We are only 81 days away from our largest festival of the season - it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Last year, we enjoyed very strong vendor sales, terrific weather, and wonderfully happy customers. We’re looking to continue and build upon the tradition, and have made several changes this year to improve the customer experience. Unfortunately, more space for customers implies fewer spaces for vendors - so this year will be a more competitive vendor enrollment process based on historical attendance, sales, and past festival results.
- Oktoberfest was not included in the Season Pass this year; nobody has preauthorized access/booth placement in 2023.
- The layout is unique for this event; very few booths will be in the same spot as the typical weekend. All participants will be assigned a space for this event (generally different than your normal weekly haunt)
- We will have a solution of some sort for the Sunday-only farms; registration is still required, as it is our only method for knowing if you wish to participate. Just communicate with us, and we will figure it out.
Oktoberfest is a very expensive event to produce, with fixtures, sanitation, talent, security, and EMS adding up quickly. But the reward is also large - reported sales exceeded $590k in 2022! Our three-day format will remain the same as last year: Friday Setup, Saturday/Sunday festival with overnight security.
With an effort to keep costs contained, we have modified our fee schedule for this event:
- Interior booths (normal farms, grocery foods, arts/crafts) are $120 setup + 10% of sales ($300/day cap)
- Interior and Rear Food Court Festival Foods are $120 setup+ 10% of sales (no cap)
- Reggie White/Stage Festival Foods are $160 setup + 10% of sales (no cap)
The additional $20/day assessed to the street vendors is to cover the extra overhead of sanitation, port-o-lets, and EMS. The removal of the sales cap on the Festival Foods categories is more straightforward - we need to increase overall collections to keep pace with the insurance and related expenses which have jumped significantly. Maintaining our 10% is important to us, and seems like a very fair approach.
- To express your participation interest, please complete the online form here.
- We will immediately begin reviewing the entries and providing a secure link on our registration system to those selected. Do not fall for Facebook scams; we do not sell vendor booths on anything other than our own vendor platform.
- Selection will be based on your 2023 vendor sales, participation levels and 2022 Chattanooga Oktoberfest sales.
- For the most part, we’ve been able to accept almost everyone who wished to participate in the past - and that may happen again this season. My hunch is that we’re going to run out of space, however, as the number of booths available is a lot less that normal.
There is no need for anxieties, just register if you wish to participate. Our Top 160 Vendors in 2023 have reported over $6,400 total sales for the season thus far; if you are in that group, then the odds are in your favor. A few just don’t enjoy Oktoberfest, which opens up space for others. Our goal is to reward the active participants who do well at the Market/Oktoberfest and attend most weeks.
I’ll be at the Market on Sunday, if you have any questions – we plan to get the fee system online early next week, and confirm people quickly. It’s going to be a fun festival, and we are now focused on all of those moving parts.