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Hi- I'm wondering if anyone can give me some feedback about the Coconut Grove (FL) Arts festival that's held in February 2011? It is a long way for me to drive, but I would love to get a sense if it's a good show. I do high-end non metal jewelry. Thanks

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Good is a relative term. It used to be one of the best shows in the country and is now over rated if you read the press releases. But that doesn't mean it's not good and it does have potential.

The last time I did it was in 2007 and I felt the crowd had gotten younger, and it also draws a lot of foreigners (with money) and snowbirds from up north.

You really need to get feedback from artists in your category. Here's a list of jewelers that did the show this past February:

Each "%20" in the link means they are clueless and leave spaces in their page names which doesn't display properly in some browsers.

Larry Berman
Digital J u r y Services
I'd love to hear more feedback on that weekend in Florida. I've only done Coconut Grove, but, I've always wondered what it's like doing Artigras or St. Stephens. I really want people who have done these events to add their two cents.
I got into St. Stephens one year and swore I would never go back to that insane town unless it was for Coconut Grove. St Stephens may be cheaper to do for the booth fee but it still has the same expensive lodging, no quick place to eat, no grocery stores easily accessible, expensive parking, and just the same general insanity.

I did ArtiGras last year and was not impressed. I did just a little more than I do in my local fall shows. To be fair, the weather was cold, and I waited for my yearly rejection from CG to accept ArtiGras which meant my booth space was probably not one of the better ones.
The NAIA did a survey of 180 of the artists who were there in 2008, the year I was there. Out of those who replied 50% did not make expenses, and a lot did not make booth fee. It is a carnival like show, with portable beer sellers and a really loud Verizon booth. There are some who do well, but I think this show has lost it's punch. And it is very expensive to do. I will maybe think about applying when I hear on NPR that the Florida economy is booming. I think that will be a long time indeed.
The survey was for artists that did the show in 2007 and 2008. I was also part of the survey and I did it in 2007 and didn't make expenses.

What prompted the survey was an article in the Miami Herald where the show talked about how much money was spent on art.

Larry Berman
Digital J u r y Services
thankyou, Phil, Larry, Barry, Allison and R.Michael....I really appreciate the input. I'm going to do more research. The idea of driving that far (from Boulder) and not making expenses is a little daunting, of course...
Julie, I did the CG many times, but the last time was in 2006 when buy/sell, sales reps and mass produced junk started to show up. My sales were in the $3K bracket, when before I used to do $10K+. I live in Denver, so here are some numbers to crunch. When you think about the expenses, think of these numbers: from Boulder to CG, it's 4200 miles round trip. Divide that number by your gas mileage and then multiply that number by $3, the approx. amount/gal. of gas. Then, figure 3-4 days driving time each way, plus at least three days during the show. Multiply that times, say, whatever your budget is for motels. Don't forget, lodging in the CG widespread area can easily run $125/night. Or more. Then add in booth/jury fee, food and miscellaneous. Parking there is very pricey.
Don't forget to add the price of your product and the labor involved - especially how much time you'll miss doing production while doing this show instead.
An intangible: you're driving from 6,000 altitude to sea level, from winter to summer. The first few days you get there, you'll swear you've caught the flu. It's the heat, humidity and specific gravity of being at sea level. So, you should allow a day before set up to somewhat catch up on the vast change in climate. Don't forget the mosquitos - they need to be fed and you are their meal! Other than that, have a great time! If you go, check out the wildlife at South Beach, especially late-ish at night!
We don't have mosquitos in February, it is the dry season. To you the humidity may seem bad but to most people, there is no humidity. It can get hot but it can also get cold. The wildlife on South Beach can be very impressive looking. Miami during the winter is heaven on earth.
The bottom line is that they are all in different locations and draw large crowds/ IT is up to you and your salesship these days/ coconut is $800/ Artigras is $400// plus motel $$$$$/ WHAT IS GOOD FOR SOME IS NOT TRUE FOR ALL/ Fair Winds


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