Musings About the Cost of Festivals

September 7, 2011

After posting about the cost of going to beer festivals, I got to pondering about what the rates should be. I have a couple of thoughts.

Beer festivals really don’t have to worry about people coming or not. They can start out small, like a specialty festival for fruit beers, sasions, or low alcohol. Thing is, beer is a proven drink. It knows its market, and while it can grow a little bit, what it is really doing to stealing customers from the macrobrews and bringing them over to the craft brews. So a good beer festival just has to have a good start and then keep up the quality from year to year, and people will come. Sure, people like my husband Burtle might grumble about the cost, but he still traveled 3 hours and paid the $25 fee to attend. This goes to show you that a good beer line up draws people to a festival, even with high fees.

Cider, on the other hand, seems to get some pushback at the $20 purchase price. Cider is still up and coming, or, if you look it at it glass half empty, cider is still unknown. And while putting on a fest like this is expensive, not having people show up makes less profit and therefore the festival is more expensive. Therefore, I have to think that a combination of admittance/purchasing a tasting glass fee for, say, $8 and then letting people determine how many tickets they want is probably smarter. Don’t get me wrong, they will probably still end up paying $20 or more a person by the end of the fest, but somehow it settles easier on the psyche.

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