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Market Traders Survey From NMTF

20% of the traders registered with NMTF trade at festivals and events.

In a recent survey conducted by NMTF with regard to the effect of COVID-19 and its impact on the market traders, it was revealed that approximately 9000 market traders carry out business at festivals and events in the UK.  There are 32,000 market and street traders known to be operating in the UK.

AFO is a little disappointed to discover that some festivals and events have retained market traders’ deposits for the 2020 festival season without any notification of whether they are being carried forward to 2021.  In most cases the carry forward has taken place and been agreed, we hope that AFO festivals have done the right thing.

Employment by event traders is relatively low with only 25% of market traders providing a small amount of part time employment of one or two people and only 13% provide full time employment.

For all event trader’s, turnover has been gradually increasing since 2017 but unfortunately 2020 will bring down that average.  Nearly 50% of event traders turn over less than £25,000 per year with the obvious small amount of profit coming from their work.

Most event traders are selling non-essential speciality goods such as arts and crafts and gifts, clothing, jewellery, watches, and vintage.

96% of those trading at events have had their events cancelled.  49% of those have had ten events or less cancelled with 24% having more than twenty events cancelled.  This clearly has a devastating effect on the income and viability of market traders.  We would ask AFO members to support market traders wherever they can by showing goodwill for the new season in 2021.

Just like the festivals themselves, cancellation clauses in market traders’ insurance policies were found in the main to not cover COVID-19 and this is likely to continue into the future.

The lockdown itself has caused event traders to change their business models.  19% have created social media accounts and carried on a small amount of trading.  9% have launched websites, again to do online trading, and 8% have introduced a delivery service.

Clearly festival cancellations caused by COVID-19 will have a knock-on effect to market traders and caterers and we hope that we can all recover together in the 2021 season.

With thanks to Chris Savage, Projects Manager NMTF, for the survey results (



June 2020



Association of Festival Organisers (AFO): 5th Jun 2020 11:59:00

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