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2023 Jazz & Rib Fest BBQ Vendor Application

First consideration will be given to applications submitted by
Monday, February 27, 2023  at 5 p.m. EST.


The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department offers a diverse range of events and experiences in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The Jazz & Rib Fest, now celebrating its 42nd year, is our flagship event. This highly anticipated summertime tradition offers three days of continuous live performances while BBQ pitmasters serve up sizzling ribs, chicken and more. Admission is FREE! 

2023 Festival Dates and Times

Friday, July 21: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, July 22: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, July 23: 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Load-in: Per assigned time on Thursday, July 20, 2023. IMPORTANT! Vendors that miss their assigned Load-in window will incur a $250 non-refundable charge that must be paid in cash before loading in.
Load-out: Per assigned time on Sunday, July 23, 2023. Must be out by 6 a.m. Monday morning.
All vendors are expected to operate for the duration of the festival.

Application Process

Thank you for your interest in vending at Jazz & Rib Fest. All food vendors wishing to participate must first complete an application. Submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance. At the point of acceptance, you will have a maximum of 30 days to decide if you will join us at the event. If we do not hear from you and receive payment of deposit within the 30 days, the offer of participation will be withdrawn.
Jazz & Rib Fest reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any vendor for inclusion in the festival, as well as approve menus and assign locations. Jazz & Rib Fest reserves the right to require the modification or removal of any vendor display, signage, flags, products or merchandise that, in its opinion, is not in character with the event or does not comply with health, safety and fire codes. The decisions of Jazz & Rib Fest are final.

Application Deadline

First consideration will be given to applications submitted by Monday, February 27, 2023 at 5 p.m. EST. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and notification of acceptance or nonacceptance will be sent by email to all applicants. Incomplete applications may not be accepted or the menu may be restricted. Once the application is submitted, NO changes may be made without approval of Event Management.

Selection Process for Vendors

Jazz & Rib Fest will select vendors based upon the following criteria. Preference will be given to vendors who have already participated in Jazz & Rib Fest and are in good standing due to past compliance.
  1. Completed application
  2. Vendor history
  3. Menu offerings
  4. Vending experience
  5. Ability to serve thousands of patrons in outdoor weather
  6. Appearance of overall set-up
  7. Space Availability

Vendor Type

The Jazz & Rib Fest will consider the following types of BBQ vending operations. When applying, please select the concession type/size that best describes your operation. 

BBQ Pit/Mobile Cooker Concession: A BBQ Pit/Mobile Cooker Concession is a cooking unit that is mounted to the frame of the concession. The BBQ Pit/Mobile Cooker concessions will include all the infrastructure of a Food Truck, Concession Trailer or Knockdown. An auxiliary trailer(s), food truck and/or knockdown concession may be required to accommodate the infrastructure needs of the concession operation.
BBQ Pit/Mobile Cooker Concessions operating in a space less than 1000 Sq Ft will be allowed to offer up to 5 individually priced and unique items.
BBQ Pit/Mobile Cooker Concessions operating in a space of 1000 Sq Ft or more will be allowed to offer up to 10 individually priced and unique items. 
The following items will NOT be considered for a food vending space:

• Any and All Packaged Beverages
• Soft Drinks
• Bottled Water
• Sports Drinks
• Alcoholic Beverages
• Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
• Sweet Tea
• Corn Dogs
• Chicken Tenders
• Fries (including any deep fried potato product)

Vendor Space & Fees

Each vendor will be granted a set number of square feet within the festival grounds. No additional tent space, canopies, overhangs/awnings or grounds space will be allowed without prior written agreement from Event Management - everything must fit entirely in the food vendor space; limited storage is allowed behind the booth, but not on open sidewalks or public walkways. Vendors are responsible for their own setup.

BBQ Pit/Mobile Cooker Concession:

Up to 15'x30' (30' Frontage, 450 Sq Ft):


15'x35' (35' Frontage, 525 Sq Ft):


15'x40' (40' Frontage, 600 Sq Ft): 


15'x45' (45' Frontage, 675 Sq Ft):


15'x50' (50' Frontage, 750 Sq Ft):


20'x50' (50' Frontage, 1,000 Sq Ft):


20'x60' (60' Frontage, 1,200 Sq Ft):


25'x40' (40' Frontage, 1,000 Sq Ft):


25'x45' (45' Frontage, 1,125 Sq Ft):


25'x50' (50' Frontage, 1,250 Sq Ft):


25'x60' (60' Frontage, 1,500 Sq Ft):


What We Provide

Included in your vending fee is booth space:
  • access to electric, water & dumpsters;
  • wastewater containers;
  • grease, ash/charcoal barrels;
  • site/overnight security;
  • parking for support vehicles; and
  • access to onsite meats, packaged foods and dry goods suppliers.
Food Vendors will be issued parking permit(s) for vendor support vehicles to park in designated parking near the festival grounds. This is usually on a nearby street at reserved meters. There is no cost to the vendor, the festival provides this space as a courtesy. Trailers are considered an additional vehicle. All parking offered by the festival is intended for vendor support vehicles. We do not provide staff and employee parking. 
Please note, food trucks and concession trailers cannot leave event grounds until load-out on Sunday evening.
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