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Re: Northcote Road Christmas Fayre : exorbitant charges

by N'cote Biz Network » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:52 pm

Falconmum - Please don't remind me of those bl**dy Christmas trees!!!  Whilst they looked great, they were a complete nightmare to organise, and it was only because Estbury basements offered the concrete and labour that we managed to even get the idea off the ground.  Then we had to persuade Belleville School to use their playground (thank you Mr Grove!!) and then try and find enough volunteers to help us position them up and down the road.  With each tree weighing around 50kg that was no mean feat.  Thankfully Seb at the Breadstall lent us his van, but then we still had to go out in January, cut down the trees, recycle all the detritus that people had stuffed in the bottom, and then hire a grab lorry to collect all the concrete bases.  NEVER AGAIN  😡 😁

Nims - Unfortunately about 95% of people complained about the Webbs Road location.  The stallholders felt that it was too far off the beaten track, the shopkeepers wondered why we were pushing people to the Webbs Road shops when we were supposed to be representing Northcote Road, and finally the public complained because they didn't want to walk up the hill to Webbs Road.

Welcome to my world of lose:lose...!!!!!!


Re: Northcote Road Christmas Fayre : exorbitant charges

by Nims » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:16 pm

Is it any cheaper to have it on Webb’s Road instead of Northcote Road? That way no bus routes would be disrupted...
I thought it was excellent when you had parts of it on Webb’s road last time - it felt safer and more spacious.

Re: Northcote Road Christmas Fayre : exorbitant charges

by falconmum » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:34 am

That's really interesting to know ! Thanks for the clarifications.
It is a shame that you have little support.
Hopefully NVN folks reading this will step up...
Or maybe it's time to go back to basics and make it a more neighborhood thing like it used to be when you did the first Christmas tree lighting!

Re: Northcote Road Christmas Fayre : exorbitant charges

by N'cote Biz Network » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:19 pm

The BID is helping this year, as otherwise there would be no way that we could afford to close the road etc.  They also match funded the summer event or that would not have gone ahead.  The difficulty is that the BID is simply not designed to continually shell out tens of thousands of pounds in order to keep these events going - at some point they have to stand on their own two feet.  In the past the Christmas event has been organised in its entirety by two people - myself and my wife.  Unfortunately my full time job at John D Wood & Co is more and more demanding in terms of time, and therefore I simply cannot devote the time to the business network as I have been able to do in the past.

The Wimbledon event is held on the common so does not need anything like the funding because there is no road to close.  They also charge for entry.  We did debate whether to hold it on Wandsworth Common at one stage, but as we are supposed to represent the interest of the shops of Northcote Road, that wouldn't work either.

Many events like these charge people for entry or attract major sponsorship, however we can't charge people to come onto Northcote Road and I'm afraid that despite years of me trying, we simply don't seem to be attractive enough to those sponsors.  The council do help in terms of manpower, but they are as stretched as the rest of us.  It is ridiculous that we have to pay around £25 to suspend each parking bay, even though parking is free on Sundays, but that's one that people need to write to our MP or councillors about - I'm sick of begging and not even getting a reply.

Again, I would make the plea on this site that if there is anyone out there who knows how event sponsorship works, and would be interested in helping, please just drop me an email at the address on the post above!!!

The reality is folks that if no-one is prepared to put their hands in their pockets or come up with a funding plan, then both the Christmas and the summer events will die, and no doubt everyone will complain about 'the good old days' like they do about the loss of independent shops they never spent any money in, instead preferring the 'convenience' of Amazon or the supermarkets instead.  Sorry - soap box rant over, but you get my drift...!!!


Re: Northcote Road Christmas Fayre : exorbitant charges

by falconmum » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:41 pm

Thanks Jonathan.

That's helpful to know. I have been in touch with Think Events to get clarifications as well.
I appreciate it is a big undertaking but similar scale markets in other areas (Wimbledon) etc have a very different pricing.

I am sure you have explored all options but has the local BID not offered any help? Or the council ?

It is a landmark event in the borough. It is a shame that there is little support for it .

Re: Northcote Road Christmas Fayre : exorbitant charges

by N'cote Biz Network » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:15 pm

Dear Falconmum,

Can I please ask where you got this information from as it is completely wrong?

Last year we charged the stall holders £210 for non food stalls and £260 for food stalls.  This year we are charging £235 for non food and £285 for food stalls.  So absolutely not "double".

The Christmas event barely breaks even, as the cost of the stalls and parking suspensions are around £150 each, and the remainder of the money goes on stewards, printing, publicity and so on.  The stall are expensive (unlike the summer) because they have to be completely waterproof and weighted down to withstand the wind.

This year we have increased the cost because we are going to be closing the road, and this again just adds to the cost.  We do provide power, and this year we are looking to hire two big generators to supply power to all the stall holders.  Please note that (as you will have seen in the promotion pack) we do not allow you to plug in heaters, but there would be no issue with having card machines and other lights as long as they are LED rather than power hungry halogen lamps.

Unfortunately we have to pass on most of the cost of the event to the stall holders as no-one ever seems to want to sponsor the event.  We have tried everything from fundraisers to collection buckets (which brought in the princely sum of £16.73 two years ago!!) but to no avail.  So as a side subject, if anyone would like to sponsor the event, the email address is below.

As I said above, I honestly don't know where you are getting your information from but for the sake of clarity if you would like to email we will be happy to put you in touch with the event organisers (who also organised the summer event).  You will need to be quick though as after one week the event is already two thirds full.


Northcote Road Christmas Fayre : exorbitant charges

by falconmum » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:39 pm

hi! Are the organisers' for the Christmas Fayre on this forum? 
I would like to check-in and ask about the high stall fees for the festival.

Are you planning the fayre to be the same scale as the Summer Fair now? The fees have almost doubled since last year and even though gazebos have been thoughtfully provided, there is no provision for lighting apart from the festoon lights which is not enough inside a gazebo, esp if the walls are dark. 
How do you expect smaller boutique businesses to afford these prices and still make money?