Outdoor Festivals: Looking Back

SoWa 7.13.14

Summer is outdoor festival season, a fun time, exhausting but exciting, and always full of new experiences. Taking part in outdoor shows can be intense, because not only do you have all of the things that are part of an indoor show to think about, you also have things completely out of human control to deal with. You need to be prepared for high winds, super hot days or unexpectedly cool days, and of course rain. With each show you come up with better ways to deal with these unexpected elements, and start to develop your displays to not only look more appealing but to be better equipped to stand up to different kinds of weather.

Having just finished up a round of one particular outdoor arts market this past weekend I’ve been thinking about my display setup and how it’s evolved over the past few years. For example, after learning from some very windy shows we now attach bricks (covered with black tape to help them blend in) to the back of display elements, we use cast iron bookends on other items, and we’re always equipped with clips, tape, and sticky foam to secure items down.


My display setup has also gradually changed visually, and it’s fun to see the progression in photos. Each year I feel like it’s slowly looking more cohesive and appealing. When I first started taking part in shows and festivals, I used props and decor to make my booth look prettier. I’ve learned that anything I put there just for decoration only distracts from my work, and people start asking more questions about those items instead. I’ve started to put things at different heights to make better use of vertical space and keep people from having to lean over as much to look at my jewelry. My banners have changed to become not only more sturdy, but to also better reflect my current work and match the overall feel of my booth. I love the way my displays are developing over time, and I’m excited to look back again next year and see more changes!

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