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Festivals offer unique advertising opportunities

Andrea Markey
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 20/05) - While festival crowds were dancing in the sun (and rain) and enjoying the offerings of the beer garden, vendors were stuck behind tables and barbecues at Folk on the Rocks - and they wouldn't want it any other way.

More than 20 arts and crafts vendors occupied an alleyway between the main and left stages. Food vendors offering falafel sandwiches, burgers, corn on the cob, ice cream and much more were located between the main stage and cultural area.

A $600 food vendor fee, plus $100 damage deposit, was definitely worth it, said Lisa Reyes, who owns and operates Booyah! Restaurant with her husband Gogoy.

As of Monday morning they hadn't counted their float to determine if they had a net profit, but either way, they would go again.

The opportunity to meet so many people at once and get the restaurant's name out made up for the long hours, she said.

The restaurant is normally closed anyway on Sunday, but they took the chance on closing it Saturday and moving some of their equipment to the festival site, she said.

"We will see the results in the next couple of weeks if people come in who saw us there," she said.

For the arts and crafts vendors, 15 per cent of sales went back to the music festival.

"We had good sales so it is nice to give some back to the festival," said Caitlin Lacey, who operates Bottle Art Creations with Moira Cameron.

"It's also nice to be out in the sun listening to good music."

They have been selling at Folk on the Rocks for "at least five years."

"Most of Yellowknife passes through at some point over the weekend so it is a good chance to expose them to our products," she said.

Festival presence

Without a store-front window to display their wares, having a presence at craft fairs and festivals helps draw people to their website, she said.

Tiffany Paul and Ram Romero sold at Folk on the Rocks for the first time this year.

Operating Azteca Imports on the side, and out of their home, festivals offer the chance to showcase their Mexican jewelry, said Paul.

"We'll definitely be back next year," she said.