SAN BEACH STREET FOOD FESTIVAL: THE STREET FOOD THAT WORKS
The fourth edition of the San Beach Street Food Festival was held between July 12 and 14. We took stock together with the organizer Michel Urbanelli, and we realized that street food is successful only when it is well designed. In other cases, it does not work. Despite the trend
3 evenings; 800 seats; 21 food trucks from 14 different regions: an Argentine and a Greek food truck; 15,000 visitors. These are the numbers of the San Beach Street Food Festival, an event now in its fourth edition that took place between July 12 and 14 in the heart of San Benedetto del Tronto.
“Even this year – said the only organizer of the festival Michel Urbanelli – we have chosen only food trucks. This decision was taken during the organization of the first edition, precisely to avoid the decline and the transformation of the event into a simple food festival with static gastronomic stand”. Therefore, no fixed stands, just to distance themselves from what Urbanelli defines as the “market effect.”
The creator of the San Beach Food Festival brought the edition to the fourth year, with ever-increasing results. It is not a coincidence, as he knows a lot about food, being the owner of Mamma Rosa, a famous pizzeria of the Riviera delle Palme. Thirty-two years old, Urbanelli was helped by his partner Chiara Gaetani: “Chiara is a lawyer – Urbanelli said – and has been fundamental for a bureaucratic and legislative point of view. After the P.zza San Carlo disaster in Turin everything has changed (in 2017, on the occasion of the Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid, a maxi-screen was installed in the square of the city; following the use of stinging sprays to steal necklaces, chaos broke out: 1672 wounded and 2 dead women, ed).
If before that tragedy, an ambulance in the area of the festival was enough, today there are more safety measures. The San Benedetto street food festival lived up to the expectations. Speaking of numbers, during the four editions the number of visitors has increased or remained stable: «The first year was a great success. In the two subsequent years, there have been no downturns, while this year we have returned to the levels of the debut ».
Thanks to the splendid location, the tourist vocation of the city and the ideas of Urbanelli: «The focus on the great quality of food trucks has rewarded us. Moreover, if in the first years we were the ones who had to look for Italian excellences, for the last editions the entrepreneurs contacted us».
The San Beach Street Food Festival was dedicated to food and street creativity, and it has hosted over the years buskers (in 2019 the Mistra Funky performed).
And it was also a manifesto in favor of the sector. Street food festivals have multiplied over the years, but the movement is not as healthy as you might think. Or rather, to be successful, you must focus on quality: «After the boom a few years ago – concludes Urbanelli – lately the trend is decreasing. In 70/80% of the events, the participants end up not having an economic return. For success, it is necessary to understand the needs of entrepreneurs. The latter invest 50, 60, and even 70 thousand euros for a truck, and do not want to be placed side by side with food stands that prepare simple fried potatoes. We need to offer them and our customers something new. Something that raises the quality ». The San Beach Street Food Festival is a perfect case study.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)