Last weekend I did a small show...my first outdoor show in a very long time. My first outdoor show I did in August in Florida. The booth cost me nothing for my space but sadly that is the only good thing I can say about it.
Set up time wasn't specified, the show started at 10:30am, I figured there would be at least 2 hours for set up and then i hoped maybe they'd maybe even allow early set up if vendors were there early. I arrived at 7:30am in hopes for early set up...no such luck...oh well...I headed to the local walmart to spend some time in their air conditioning.
I arrived back by 8:15am...still no action at the location of show..."How odd" I thought. So I parked across the way in a small park, 2 lovely sandhill cranes flew down and waded in the water filled ditch entertaining me for a bit. The birds wandered off and again i grew concerned at the lack of anyone at the show location, I confirmed that it was a Saturday with a phone call to my mom, so I had the right day. Now it is past 9am and I know I will not be able to be fully set up in time for a 10:30am start time.
Finally some action on site, 9:30ish a dunk tank arrived and then another vehicle. I pulled up behind the van with the dunk tank. Talked with show organizer got permission to set up, while waiting for dunk tank to be off loaded 2 more vendors showed up.
No spaces were assigned it was kinda set up where you will but don't block access to this, this, this and this. So now it was quite hot being almost 10am and set up was horrible in the heat. The organizer said a group was coming in at 11 so we needed to be ready.
I finally got set up tho I was on a down hill slope and my tent was walking away so i ran and got my tent anchors(fancy water filled bleach bottles). So my tent was fairly stable now, my work half in the sun and getting to hot to handle but nothing to be done about it, me guzzling the water I had brought trying to rehydrate. It was very hot.
11 came and went...no group appeared, a few people arrived to eat lunch and left not looking at the work. Finally about 1pm a large group arrived and the place started filling up. They sat down to eat, talk and enjoy the music. All us artists figured after eating they would browse but sadly instead they all mostly just got up and left passing my booth with not much of a glance. Throughout the next few hours a few patrons stopped and chatted and I handed out a mere 3 flyers to some interested people but not much other interest was to be had.
Finally clouds raised their ugly heads on the horizon and we all rushed to pack. Me, the potter, with all my wrapping to make sure the work would make it home was last to finish and of course the storm broke and soaked me and all my stuff before I could get it packed in the truck. Two of the guys in another vendor tent took pity on me after they finished packing and helped me carry my stuff to the truck.
It has taken me about 4 days now to dry everything out so i can pack it up again. I was very sore and slightly sunburned(even tho i was wearing sunscreen) for about 2 days. It was a sad, sad show. I don't think I will ever do another summer show in Florida ever, ever again.
BTW 5 years ago today Cat. 4 Hurricane Charley blew thru my town ruining my house, studio, and kiln. My studio is nearly back to normal, the house still getting there, and I have another kiln...but i swear it seems like it happened just yesterday even tho I traveled that long road back to recovery.