, or their belongings. They may get tired of carrying around the jacket, umbrella, and hat they brought in case it rained. An on-theme tote bag may be just what they need.
- Bath & Body – people may need hand sanitizer, sunscreen, lotion, lip balm, deodorant, mosquito repellant, etc. The key is to sell smaller travel sizes so they’re easy for them to carry around the festival.
- Home decor – people may not be thinking about decorating their home while at the festival, but common household items may make their time at the festival more comfortable. For example, a home décor business may sell picnic blankets or outdoor blankets, floor cushions, foldable chairs, etc.
- Children’s Products – brainstorm items that will help keep kids comfortable and entertained. Parents may want to walk around a festival all day, but a crying or whining child may prevent them from doing so. Stuffed animals, travel games that are easy to play at the festival, clothing for when they’re cold or hats to shelter them from the sun, etc. may be appropriate.
3. Easy To Carry Items
Products that sell well at festivals are ones that are easy to carry around. Not many people are going to buy a big item they have to lug around all day.
If you do sell larger items, such as original pieces of art, furniture, etc. be sure to offer a buy now & pick up later service. And be sure to use signage to communicate that service to shoppers.
You may even offer a delivery service (for a fee). That way, people can buy an item but they don’t have to worry about how they’re going to get it home on the crowded subway.
Also keep in mind that people aren’t likely to want to carry around fragile or breakable items. If you sell items like pottery, be sure to bring packaging to wrap it for them or offer a pay now, pickup later service.
4. Lower Priced Items
It’s always important to have a mix of price points, but in most cases, the bulk of your products should be on the lower end of that scale when selling at a festival.
Many festivals require people to spend a significant amount of cash on the tickets alone. Then festival-goers must spend money on transportation, parking, food and drinks for the day, and other entertainment (e.g. rides, shows, games, etc. once inside the festival).
Most people won’t be prepared to spend a lot of money on items they stumble upon at the event.
Lower price points that don’t require a lot of contemplation are more likely to sell well. It also makes it easier when price points are the same amount as a bill. For example, $5, $10, $20, or $50 are easier to pay for than a $34.99 item.
If it’s a big festival that attracts lots of out-of-towners, local-themed products may be good sellers so people can take home a souvenir from not only the festival, but also the city they visited.
That may be map art or landmarks associated with your city printed on or used for:
- Jewelry pendants
- Home décor items
- Totes and bags
- The shape of cutting boards
- The shape of soap or printed on bath & body product labels
I hope this article has sparked some ideas for what to sell at festivals 🙂
Hey, I’m Erin 🙂 I write about small business and craft show techniques I’ve learned from being a small business owner for almost 2 decades, selling at dozens of craft shows, and earning a diploma in Visual Communication Design. I hope you find my advice helpful!