Festivals are a special kind of market and I saw this in action at the Great British Cheese Festival in Cardiff, Wales, in 2010.
That autumn afternoon, I sheltered in a timber-lined 18th century tavern, the Rummer, opposite Cardiff’s landmark medieval castle.
Outside, people hurried past in the blustery streets or waited for buses, heading home after a busy working day. Next door, they paused in the arcades, picking up items for the evening, or maybe gifts for special occasions.
‘I wonder what they’re buying,’ I mused, over a pint of Hereford Pale Ale from the Wye Valley Brewery. ‘Cheese, probably,’ glancing at the placards outside the castle across the road.
But the cheese exhibits were only part of the festival. When I arrived next day it was about 11am and clear, also unseasonably warm.
The queue wasn’t that long yet and the crowds not that intense, although they would develop to much more of a bustle within hours. The first thing I encountered wasn’t a cheese exhibit at all, it was a pork stall.
Next week, inside the festival.
JOHN COKLEY PhD loves journalism and has written for and produced newspapers, magazines, books, broadcasting and online content since 1981. This blog is about changing and improving journalism, making it more profitable and better quality, about encouraging citizen journalism, and leading the world out of the old journalism and into the new. Read more about John here: