Festivals are terrific ways to celebrate place and food, to showcase community and culture. At their best, festivals are gathering spots for people who see each other all too seldom. They’re celebrations of what a community values. And food festivals can democratize access to artisan goods and artisan producers by offering a bite, a taste, a glimpse, and a sip of the rarefied world of white-tablecloth dining. But that access comes with costs. Most festival-goers likely think their ticket price covers the food and wine they’ve queued up to taste. Most festival-goers would be wrong.

Hanna Raskin reported this story. Raskin explores food and culture for The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. She recorded this Gravy episode with Bruce Roberts, at ARP Studios in Charleston.  This presentation was originally commissioned for the 2019 Southern Foodways Fall Symposium on Food and Labor. Her companion article ran in the Los Angeles Times and Gravy.

SFA thanks Matt Pearl for producing this episode.

The Festival Industrial Complex: How food festivals hurt the chefs they’re meant to help
Los-Angeles Times
October 19, 2019

Gravy edition