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Really, I don't want to sound like a whiner...this is just in hopes people will be a little more considerate...

I was recently in a show with a lovely set up - although the artists were requested to have all of their merchandise INSIDE their tent, we did have room for our chairs either in the middle of the street or on the sidewalk [depending on booth location].

Our neighbors had the same amount of space. However, the artist[s] showing next to us had their entire family - parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, etc. visiting the entire show. At one point, there were nearly 30 people! They were eating, drinking [alcohol], smoking, talking, playing music - having a party on the sidewalk. They decided to sit in our chairs, throw their trash in our boxes [our backstock was in them], They blocked the way for our customers to get to or into our tent. They were loud and inconsiderate. Little children running around and babies crying are not conducive to conducting business.

I'm sure they had a lovely time, but this was our "temporary" place of business. We did try to speak to them about it, but it was the artist's first show, and the family was there for support. At one point, I wanted to sit down, but an aunt told me I could not sit in my own chair!

I know most of you would never do this - here's hoping newbies will be more thoughtful of the space we rent... thanks for letting me vent!

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This is the time to talk to the show promoter or whoever is in charge or even the police if the people are loud and inconsiderate because they are drunk. It is not acceptable behavior. There are people out there that I refer to as "steamroller people". They will take advantage until someone says stop and "please stop" doesn't work. I try to be nice most of the time but there are times to be not nice.
Sorry it happened to you but you should have been more forceful in how you handled it. I would have taken my neighbor aside and explained that we do this for a living and your friends and family are preventing us from earning a living. Once explained, it's not difficult for them to see that they have to move the party away from the booth.

Some of my worst neighbors have been clueless friends (I like that quote). This has happened to me more than once. My neighbor adds an extra panel in front of his booth on the side angled 45 degrees towards the middle of his booth. For anyone to see what's on it they have to stand in front of my booth blocking my work. To counter, I add an extra panel straight out in front of my booth. My clueless neighbor complains to me that there's no room for people to stand and see what's on his panel. Because he still doesn't get it, my response is to say that we both should take the extra panels down.

Larry Berman
Digital Jury Services
I guess I should mention this - the promoter never came by nor did I know if they even had a presence at the show.
Could you mention the show/promoter? I'm astonished they wouldn't police this on their own, but if they weren't on site I'd have worn my fingers to the nub dialing them until the miscreants were removed from the show.
Your neighbor was rude and inconsiderate. Big time!

To them it was a day out. But to you it was your business. Don't let that happen to you again! Be forceful. At first, ask them not to block your booth. If that doesn't work, say it a little louder. Let them know in no uncertain terms they are costing you money. It's not always wrong to be the bad guy once in a while.

And next time bring along a CD player. And turn it up. That works wonders, I guarantee it. I know from experience.

And I completely agree with Geoff. What was the show? Nobody's going to blackball you if you tell us.

And as far as the chair, Diane would have just looked her straight in the eye and said "Excuse me? This is MY chair!" I guarantee Aunt Fanny would have moved.

Oh, and by the way, we had 4 inches of snow last night. We're doing a show in Burlington, VT this weekend and they got 15 inches.
I agree with all here. There are ways to be forceful, yet remain charming. I've had similar situations, but I can't recall any that were that bad. I believe your situation, dealing with drunks, may not have been solved with any amount of charm. I have learned to always put the phone number of the promoter in my cell phone. Many times I will also put the second in charge as well as they can be hard to locate at the immediate time you need them. Also good to remember is nip it in the bud early. Rarely will any amount of patience, hoping "they" will get a clue and get better actually happen. Sorry this event was so difficult. Wishing you better, considerate neighbors the rest of the year :D
As a show director, I want to know if someone is hindering your ability to do what you came to do: SELL ART. When I make the rounds, I ask each artist how it's going, and when they have an issue, I deal with it immediately. One artist last year had a part of his display set up outside of his booth on the sidewalk, leaving little room for patrons to move about. He moved it inside when asked. On very rare occasions when an artist will argue, I give them a choice: comply or leave. No one has ever left.

Always get the show director's number before you arrive. When you check in, always ask where the person in charge will be situated if you don't already know. Don't be afraid to speak up, be firm, but please be nice about it. No one wants to be confronted with an angry diatribe. Most issues can be resolved between the artists themselves, but if that doesn't work, by all means, talk to the director. That's why we're there. If that doesn't work, you may have to make a choice: hope it will be better next time, try contacting the host with your concerns, or don't do the show again.
I hate when that happens. It's bad enough when two groups of friends meet each other in front of my booth and stop and have a long conversation. They, usually have strollers and kids, etc. I always tell them to move. It's even worse when it is your neighbor because they should know better. It doesn't matter if it's their first show or their thousandth. This is a business and we are renting our space, which to me includes the space directly in front of my booth so that my viewers should stand in my airspace and my neighbors customers should occupy their airspace. I am always courteous and aware of my neighbor and I expect them to be respectful of me. I even hate it when my neighbor hangs their 2D work on the outside of booth, so that their customers end up standing in my space to look at their work. I have no qualms about telling them that in my opinion only amateurs hang their work on the outside of their booth. Usually most people comply, but, when they don't, I explain to my artist neighbor that they should be ready to pay for anything that their customers break while backing into my pedestals. 99% of the time I get along famously with my neighbor and we have a great time together. We always watch out for each other in case of theft or any kind of mischief that may occur on the street.

A couple of years ago, at the Uptown Art Fair, in Minneapolis, I was next to a painter who had hundreds of paintings in all sizes. His thing was to frame them in old wood in a kind of rustic manor. The booths were 12' or 15' wide so there was plenty of space between us. He had his paintings on the inside, on the outside, on the back of his booth. He even laid them on the ground behind his booth. The first day he was quite civil, even though the work was ghastly, but, eventually he encroached on my space. I took a bio break and when I came back he had paintings up against my boxes, my walls, my chair and everywhere he could. I, of course, made him remove his stuff but it didn't stop him. I ended up complaining to the committee chair more than once and they spoke to him about moving his stuff, which he did. However, slowly he would test the boundary again and again. Eventually, the committee looked at me like I was a troublemaker for complaining too much. Apparently, he was well known in the Minneapolis area because it seemed like they all knew him. At the end of the show, artists came up to me and told me that they felt sorry for me, being next to that guy. I never had that happen before.
oh my goodness! You sure had a family affair going on there in a business setting. So next time, speak up like everyone else is saying. Newbee can get family picnic support in her canopy or behind it. That was just rude of them to interfere with your business or even the artist on the other side, if there was another. And smokers I shoeeee away! Bad for me, bad for art and bad for business.
I had a telephone inquiry last week from an artist wanting to know, before he applied, if our art fair permitted smoking. I answered that smoking is not permitted on the grounds. His reply was hilarious. "D*amn fascists are everywhere!"

Pauline Ross said:
oh my goodness! You sure had a family affair going on there in a business setting. So next time, speak up like everyone else is saying. Newbee can get family picnic support in her canopy or behind it. That was just rude of them to interfere with your business or even the artist on the other side, if there was another. And smokers I shoeeee away! Bad for me, bad for art and bad for business.


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