Food Concessionaire Guidelines

Application Process

  • Submission of an application does not guarantee acceptance.

  • All questions on applications must be completed.  Richmond Folk Festival may request clarification.  Failure to provide requested clarification is grounds for rejection.

  • Concessionaires must list on their application ALL items they wish to sell.  Items not listed and approved may not be sold and will be removed from the Concessionaire’s booth.

  • Concessionaires are not granted exclusive rights to sell any item.  VR will retain the right to determine which of a Concessionaire’s products are approved for sale.

  • Applications must be delivered by the deadline indicated on the application.

  • Failure to meet application and/or contract fee deadlines will result in forfeiture of booth location and/or booth space.

Selection Process

The number of food Concessionaires selected for the 2019 event will be between 25 and 30 Concessionaires.  This number is based on how food Concessionaires at the 2018 Richmond Folk Festival in Richmond, Virginia, handled the crowd of 200,000.

1.         Food Concessionaire applications will be assessed using the following categories:

  • Ethnic Foods

  • Virginia/Regional Foods

  • Snacks/Desserts

  • “Fair” Foods

  • Other Main Dishes 

2.         Each application will be given a numerical grade on the following criteria:

  • Product Quality

  • Product Uniqueness

  • Concessionaire experience serving large crowds/vending at events

  • Local/Regional Concessionaire

  • Nonprofit Organization

  • Overall Presentation

3.  Concessionaires must also include a recent photograph of their vending operating and three reference letters from previous events.  This letter must state the name of the event and the number of people in attendance.

4.  Applicants will be notified via email regarding acceptance or rejection.


Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $25.00 must accompany each application by March 15, 2019.

Booth fee

  • Each Concessionaire will receive a space of 10’x20’.  The price of the space is: 

    • $1,700.00 for commercial Concessionaires

    • $800.00 for nonprofit Concessionaires

  • No space will be held without a completed contract and full payment of the contract fee. Please do not send Concessionaire fees until you have received written notification of acceptance.

  • Final decisions will be made in May 2019.


Hours of Operations

  • Festival vending hours:

    • Friday, 5:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

    • Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

    • Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

  • Booths must be staffed for all hours agreed to on the contract.

  • The event goes on rain or shine, unless there is a safety issue.  Concessionaires must be prepared for inclement weather. Some stages and food court hours will not coincide with the event hours.


Beverages and Ice

  • The Festival has a sponsorship relationship with a major soft drink and water distribution company.  All vendors who wish to sell beverages (including bottle water) must sell the products the Festival supplies, UNLESS, the Festival deems the vendor’s handcrafted drink is a specialty beverage.


  • The use of generators is prohibited at the Richmond Folk Festival. The Electrical Service for Festival Vendors must be submitted with your application.

  • There will be no charge for your first 20-amp 120-volt circuit.  Please see the Food Vendor Application for rates of additional electrical needs. Additional electrical request must be made prior to September 6th.   A 20-amp 120 circuit requires a 12-gauge power cord. Concessionaires are responsible for providing their own cords. 

Health & Safety

  • Any vendor or their employees not complying with City of Richmond Health Department statues will be immediately closed and not permitted to return to future festivals.

  • Food production techniques must meet the Commonwealth of Virginia statues.

  • All Concessionaires are responsible for completing a City of Richmond Health Department Temporary Food Establishment application and returning it to the City of Richmond Health Department. For more information or assistance, contact the City of Richmond Health Department at 804-205-3912. If VR is notified that the application or necessary paperwork has not been submitted to Health Department by September 6, 2019. The Richmond Folk Festival reserves the right to terminate your contract. 

  • Once operational, the site will be inspected by a City of Richmond Fire Marshall and a City of Richmond Health inspector.

  • Each Concessionaire must supply one fire extinguisher per booth based on the following:

Minimal Hazard Equipment (Microwaves, crock pots, toasters, Popcorn machines, food warmers Fry top grills) must have a portable dry chemical fire extinguisher with a rating of 4A-20BC in good working order.

High Hazard Equipment (Deep fat fryers, open burner, stoves/ranges, char broilers, charcoal grills) must have Class “K” fire extinguisher in good working order.

  • If you have any questions, please call the City of Richmond Fire Department at 646-6640.

  • Disposal containers will be provided for grease and water on site.

Vehicles on Site

  • For the safety of the event’s attendees, vehicles are not allowed to move onto or within the site during operating hours and one hour prior to opening hours and one hour after the event ends each day.  Parking and unloading will have to be done off site. 

  • Concessionaires will receive two parking passes for the designated Concessionaire/Vendor parking lot.  Concessionaires must park their vehicles in this lot and may not remove the vehicle until after operating hours.

  • Load in times will be sent with your confirmation of acceptance.

  • Vehicles are restricted to the pathway around the Event site

  • Unloading on Brown’s Island: Vehicles may pull to the outside of the pathway and unload; no vehicles are allowed on the interior grass.

Booth Set up

  • Booth locations will be assigned.  Your location is final and non-negotiable. The placement and location of Festival food courts are subject to change depending on the Festival site.

Booth Operation Guidelines

  • Concessionaire must restrict their activities to their booth space.

  • Concessionaire spaces must be neat and tidy always.  If oil, grease, syrup is a part of your operation your space must be floored with non-permeable material. 

  • All cooking devices (grills and fryers) must be protected from unintended contact with the public.  All back-prep areas must be attractively camouflaged from the public.

  • Disposal units will be provided for liquid waste (oil, grease, water).  Liquid waste cannot be placed in gutters, super cans, port-a-johns or on the ground.

  • Concessionaires must maintain a separate service line for Artist and Staff.  VR will provide signage.  Concessionaires must also accept event vouchers for which you will be reimbursed.  Vendors must redeem tickets to the VR office by October 25, 2019.

  • All prices must be posted and visible to the public.  A forward-facing banner may be hung at the back inside of your tent with your menu items and pricing or professionally lettered signs maybe attached to the side tent poles.

  • No subletting will be permitted, nor may concessionaires assign a contract to another party.

  • In the event of a dispute, the decision of VR will be accepted as final.

  • Although there will be overnight security beginning the Thursday before the festival, all fixtures and materials that are left overnight will be at the concessionaires’ risk.

Booth Clean-Up

  • No booth may be dismantled or removed from its assigned space prior to the end of the event on Sunday, October 13th.

  • Concessionaires must remove their entire booth- including carpet/flooring, display racks, storage containers, and decorations. Nothing may be left on site.

  • All booths must be broken down by 9:00p.m. Sunday evening.

  • Any Concessionaires failing to completely clean up their booth areas will be assessed a clean-up fee and will forfeit their cleaning deposit (if accepted for participation) for the following year’s Event.

Prohibited Practices

  • Digging holes in the property

  • Any fire not contained in approved cooking equipment

  • Attaching anything to trees, shrubs and light poles