Retail Vendors Frequently Asked Questions


What type of vendor do I register as?

Please register under “non-food vendor” unless you are a nonprofit, sponsor or food vendor, by clicking the button below. From here you can proceed to selecting a booth space. Incomplete forms will not be recorded by the system so please be sure to fill everything out.


What qualifies me to be a vendor?

Since Oakland First Fridays is an arts festival, your goods must be related to the arts and you must make your own products. You are not qualified to participate in the festival if you resell products or have imported goods.

*All corporate business must come in as sponsors*


How does the registration process work?

  • Step 1: You must register to create an account in our system before you are approved and before we can process your payment. Your space is not officially reserved until you process your payment. Following processed payment, we work on a first paid, first reserved basis. Please note, we prioritize Oakland-based and local vendors and those willing to donate food to our volunteers since our mission is to uplift our community and its small businesses. If you have any questions or problems, please email

  • Step 2: To process your payment, click the link sent to your registered email address after approval.

  • Step 3: Next, log in to modify your registration.

  • Step 4: After you log in be sure the vending category no longer reads “pending approval.”

  • Step 5: Continue to follow the steps and process your payment at the end of the process.

  • Step 6: After you create an account your stored information is saved. However, you must register each month to receive a new reference number. Reference numbers are specific to each month.


What documents and information do I need to provide at registration?

To register in the system, you will need the following:

  • Primary email address

  • Mobile phone number for emergency purposes and important updates

  • Business License  (REQUIRED)

  • California State Board of Equalization Seller’s Permit (REQUIRED) Oakland First Fridays must be listed on your seller’s permit

  • Conditions of Participate (REQUIRED)

  • If you have a generator, you must have an ABC fire extinguisher

  • If you play music, it must not be louder than conversational levels

  • Every vendor must upload a picture of their business and their vendor setup to our system

 Click the button below to start your registration process:

I just completed an application online. How long until I hear back?

A member of the Oakland First Fridays team approves applications within 72 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. If the event is full, you be notified on the status of your application.


What is the best location to reserve a booth space in the event?

Location preferences vary between vendors, business type and the expectations a vendor has regarding a successful experience. Oakland First Fridays brings thousands of people to every event, providing a great opportunity for exposure.

Starting October, 2018, Oakland First Fridays will be implementing a new map layout to ensure the best possible experience for all event goers.


How do I measure my space when I begin setting up?

One booth space is measured 5 feet by 10 feet. To calculate this, ensure the space number is right in the center of each of your 5-foot spaces. At the curb to the furthest line of the bike lane divider begins 10 feet. Your set-up starts at the curb. If you set up away from the curb, you will be asked to move your set-up back. If you do not comply you are subject to a warning notice and suspension from the event.


How long do I have to make my payment in order to secure a space?

  • You have until the Friday (one week) before the event at noon. However, keep in mind spaces are reserved on a first paid, first reserved basis. The faster you make your payment, the better chances of reserving a space before they are all filled.

  • If you contact us directly explaining a situation, we may be able accomodate you. We appreciate any communication from our participants and we encourage you to reach out.

**All deadlines are subject to change, according to the status of the event selling out.**


Why was I not placed in my location request?

Vending spaces are limited and granted on a first paid, first reserved basis. Please pay for your invoice as soon as possible for the best chance of ensuring your location request. Not all location requests are guaranteed.


What do I do if I have not heard back from the Oakland First Fridays team or received any information about the event setup, etc?

Please check your registered account to see if your email address is typed in correctly. If an email address is incorrectly submitted, you will not receive the notifications from Oakland First Fridays. If you have not heard back, please be sure to give us a call at (510) 361-0615 or reach out to us at at least 5 days before the event (the Monday of the week of the event).


When does registration open and close?

Registration opens as early as the Tuesday following every First Fridays event and closes as soon as spaces are sold out or the Friday before the event.

**All deadlines are subject to change, according to the status of the event becoming full.**


If I have already registered for a past event do I have to re-register to participate in a new event?

Once you’ve created an account in our system, all you need to do is click “subscribe” for an upcoming event to register.


Why do I have to register again when I have already created an account?

Your registration is different from creating an account. Your account is where all of your information is stored. Registration allows you to make a new payment, secure a spot and receive a new reference number. Reference numbers are specific to each month. Furthermore, Oakland First Fridays may sell vendor spaces for several months or a year at a time. Creating a new registration and reference number each month helps us understand and build this feature.


Can I sign up for an event more than one month ahead of time?

Please contact us directly at (510) 361-0615 or reach out to us at if you are interested in participating in a specific month.


Why was I not reserved a space when I applied early?

Vending spaces are limited and are granted on a first paid, first reserved basis. Please pay for your invoice as soon as possible to reserve your space before the event spaces fill.


What is the policy in regards to rained-out event?

If Oakland First Fridays decides to cancel due to rain, we will send out a notice to all paid vendors on the official decision. If the event is rained out, it will be automatically rescheduled to the next Friday. If you can’t attend the rescheduled event, please give us a call as soon as possible at (510)-361-0615.


How do I become a walk-up vendor on the day of the event?

Walk-ups are taken at the KONO tent in front of our office at 2633 Telegraph (Sears Lofts). Late registration opens at 1pm and spaces are first-come first-serve. The event often sells out in advance, so there’s no guarantee that any vending spaces will be available.


Is there a WAITing LIST?

Yes! Our registration system will inform you if spaces are sold out and ask if you would like to be placed on our waiting list.


Where can I find my space number and location?

When you arrive at the event, check in at the KONO tent, located in front of 2633 Telegraph (Sears Lofts), and you will be shown your space.


What happens if I cannot make an event, but I already paid for my space?

You will be issued a refund or credit if notice is given seven or more days before event. You will be issued credit if notice is given between six days and 72 hours before the event. Credits/refunds will not be issued if notice is given less than 72 hours before the event, or if you do not show up to event.


Important Parking Notice

Parking near and around the festival footprint can be very challenging.  We are looking at parking options for vendors, but there are no designated parking areas for vendors at this time.  All areas in the event footprint and side streets that have a No Parking Sign are kept clear for Emergency-911 access to the event. Parking is strictly enforced at each event with on-site parking enforcement officers from the City of Oakland. Vehicles parked in non-parking areas may be cited and towed at the owner’s expense.


Does Oakland First Fridays provide any equipment?

The vending fee covers the reserved booth space only. You are responsible for bringing your own equipment (i.e. lights, tables, tents, chairs, batteries, etc.). We do not offer access to power, tables, chairs or tents for your booth space. Since our event will go into the night for at least 2 hours, we recommend that you bring battery-powered lights for your booth set-up. We offer a small inventory of rental equipment. If you need to rent any of our equipment, we suggest you call as soon as possible as the equipment will be rented out on a first come first serve basis.


What equipment can I bring?

External power sources, including inverters, batteries, and generators are only allowed with permission granted prior to the event. You must reach out to us if you wish to use any of these equipment types. If you have a generator, you are required to have a 20 pound fire extinguisher on-site. Your fire extinguisher must have an CA State Fire Marshal’s annual inspection tag attached to it. If your fire extinguisher does not have the CA State Fire Marshal’s inspection tag attached to it, please be prepared to show a receipt reflecting the purchase date of your extinguisher. The purchase date of your extinguisher must be within the past 12 months.


Can I play music at my booth?

We have a limited sound permit for amplified music/sound and dedicated stages for music. The music should only play at conversation level to add interest and atmosphere to your display. Band, musical instruments, DJ set-ups and amplified sound performances are not allowed in areas of the festival that are reserved for retail vending


Advice From The Oakland First Fridays Team

  • Please attend our event before you vend with us. Our events can get very crowded. We want you prepared and comfortable with the experience.

  • We recommend talking to other Oakland First Friday vendors to network and learn tips on how to have a successful experience.

  • Keep in mind traffic and parking when participating in our event. Your set-up and participation may be set back due to these circumstances.


Please contact us if you have any further questions

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