Lendy Cowes week
Lendy Cowes week, sailing regatta – Swallow events
Swallow events run several big events across the UK. After attending Lendy Cowes week back in 2017 and a great 8 an half days we thought we’d go back. Swallow events took over the contract for 2018/19. The event was running exactly the same as the year before with the site being the same and all the rules still the same.
Cowes week on the Isle of Wight runs for 8.5 days, the first day is not great. Site opens at 4pm and the environmental health officers are out in force and scrutinise everything which is fine if you have all the boxes ticked. Trade is very slow throughout and the site closes at 11pm. The week preceding this can be great or dreadful depending on the weather, if it rains hard you will serve no to very little food so the risk is quite big.
As soon as the last weekend hits be prepared for a very busy 2 days, as it seems like over 50k people descend on Cowes. My only concern is you might be waiting until the weekend to make any money unless you get a blinding week. Accessibility to the site on the last Saturday is non-existent after 10am and rightfully so as the whole of Cowes turns into a walking street festival.
Cowes week has been running for over 150 years and is one of the longest-running regular regattas in the world. With 40 daily sailing races, up to 1,000 boats. There will be live music or entertainment every day and night which is actually pretty good and the bars are open all day. Lendy Cowes week will put a very big firework display at the end of the week and you’ll even get to see the Red Arrows.
Pitch positioning doesn’t really matter as there are only 8-9 traders in the parade village which is central to the whole sailing regatta. Over the last 2 years, I’ve noticed that product does matter if you have an easy, quick and tasty product that can be eaten on the go like crepes you’ll do fine.
The footfall is pretty good if you get decent weather, they boast over 150k people and last year (2018) with the heatwave I can say that’s about right. The year before saw a lot less as it rained on quite a few days.
Service for the trader
In terms of service for the trader / bang for your buck, it doesn’t look good. Pushy tactics with email after email and phone calls. Swallow events hiked the pitch fees in 2018 and didn’t do anything different or new for the trader, with only one event staff member on site occasionally we felt a bit short changed.
This event is very pricy and was one of our most expensive in 2018. With the risk of bad weather on the island and the added costs of getting there the choice is really yours. Make sure you factor the cost of the ferry there and back, also you can’t take gas bottles on the ferry. You will pay a litter bond so make sure you take pics of your pitch after close down.
Build and break
Building up on the first day is pretty chilled if you get there at your allotted slot as per any event. Close down is expected to be done when the show finishes at 9pm which can leave you there till midnight if you had a busy day.
Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think.
Pitch fee: 5/10
Verdict: 3 stars
Facebook account: @swallowevents