Saturday, May 11th from 12-5 PM, Jack London Square and Second Saturday hosted another great Art and Wine Festival. More than 20 Northern California wineries offered tastings, 60 artisans and vendors displayed their crafts and artwork, lastly live music and dancing filled the square with great vibes.
Tickets were sold on Eventbrite.com and the Jack London Square website for $40 general admission of unlimited tastings and $80 for VIP Wine Lounge. A portion of the ticket sales went to The Institute for Clinical Excellence-Africa, which promotes quality health care across Africa. Participating vendors were able to get a wristband and wine glass to taste for free. Since I was a vendor, I was very pleased to finally be able to work the event and go wine tasting.
Music in the air, many food trucks to taste from all over the Bay Area, and art and wine to purchase as you walk down Jack London Square. It was a beautiful Saturday and people from all over arrived with their families or pets as they strolled along the festival wine glasses in hand. I have vended for this event last year and I had a great turn out. There was so much foot traffic on the main street where most of the vendors were. This year was a little different. The parking lot across the street from Plank near the valet garage in Jack London Square, vendors were placed there. This was the first time I have seen this happen and I have done many events at Jack London Square over the years.
I happened to be one of the vendors in the parking lot. We were literally isolated from the entire event and the foot traffic, well there was none. For this not to be my first time vending for this event, I was confused to why there were vendors away from the main event off to the side. Especially since we paid the same price as all of the other vendors. The original price to be a vendor at the Art and Wine Festival was about $200 or maybe a little more. The price was then changed to $175. Still pricey and not worth the location I was in compared to last year’s price of $125 and a set up where ALL the action was happening. New vendors were confused as well. We usually become a community and people were all questioning the same thing. Being that I attended last year, I was able to give my vendor family insight on what I was accustomed to and what the differences were in the execution of this event.
I do know that new people took over the coordination for the festival, but I don’t think having vendors off to the side in a parking lot was a good idea. In an email I received, one of the coordinators said “It will be a good day for you,” and it wasn’t. One thing about paying vendor prices is it’s a good day when you make your money back and then some. Yet, Saturday, I fell short. I know it had to do with the location my booth was at. This was the second time happening to me this year. At the Black Joy Parade, I did GREAT the first year. I was in a location where there was MAD foot traffic. This year, they had some of us on some side street that no one walked down unless they were exiting. So my luck in vending this year so far has not been the best. Event wise, dope, but business wise for me not so much.
All in all, if you have never went to the Art and Wine Festival it is a must go event if you want to get your drink on for five hours for only $40. Great for a date, girls day out, or family day. It’s so fun and the people there are so happy. I also love that these are Bay Area based businesses offering such great products from wine, food, and crafts. Jack London has other great wine events happening this year such as the Night Wine Walk happening June 27th. I was a vendor for it last year and did great. But after being placed in a parking lot, I think I will just plan a hot date for my love and I to get our tasting on and just enjoy the festivities. We shall see.