Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I did a couple of festivals last year with borrowed gear, and it is time to invest in my own now. I purchased used knock-down pro panels but didn't realize they were 8 feet tall when assembled, so I don't think an EZ-up tent is going to cut it any more.
I'm a 35 y/o female (average height) and strong, but want a tent that is easy to put up and take down, as I will likely be doing most of my shows on my own. As I'm still new to festivals, I'm a little nervous to drop $1,000 or more on a tent, but that might be my only choice given my 8' height requirement.
Thanks in advance for your input!
We have a Trimline, I'm told that Lightdomes are easier to put up for one person, but I don't really know. I am able to put up a Trimline myself, but it is a whole lot easier with two.
I do shows alone, and have a Showoff, and it's very do-able with one person. I usually ask for help at one juncture, just because it cuts down on how much time it takes (lifting the legs - when I do it by myself, I walk from leg to leg to leg to leg, four times; when I have one person helping, we just lift). I hate the name of the tent, but I do love my tent. And when I take it down, I also ask for help, for about 30 seconds, to lift the roof off, rather than lower the legs, leaning the tent.
I went from an EZ-Up to this, and have never regretted the $$. My set-up looks a million times cleaner and more professional, and the tent is much, much sturdier.
Like Carrie, I also have a show-off. I have used this for probably 15 years: maybe even longer, as I have been doing shows for 27 years. It replaced an EZ Up. I still use my EZ Up for one day shows, as it saves about 45 minutes in set-up time.
A huge advantage with this tent is that the roof fabric (vinyl) is put on with the roof framework ON THE GROUND. Before I bought it I watched people setting up tents for over a year, and made comparisons. I have seen more people struggle to get their roof fabric over their framework, having to stretch it well over their heads, than doing any other portion of the tent set up process.
I am 5'6" (shorter than I used to be, sadly), 59 years old, and set up by myself virtually all the time. I am also strong: I started to do weight training in the last 5 years so my weekend efforts will not be too difficult for me once my season starts.
Like Carrie, inserting the legs is the most problematic juncture. Not difficult, not that heavy: just easier with help. But I seldom ask unless someone is right there or looks very friendly. Instead, I lift the horizontal frame and balance it on my waist height step stool as I insert each leg. Raising each leg I do by walking around, as described above. Unless a person has the same tent, they don't get how to push the buttons and raise the leg.
Before buying another tent, you might check out leg extensions for the EZ-Up. I'm planning on adding these this year after I buy the panel extenders for the extra display height. They look pretty easy to install, a pair of bolts on each foot and a curved grip on two sides of the coupling to keep them aligned. A small electric screwdriver with a nut driver would make quick work of putting them together. I didn't know they made these until a month or so ago when I did a search for longer legs for the EZ-Up. They have 1 ft extensions also. My panels are the 7 foot ones, and the top of the carpeted section just clears under the scissor joints (6'10"), so the 1 ft extension might be tall enough.
The only problem could be that the side tarps aren't going to go all the way down to the ground. That would take a little work with some inexpensive white tarps getting trimmed and attached to the bottom with velcro.
It is too bad that pop up tent manufacturers don't make a tent that rises to a full 8 ft with sides to match...especially since so many taller panels are in use... Haven't seen any so far..
I find it unusual that the leg extensions are sold in pairs when most tents come with 4 legs.
My first EZ-Up was taller than the current models with an eave of 7 1/2 feet. The shorter height was done to make them fit in the trunk of a car better. I still regret loaning it out to someone who didn't use enough weight to anchor it. They had to buy me a new one and the new ones were aluminum instead of steel not to mention shorter. I'm not sure why the extensions are sold in pairs instead of sets of 4. Seems odd.
My son suggested why the legs come in pairs rather than a set of four. He and his wife sell sweet corn during the summer at farmer's markets. Several vendors attach an EZ-Up to the back of their trucks and step vans with the back legs up on the bumpers and the front legs are up on paint buckets. A two foot pair would be just about right to even out the tent raised up higher like that, so only two leg extensions are needed. Kinda makes sense.
That must be some mighty wide bumpers to be able to set the tent legs on them
That is definitely your every day setup. I don't think ez-up had that sort of set up in mind when they started selling the leg extension in pairs...but it is good that people have the option to buy only two instead of four.
I also have a Trimline from Flourish Company and I've been doing shows by myself close to 20 years. I'm 64 years old and I also have lost some height but I'm about 5'6" now and I lift weights to keep my aging muscles from atrophying. Flourish Company has an outstanding website showing how to assemble their booths but they've also got a unit called the Easy Riser which helps a one person builder raise their own roof without help. Occasionally I've had nice people from shows offering to help but most the time I arrive as early as possible and just take my time building my booth. Flourish Company also sells some well made canvas sand bags for weights. These are much easier to use than cement or blocks. I've found for my peace of mind that investing in a tent like this is worth the wear and tear of worrying about inclement weather or unexpected accidents like a neighbor's booth being blown into mine. I don't understand why someone would invest in a cheap canopy like Easy Up if they have spent so much time creating their artwork which could be destroyed in seconds by an unexpected accident (which unfortunately are common on the art fair circuit). Flourish Company was created by artists who felt that the existing canopys were not adequate or easy enough to build to protect the outstanding artwork shown at art shows today. They stand behind all of their products. I've never regretted investing in our canopy. The folks at Flourish are helpful and invested in supporting artists and those purchasing their product. Call them for information, they are not interested in hard sell tactics. They are information and safety driven.
I completely agree that Flourish, without question, makes the best tent available and everyone there is as helpful as can possibly be. My Trimline is by far the Best tent I have ever owned...but is is a lot of work to put it up and completely worth the effort for most all shows.
However, I also own a Vitabri V3 pop -up tent tent I use for one-day shows and arts markets. This is easier when I have to set up early in the morning to do a show and then break down that same afternoon. I have their upper and lower sta-bars and can hang some of my work from them.