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Art-B-Que and Outdoor Show Thoughts

This weekend was Art-B-Que in Avondale Estates, GA.  It's an outdoor festival that is a lot of fun for visitors and artists alike.  It's a small show that doesn't draw people from really far away like many of the larger shows but it's fun to see the friends from the area that I don't often see.  And it still attracted some really great art and music.  I can't say very much about the food because it was very anti-vegetarian.  I guess that's to be expected at something named Art-B-Que but I do wish someone had pizza or something without meat.

Although sales were pretty good it seemed like a lot of people were afraid to walk into the booth.  They preferred to stand at the entrance and admire the work from 10 feet away.  That's a shame because I have a nice rubber mat floor that feels really great to stand on after you've been walking on the pavement for a few hours.  Even when it was raining people would rather stand on the outskirts and look at the pots.  They were even picking them up and admiring them, from outside the booth.  I need to find a way to make the booth look safer and/or more inviting.

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Yes, I mentioned rain, we had a little bit on Saturday, never more than a short sprinkle until just before closing time.  It wasn't enough to keep most people away so I'd say it was really close to perfect.  Sunday was sunny but windy.  Blustery, gusty, wind...the potter's nemesis.  I've heard enough stories of potters losing a large amount of work to the wind to be very fearful of it.  And I've seen The Wizard of Oz, I know my tent and my shelves will never be heavy enough to withstand just the right gust.  This is why I'm trying to get away from doing outdoor festivals, much as I love them.

The show was well organized and well run which is no easy task.  I'm extremely grateful for all the work that was put into the show.    

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. I tried getting away from outdoor shows last year and I found I hated the indoor shows more than I hated battling the wind and rain, so I am planning to do battle with the elements and just accept whatever I get. I did that on Saturday and it turned into a beautiful evening and I made money. My new plan is to just have a simple booth, put as little effort into set up as possible then I'm not pissed when the weather turns ugly, because it wasn't too much trouble to begin with. We'll see how this goes by August :)
    I agree the festivals really need to do a better job with the food. I usually just bring my own veggie wrap and a bottle of water. I keep thinking my next job should be a food truck! Saturday a taco truck showed up at the market and we had veggie tacos with rice and beans, amazingly good food!
    Glad you had a good show!

    1. Hi Tracey, I've had a different experience with indoor shows but the one's I do are like Fired Works, or The Stacks Loft Tours + Art that are really well run and done in interesting locations. I've not done the ACC show (yet) or anything where I've needed to hang draperies, if you know what I mean, so I can't say if I'd like that type of show as much or not.

  2. I notice at some shows artists sit outside their booth or they have the back of their booth open and sit way back and that seems to encourage folks to walk in. Other artists have a tall solid podium style place to pay with a chair behind it and that encourages folks to work in, something about having a barrier between the shopper and the sales person I think. I wish there was such a thing as a portable booth that remained set up with all the wares pre-stocked - so no set up or take down. Ha. dreams

    1. The portable booth sounds like a great invention.

  3. I know about the whole customer hanging around OUT THERE thing and last year started lining my table up across the front of the booth instead of a horseshoe they walk into and HOLY CATS it made a difference right away, getting it out in front of the customers!

    1. It does help a lot Gary, you're right. I was fortunate enough to have a corner spot so people could browse the side table or the small shelf I have at the entrance with friendly mugs and such on it. I think they were just fearful that if they came in the booth they'd be too tempted to buy something.


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