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Vendors rave about WE Fest experience

'It has been awesome this year'

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Shawn King and Chad Carlblom were grateful for the opportunity to sell pull tabs to raise money for the Detroit Lakes hockey program.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — After the first night of WE Fest, the vendors reported that concert-goers kept the cooks cooking, bartenders pouring and those selling pull-tabs busy.

Before noon on Friday, Aug. 5, the concert bowl was immaculate and vendors were setting up for another busy night as microphone checks were conducted and instruments tuned.

Shawn King and Chad Carlblom were setting up a pull tab booth to help raise funds for the Detroit Lakes hockey programs. The funds go to offset the cost of the sport for parents, provide hockey camps and maintain the rink arena, King said.

“It has been awesome this year,” Carlblom said Friday. “There is a bigger and more engaged crowd. Jason Aldean had a great show last night and really brought in the crowd, too.”

King noted he was thankful that the country festival management invited their local organization to provide pull tab sales at WE Fest.

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Ian Sobral prepares a vendor booth that provides adult beverages at WE Fest.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Another local vendor came from Mahnomen. Sean Jacobson, who was manning the Shooting Star booth, said the local casino has had a presence at WE Fest for a few decades. Their goal is to add to the fun of concert goers by handing out free gifts, such as sunglasses, bananas and more. With a fun atmosphere, he said the job is one he enjoys doing each summer.

Ian Sobral has spent several months traveling to about 15 large-scale music festivals selling an assortment of adult beverages. He recently was at a country music festival in North Dakota. While there were plenty of people there, he said the crowds at WE Fest were noticeably larger.

“The customers here are also really nice,” he added. “That is not always the case at all music festivals.”

This was Miguel Gutierrez’s first go-around at WE Fest. He heard about the potential the event has for businesses to become a recognizable name with a lot of hungry people to feed.

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Miguel Gutierrez and seven family members brought their family recipe Mexican food to WE Fest for the first time.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Gutierrez started his business, Rock N Roll Tacos, using family recipes that were handed down for generations. He and seven of his family members took the food on the road and sold their delicious authentic Mexican food at concert events in North Dakota, South Dakota and now, Minnesota.

“It is so well organized that it makes it pleasant (from a business perspective) and the customers are so nice,” he said. He pointed his hand across the concert bowl. “And look at that view of the stage.”

While working, getting to listen to artists at the top of their profession is a nice bonus, he added.

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