The month is almost over and my blogging really got left behind this month. Not enough time at home. I've had all kinds of things to write about but now when I actually sit down to do it, my mind is pretty blank. Unless you want to hear about shows that do stupid things. Okay, let's talk a little about that.
I went to River Arts Fest in Memphis this past weekend. Not as an exhibitor but as a "roadie". I had done the show last year and found Memphis didn't love my jewelry but just had a wonderful time in the off hours. The fun was not to be missed this year so I tagged along with friends.
The show is held on historic South Main Street in downtown Memphis, complete with trolley's adding to the ambiance. It runs with booths on both sides of the street for most of the show and then a long stretch with booths only on one side. After set-up was well underway, with many people almost completely set up, the show director decided to come tell about 10 artists that instead of setting up facing the middle of the street, they had to turn everything to the side and face their next door neighbor. Leaving the side of their booth facing the street. WHAT??? Seems the fire inspector felt this was important for safety reasons because the trolley would be running in front of the booths. Probably 15' away (I'm not good with distances).
I'll admit that this made absolutely no sense to me but having dealt with fire inspectors at other shows, I know their word is law since they are perfectly willing to shut down the show if you don't comply. I assumed that this was something that had just come up which was why the artists weren't told when they checked it. But no, not the case at all. A little later I was talking to the show director and said gently that the artists would be handling this better if they had some notice. It turns out that she knew this long before the artists were on site but that "she had too much to do" and never thought about whipping out a quick e-mail to those 10 artists!!! Unbelievable...
I'm not one of those artists who think it's us against them, artists vs show directors. That would be especially hard since I'm a show director as well as an artist. I truly believe that we're all in this together and we both need each other but geez. Give us some consideration here or we won't show up and then what are you left with??? An art fair without art???