Coronavirus COVID-19 position statement for producers & traders


Updated: 1 August 2020

The COVID-19 situation is an international crisis and it is the small businesses, like all in the #eatfestivalsfamily, that always bear the brunt of a crisis like this. We’re a social enterprise and we need our festivals to work for you all, especially now.  We are writing to explain:

1 - how we intend to share the risk;

2 - the special terms we are offering you during this crisis;

3 - how you can assess the risk and opportunity of trading at our 2020 events better

4 - what you need to do before trading with us 

We recognise that the financial effect of this virus and government restrictions on movements are not covered by any event insurance. Like you all, we’re hoping for the best & planning for the worst, and here’s how...

1 - Planning for re-opening

We cancelled all our festivals in April and May. We have been working hard to develop a new operating model that will allow us to adapt our layouts, site management and trading practices to ensure we comply with government and WHO guidelines, as they evolve. 

We have been liaising with all the Safety Advisory Groups in districts we work in.

eat:Festivals are working harder to adapt quickly to the unfolding scenario and do our best to ensure festivals go ahead with a good visitor turnout.

The #eatfestivalsfamily has got everything going for us! We don’t have to travel far, we’re food safety & hygiene experts, we’re mainly open air, we’re proven, trustworthy, award-winning, we’re in the places people actually live, we’re throughout the year... Despite all this, we know shit happens, so here’s a new cancellation & refund policy to see us through this COVID-19 crisis:

2 - If we are forced to cancel an event because of a national or local safety directive, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we will refund pitch fees, in the following manner and at the following rate:

  • If you are booked & paid for that one event only, we will refund you (see line in red below).

  • If you are booked & paid, and have future festival bookings, we will credit your refund to your next invoice (see line in red below).

  • If you are booked, invoiced and the due date is not reached, we will expect a partial payment (see line in red below).

  • If you have a pitch offer, are in your cooling off period (so no invoice yet), we will not invoice you.

Refunds and credits will be for 80% of the invoiced amount to reflect a portion of the cost involved. Essentially we are indemnifying 80% of your pitch fees.


We think it is right that we, the organisers, subsume this risk into our working model, because this virus is likely to cause casualties in the small business world. We want you to be reassured that you can trade with us at a low risk.

Please note: Payment terms will still apply as usual. i.e. if you have not paid by the due date of your invoice we may withdraw your pitch offer.

If you are obliged to cancel due to the COVID-19 virus critically affecting your business, we have extended our cancellation & refund period From 90 days to 30 days: During this crisis, if you have to cancel up to 30 days before the festival, we will refund 50% of your fee. Between 30 days and the day of the festival 100% of your pitch fee is due.  

3 - We are working on some Technical Specs of each of our festivals, describing the footprint, crowd capacity, site permeability etc in detail.  These we will post on our website in the trader-only section by early next week.  The links will be found on our @eat festivals Traders only Facebook group.  You will be able to learn more about the festivals you’re due to trade at, assess the risk of cancellation & some aspects of trading there. Outdoor events are always volatile and liable to unavoidable factors. An enforcable directive on ‘mass gatherings’, however, will need to define clearly the category of events it applies to.  These descriptions will help you understand our festivals variations better.

4 - we have published our COVID-19 Response Plan and that has responsibilities for producers to adhere to. The relevant section is below and the full document can be found here

Extensive guidance has been issued to businesses under the umbrella of “COVID secure guidelines” by the UK government. This is the baseline that all our producers must adhere to. These action points for producers are in addition to any government guidance and are based on our observations at other markets.  


We know who will be trading at our festivals in advance and trade with many of them at several events per year. We have a close working relationship with them and with our environmental health professionals. 

As food and drink producers they already have high standards of hygiene and food safety, especially regarding cross contamination. Our producers and traders need to give customers reassurance that their practices and preparation areas are clean.  


2.1      Hygiene – preparation 

23    All traders to address external cleanliness e.g. counters, gazebos, prep surfaces etc. and have more frequent handwashing and cleaning down of surfaces. They will display prominent signage reminding staff to handwash and use a timer to remind of intervals. 

24    All traders to follow EHO and latest government advice on use of face masks and gloves: this is especially important if traders wish to work with the 1m+ social distancing and they MUST have a mitigation in place i.e. screen or mask. 

25    Sick employees should not attend work. 

26    All traders to have completed a COVID-19 risk assessment. Risk assessments to be provided to us before the festival and a digital and/or paper copy to be made available to the local EHO 


2.2     Hygiene – point of sale 

27    All traders to display latest ‘Working Safely During COVID-19’ poster from eat:Festivals will continue to produce and distribute information and reassurance material for our traders to display. 

28         Traders to remove shared condiments from publicly accessible areas. 


2.3     How to purchase 

29        All traders to promote click and collect and/or online ordering prior to the festival. 

30         All hot food and drinks are served for takeaway only 

31        All traders to seek to minimise cash transactions by offering and promoting contactless card payments. 

32        Training providers to be recommended to traders on social distancing and their responsibilities.

33        Traders to consider pre-packaging to enable faster service time.

34        The use of customers refillable containers is now permitted. Use of these and customers reusable bags is a choice for the trader to make.  

2.4     Layout and pitch 

35     Self-service to be removed: all traders who worked in this way to review their stall layout and to display stock behind the service desk or introduce sneeze screens and “no handling” policy. 

36    Sneeze screens are mandatory where stock is unpackaged 

37    We will make it explicit in the our layouts the direction of queues. Traders to work with us to put out markings on road/pavement clearly indicating where visitors should stand. The trader should actively manage their queue direction, in line with instructions issued, to minimise impact on other traders in line with latest guidance on social distancing 

38     Traders to have sides up on gazebos where they are adjacent to another trader

2.5     Licensed stalls 

We vet, book and manage a small percentage of stalls that sell alcohol. This can be in the form of: 

•    a sample 

•    a drink in a disposable glass for immediate consumption 

•    bottles or cans for consumption later 

All licensing guidance and law to be abided by including age verification, keeping a refusal log, not serving anyone drunk. In addition, guidance for the reopening of licensed premises issued by the UK Government must be adhered to 

39    As was previously the case, samples are given to individual customers who the producer is engaging with. Samples to be served in single use [except where these can be washed at a high temperature and reused] cup which is handed to the customer on a tray. Customer places used cup in a clearly labelled and frequently emptied bin

40    Drinks can be sold for consumption on or off the premises following all guidance 


2.6    Food and non-alcoholic sampling

41    As was previously the case, samples are given to individual customers who the producer is engaging with. Samples to be served in single use [except where these can be washed at a high temperature and reused] cup or stick which is handed to the customer on a tray. Customer places used cup/stick in a clearly labelled and frequently emptied bin

42    All traders to eliminate ‘free roaming sampling’ as this increases dwell time. 


NB if we have to cancel for extreme weather our normal T&Cs apply 

If you want to check our 120 and 90 day dates there is a PDF on the hidden website page

Our festivals are a collaborative venture - the more we tell our truths the better the experience will be all round. eat:Festivals aim to connect lives with the land, to make meaningful links between communities and the food and drink producers around them. In adversity we are all stronger if we work together




Bev and Sarah  


Award winning locally focused events

Wellington + Taunton + Burnham-on-Sea + Weston-super-Mare 

Castle Cary + Clevedon + Nailsea + Yeovil +

Portishead + Minehead + Honiton

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07771 665445

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