Low attendance at college festival causes early finish


Perla Lara

Vendors who participated in the Cerritos College Music and Sports festival decided to leave early. The heat, bad booth location, and allowing people to bring their own food to the festival were reasons vendors gave for poor sales during the three day event that started on Friday July 29 and ended Sunday July 31. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

The Music and Sports Festival ended early due to a low crowd presence and poor sales.

On Sunday, July 31st, some vendors decided not to show up on the final day of the festival, with other vendors and the carnival was packing up early ending the carnival at 5 p.m. instead of the planned 7 p.m conclusion.

The festival which started on Friday, July 29 included a carnival, a youth soccer tournament, vendors and a concert with Regional Mexican singer Larry Hernandez on Saturday, July 30.

Carnival Game booth workers Victor Costeno, Danny Gomez, and Jason Abel Olivares all agreed that this was their first time seeing the carnival pack up earlier than scheduled and having such poor sales.

With three booths and all three days of the carnival combined they estimated their sales being less than $1,000.

Iris Posuelos, who had game booths in the carnival said, “It (sales) where so bad yesterday that I stayed home. They called me because I had to come and pick up, they called and told me the show was going to shut down because we didn’t make a dime today. Nobody was here.”

From the carnival’s perspective, shutting down was a good decision.

Posuelos said,“You invest a lot of hours, diesel[…]you spend more on fuel than anything else.”

For owner of Artesanias Guatemala Selvyn Lopez, one reason for the low attendance was the booth’s location.

It allowed the booths to go unnoticed by concert goers and the people that were on campus for the soccer tournament. He said, “The majority of the people said, ‘We didn’t know you were here we didn’t know there were more things’.”

Another reason Lopez gave was that the festival was small.

He said, “There were many vacant spaces. That spot (the one next to his booth) was never occupied. Some people (vendors) only came on Friday, others only on Friday and Saturday but not today.”

For Maritza Lizarraga who worked the booth alongside her father owner of El Marinero family restaurant, described the festival as a combination of content and disappointment.

Lizarraga said, “We’re happy to be here we got our name out, got good feedback everyone liked it. We’re happy, we’re content, but we wish we would have made a little bit more.

“I don’t even think we made three percent of what we paid for our spot [and] that was very disappointing.”

Lizarraga stated that it was the first time El Marinero family restaurant participated in a festival.

She continued, “Seafood wise in total, with the VIP booth food with everything everything everything [including equipment], we spent like $8,000.”

“It was a big loss for us but as long as we’re out here giving out business cards at least we were able to bring out the name, talk to people got to know what this [festival booth] [was] about we can start focusing on doing more events I would love to come back next year if it’s a bigger event.”

Cerritos College Women’s Head Coach and festival organizer Ruben Gonzalez said, “Being a first year event I would call it a success.

“We know what we need to work on and we’ll sit down and analyze what we can do better and what worked and […] what didn’t .”

For Gonzalez the festival’s purpose, besides helping to raise money for Cerritos College student scholarships, was to “bring the community onto the campus and show them what we have to offer”

“[…]I’ve been here 11 years and I can’t remember ever doing anything like this to bring the community on board and kind of let them know what we’re about.

Gonzalez continued, “We have elections this year and one of our sponsors brought out “Yo soy el voto.” We have people registering to vote, so we’re educating people, we’re educating the community and I think that’s important.

Gonzales said he would take a two week break and continue to plan next year’s Music and Sports festival which would include businesses that could not participate in this year’s festival because their budgets wouldn’t allow it.