August 6, 2015
By Matt Smith
It’s a process that begins 7 months before the start of Musikfest.
To decide how many beverage mugs to order, of varying types, and what design they will have takes a lot of advance planning.
About 30,000 mugs are expected to be distributed during Musikfest, the 10-day festival that kicks off Friday. There are roughly 25,000 regular mugs and over 5,000 light up mugs that will be stored and distributed to all the platzes spread out over the north and south sides of Bethlehem.
ArtsQuest retail operations manager Rebecca Hannon oversees the entire process as she is in charge of ordering anything that has Musikfest’s logo on it.
“We base our (order) numbers off of the previous year’s sales,” Hannon says. “And what the design looks like. This year’s mug, which features the 2015 poster, is very fresh and vibrant with a lot of different aspects in it that makes it even more appealing.”
Since the light up mugs debuted back in 2008, those sales have increased year after year.
“In 2014, I ordered 4,000 mugs,” Hannon says, “and we sold out by the last Saturday of the festival. I predict we will sell out of the 5,300 we have this year by the festival’s end.”
The insulated mugs are made by Whirley-DrinkWorks out of Warren, Pa., and are shipped in about 1,000 cases that are stored in an undisclosed location.
After Musikfest volunteers work to transport cases upon cases, using forklifts and multiple trucks, to every part of the festival grounds in preparation for the opening, they continue their process each day. Not to mention the tedious work of setting up the mugs at merchandise areas to be arranged in a way to show the artwork from all sides of the display.
“That team has been working with Musikfest so long,” Hannon says, “that they can actually tell what amount each platz can start with and how many they can go through each day.”
New this year is the Fester In Training mug. It’s a smaller, clear plastic mug that lights up and resembles a child’s sippy cup more than it does the larger adult version.
“We’ve taken the popularity of the light-up mug and incorporated that into the Fester In Training mug,” Hannon says. “It’s a neat little way to incorporate children and they can now enjoy their favorite juice out of a mug like their mom and dad.”
The costs are $10 for the standard mug, $12 for the light up mugs and $10 for the Fester in Training mugs.