What to Expect at #EatDrinkFestivalFOUR: Part I
Three years and four festivals in, we've put together what we think will be our best festival ever. We even got a proper rebrand to show you how serious we are this year.
For the first time ever, we've "curated" our vendors. Sure, a lot of people in the city toss "curated" around and it rarely ever is. A bit like how "luxury" and "ultra-modern" are big fat lies. Not for us though, we actually mean it. We received 206 vendor applications and after carefully reviewing each submission, we selected 64 vendors that we feel represent the spirit of the Festival.
Here are a couple of other things you can expect from the Festival this year:
At Jollof, we noticed some vendors had some difficulty moving the less popular items on their menus. To create what we think is a win-win for everyone involved, we've encouraged all vendors to streamline their menus. Streamlined menus mean the vendors only display the items they feel best represent what their business. Guests, on the other hand, get the experience the vendors at their very best. See, a win-win for everyone.
Another thing of note is the Signature Item. We did this a bit last year with the Festival Special, but we didn't really convey the message to vendors in the best possible way. Additionally, vendors have been mandated to list menu items must come in two size variations - a regular portion and a sampling portion. If the goal of the festival is to sample as many vendors as possible, it should be fair on the wallet. We are broke Lagos millennials so we know the struggle.
One major addition to this year's Festival is the Maggi Main Stage. In the past, we've shied away from a main stage at the Festival because we aren't big on venturing into things we have no understanding of. That said, all the big international food festivals have a main stage. If we're trying to get there, surely, we must understand it at some point. So, we spent all year studying how the big boys do it and we're ready to take a stab at it.
The Maggi Main Stage will host cooking battles between local culinary personalities. Think of it as a bit of Iron Chef meets Chopped. In the coming week, we'll announce the matchups. Also, the organizers of The Bartender also have little surprise that we can't reveal just yet.
Parking at large scale events in Lagos is always a struggle. Heck, parking at church is even a struggle. I know how much self convincing I need to do to attend an event where I know I will hustle to park, so we were determined to solve for this at #EatDrinkFestival 4.
A major challenge in December ’16 was people parking anyhow and not following guidelines. I guess we were at fault a bit of that. You can't just trust people not to block other cars or not double park. We are planning to solve that with A LOT of parking attendants at this year’s event. Also, we will have multiple car parks at different entrances to the venue to minimize congestion.
We’re also happy to introduce a park and ride scheme whereby guests can park a short distance away from the venue ~ 1km. Users of the service will be ferried in air conditioned vehicles (on a 30 minute cycle) to and from the festival venue.
Another thing we tried last year that didn't work was the Tasting Tent. We’ve replaced that with an American Honey & Skyy Vodka Signature Bar where you can get amazing cocktail mixes and buy bottles - if you’re coming to EatDrinkFestival to be lavish.
We had an idea of what we wanted it to be while our sponsoring partner had another idea. This year, we've wrestled control and have crafted it exactly like we've always wanted it to be. We've got some comfy couches, some air conditioning, a bar serving complimentary drinks, and a couple nibbles all in the tent. All you need to gain access is your Stanbic IBTC card (Executive Banking and above). You don't have to pay anything. Just flash your card and you're in there. Unfortunately, you can’t take guests i.e. non Stanbic customers in.
For all the other deets we might have missed, just click one of the buttons below.
One more thing, we've extended Festival hours from 12 pm - 6pm to 12 pm - 8 pm.