Sunday, October 5, 2014

Memoirs of an Art Festival .... or I survived rain, hail and freezing weather!

Finally did another out door show.  The last one was three years ago.  I bought an expensive tent back then and went for it.  Then packed it all up and let it sit in my vault.

That show was Oil Heritage.  We set up on the road (hence the need for sandbags as a way to hold the tent in place.)  The temperature was ninety degrees in the shade (and the back of the tent was 110 degrees.)   My goal then was to create a feeling that the inside of my tent felt like a gallery .  I wanted to make sales but since it was my first time I felt happy just to achieve my goal.  Luckily I achieved both the goal and money.  My tent also got tested with a major rain storm during that festival, complete with wind.  It held up where others lost their tent and some of their art.

This time I was going for the money (and of course trying to keep the gallery feel.)  Again, I achieved both goals.  I only set out my metal clay pieces (no beading or polymer pens) and focused on selling my jewelry.  Often I tend to talk too much about the metal clay product and promoting my classes.  That was out this weekend (although it did sneak in a couple of times.  I just couldn't help it!)

Doing Festivals is hard, hard work.  Setting up that tent really is easy but I have trouble with those little push button connectors and I'm such a wimp.  The poles are heavy (thank goodness my husband helped out.)   Hauling all those things out of my studio (and then hauling them all back in ) is tiring.  Getting everything set up and making sure I have everything I need is time consuming.  (That's day one.)  Then for the next three days I got up at six AM and made sure I was down there to get a parking spot close.  (Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a morning person.)  My booth was by the food court and sitting in the tent for eight hours each day, treated me to tempting smells of a variety of foods. 

My husband helped me set up and take down the tent and my cousin Debi helped me all three days.  I couldn't have done it without her.  (Someone has to be there during my pee breaks.)   She also helped out by sharing all that good festival food with me.  

The first festival was sooooo hot.  This one was soooooo cold.  (39 degrees to be exact.)  We had wind, we had rain, we had mud, and we had HAIL...... and my tent held up.  I paid extra for electricity and I'm glad I did as we had a heater back in the corner to keep warm.  The first two days we took turns sitting in front of it.  Today, Debi brought a second heater so we didn't have to share.  (I had already decided I wasn't going to anyway LOL.)  The first day I started with just a sweater jacket, yesterday I had on a fall jacket and today I went full tilt and pulled out the winter jacket and gloves.  Should have gone for the hat too.!

I figure that I've already done roasting and freezing.  As they say, third time is a charm..... so I am counting on the weather being "perfect" for my next festival.

I'll be posting "things I learned at the festival" over the next few days (maybe weeks).  These will be my Musings on an Art Festival.  Stay tuned.  

1 comment:

Zoe Nelson said...

I did shows for nearly 20 years. In my prime I did 18 shows per year and I learned to hate them. Now I'm down to one that's moved indoors if the weather is bad, so no tent required and I only do that one because it's sponsored by our local Arts Council. "Hard" doesn't describe how bad it is!