Fair and Festival Fun

How many of you sell at outdoor summer festivals and shows?

This season has recently begun for most parts of the USA.  Sellers have checked out their tents, packed their boxes and coolers, and are getting ready to sell or are in the swing of  things. As a vendor at such a sale, you’ll see all manner of handcrafted product and yummy, albeit unhealthy food treats.  If you’re fortunate, you’ll be treated with performances of live music. Festival goers are enjoying the sunshine and their surroundings, purchasing goods from crafters.  You’re getting into the spirit of the day/weekend, and all is well.

Of course, the not-so-rosy picture of outdoor shows also emerges.  It’s cold and rainy when you set up, the crowds are sparse and the band is loud and annoying.  Things go from bad to worse.  The wind picks up, it rains harder, and your tent is threatening to take to the sky.  I read an account of a scenario even worse than that in Columbus, OH recently.  The storm cell apparently developed at the show, and everyone was caught with virtually no warning.  Tents flew and untold dollars worth of product were ruined, not to mention the hours spent and the original handwork of many artists, lost.

If you do outdoor summer sales, what have you learned that you can share with others?  Do you have special tips for keeping product from melting in the hot summer sun?  Ways of keeping product dry in the event of rain?  How do you keep your tent anchored?  What is in your show box?

My suggestion is to bring food and plenty of cold water.  You’ll feel better if you can eat food from home when you’re hungry, rather than filling up on “fair food,” whenever you can sneak a few minutes, or go hungry because you don’t have time to leave your booth and stand in line.

What’s your tip to share?


3 Responses to “Fair and Festival Fun”
  1. Cindy Jones says:

    Always have tent weights, always have tent sides to put up if needed, bring ice packs and coolers to keep products ok. Have a sheet to throw over products to protect from blowing sand. But, if its over 100 degrees, pack it up – neither me or my product can survive that.

  2. Dawn Jones says:

    I had a funny experience last week. I was unpacking and I did not anchor the canopy right away. I was going to use a tree for an anchor on one side and a table for another. My son was helping me set up and he had to check out the other vendors so I was all alone. A big gust of wind blew the canopy off and it landed on the side of me. I was so lucky to be at a bike rally as a vendor. Five bikers picked up the canopy and secured it for me. Some days it is great to be a girl. Dawn Jones, Custer Cottage

  3. Barb Miller says:

    I have learned that just having canopy weights isn’t enough… you need to use the stakes too or the canopy can (and will) still move. I have a huge piece of plastic that I put over my Easy-Up before it’s totally up… I practiced this before the day of the show. No more worries about rain or condensation ruining my product. I also broke down and started shrink wrapping all my soaps and this helps immensely!!

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