Cathy McConaghy, StrEAT organiser with Paul Ashton, Head of Sales at Yorkshire Event Centre in the Yorkshire Showground
Cathy McConaghy, StrEAT organiser with Paul Ashton, Head of Sales at Yorkshire Event Centre in the Yorkshire Showground

Poll: What do you think of the StrEAT food festival in Harrogate ?

28 August 2018

The StrEAT Food Festival took place in Harrogate of the Bank Holiday weekend – 25 to 27 August 2018.

Did you go and what did you think of it ?

Please take part in our poll and also add your comments.


What did you think of the StrEAT Food Festival in Harrogate 25-27 Aug 2018

View Results



  1. We arrived on Saturday. After 10 minutes we left after obtaining a full refund. An absolute disgrace, hardly any stalls and charging to- dollar after a £10 entry fee…..hopefully those that own venues will not allow this event to rip people off in future…. from what we saw even the gate and security staff were embarrassed and the orgsniser was nowhere to be found when we asked to speak to her… It should have been shut down as soon as it became clear what a farce it was!

  2. Got to the gate to find you had to pay to get in, promptly left, also looking through the fence there did not appear to be many stalls.I know there were problems with the use of Valley gardens but the Showground is a poor substitute

  3. should be a free open event as it was at the beginning… 10 entry frr then through the roof food prices… not a good move.

  4. It could never work at the Showground…I understand the issues with the Valley Gardens but anywhere else (other than the Stray) will fail…Whilst we must protect both the Stray and the Valley Gardens we must not be myopic when it comes to innovative initiatives.

  5. To spread out, not enough stalls, no atmosphere! Not only the entry fee but also the fee to get the bus to the showground made it all a disappointment.

  6. 10 pounds entry fee, and for what? 9 pounds for a doner kebab (gyros) that would cost half that in the food outlets in town. 6 pounds for a paper cup full of doughnut batter with a side of chocolate custard. The ‘entertainment’ was laughable! The organisers should hang their heads in shame

  7. Newby Hall was a flop too. This event was a one hit wonder that benefitted from the location of the Valley Gardens but I’d rather my council tax was not used to line the pockets of opportunist business people. I don’t want the park used for these events. I also felt for the local eateries that suffered lost trade during the VG event. The Exhibition Centre is fair to all concerned but proves this novelty has had its day.

  8. After arriving on Saturday afternoon with my family who had travelled to an abandoned event with no signs etc to explain it was cancelled and nothing on the website. .. NO apology email and no refund as of yet still waiting to here back…that’s if they ever write back !!!!!

    I Will not be returning especially if they keep my money for an event I didn’t attend

  9. Valley Gardens had no admission fee, but showground has; plus families were not permitted to take own food and drink as they could to Valley Gardens. This made the event too expensive. It was a food festival where one could taste different food of choice not having to buy out of need. This was the family experience at the first event at showground and out us off going again.

  10. My daughter exhibited at this event and paid an exhorbitant price to do so,sadly it was her 1st event as a new venture,she can not afford to do any others,after a promise that the Organiser is trying to sort something out for the exhibitors,she still has heard nothing,truly disgraceful.

  11. We had never been before but I heard the previous event was a success so I spent £40 for entry tickets through the website for my family. It seemed very costly but this was the first weekend for a long time that we could be together for a family outing.
    We couldnt make the first day so we decided to go on the second day instead. However upon arrival we was not allowed in and told that the organiser had decided to close due to bad weather and they would reopen the next day on the bank holiday monday. It wasnt their fault that it was showering on sunday so we made a few alterations to out plans to return on the bank holiday monday and I made sure that we could still use our tickets.
    It took us over an hour to walk there on the next day but the weather was good and I could still see there was people on the grounds and the same stalls were all open. It was supposed to close at 6pm but again, we were not allowed in! Apparently we were too late by arriving at 3pm and was told by the security guard that we could get a full refund through the website.
    It has now been over 2 months and I am still £40 out of pocket without a single reply. I feel my family have been scammed by this event as there was not a single mention about day 2 being closed on the web site nor any mention about an early closing on the final day and now I cannot get any refund! The organiser took our money but after 2 seperate attempts we could not gain entry.
    If I was a vendor I would not be happy to find out that the organiser was turning away customers and it wouldnt surprise me if some vendors also were scammed as I bet the organiser was also very happy to take all the vendors money to take part in the festival (as well as customers £10 entry ticket fees) and turning away customers must have a severe impact on the vendors trading too.
    Very badly run and I will never support another event by this company. Clearly a huge scam.

  12. Cathy McCONaghy do you have any intention of compensating your stall holders for their serious losses at this event?

  13. We were approached directly by the organiser Cathy McConaghy to take part in the August Bank Holiday StrEat Food event at the Great Yorkshire Showground with promises of footfall in excess of 30,000. We signed up and paid a considerable amount extra for a sponsored pitch. The event was poorly run, lacked atmosphere and customers. The sponsored pitch amounted to a piece of A3 paper laminated with our business name on and one social media ‘shout out’ which contained incorrect information about our business (we requested it be amended but received no response). I could write an essay about how disappointed we are. We felt for customers who paid good money to enter the site which offered very little and are embarrassed to be in anyway associated with the event or organiser. We have also been left substantially out of pocket, which has a big impact on a small business such as ours and know all the other traders were left in the same position. We have only had 2 email from the organiser, Cathy McConaghy, since the event with promises that she would be in touch…we have heard nothing more despite numerous attempts to contact her. We have now passed the matter on to our solicitor.

  14. Hi Kate B,I am so with you on this,my Daughter was one of the exhibitors who paid over £2,000 to exhibit at this disaster,it was her first venture and now so out of pocket she cannot afford to do any more.Surely this woman cannot be allowed to get away with this,she too has had no response to any emails.If all the stall holders got together to sue this Woman or certainly to make it known what kind of a business woman she is,we can shame her into compensating those poor people she robbed.

  15. Has any of the traders heard back from this organiser following this shambles of an event or is she getting away with scamming everyone both traders and customers? Shame on you Cathy!

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