Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Hi there - I am going to be doing my first festivals/booths this summer and have been doing research on tents and finding it rather daunting. Obviously, I would love a trimline or showoff tent, but being on a budget, I am wondering if there is a happy medium between the high end tents, but not the $200 that will leak and need to be replaced after 1 season in gusty Colorado winds. From what I can tell, there are no "waterproof" or vinyl topped tents for sale under a base price of $900. And none of the mid-range "professional" grade tents with 500-600 denier polyester claim to be waterproof and even say on their FAQs to take them down immediately in rain... Being in Colorado, a nasty thunderstorm with heavy wind, rain and hail can sneak up on you with little to no warning. And I don't want to have my artwork destroyed. So, while these mid-range tents can't claim to be weatherproof, can anyone give me firsthand info on using them in less than ideal weather conditions? Any recommendations? What about sealers?
Thanks in advance for your help!!
This will only be my second year showing, but I have had good luck so far with my EZ up tent package. I have it paired with the Flourish mesh walls, so I also have the stabilizer bars. That, along with tent weights have served me well so far; but have only had one storm to weather. However, my tent did not leak!
Like you, I was overwhelmed by the options and not sure how much I wanted to invest up front. I wasn't sure how many shows I might end up doing or wanting to do; so for me, this was a good option.
If you think you might want to continue showing on a regular basis and do a lot of shows each year, then you might want to invest in something more high-end. And, should you change your mind, there seems to be great demand for used equipment, so you can at least re-coop some of your investment. For that matter, maybe you could buy a higher quality set-up used!
I am also a Colorado artist and was concerned about protecting my leather inventory with my tent. Three things you have to consider when exhibiting in Colorado mountain areas are: sustained winds of up to 40 mph, stronger gusts, and micro bursts; heavy but short lived rains; hail; and sometimes snow and ice. All of the moisture can be heavy and strain the fabric and frame of a tent. I had my tent custom made by Davis Tent and Awning in Denver in 1995. They are just west of the mousetrap. This one had canopy made from tan striped RV vinyl awning material and it is still in use (5-6 shows per summer). The frame is 1" steel conduit with steel connectors. I had an all white vinyl canopy made in 2010 and it is still in use. I use three five gallon water buckets and four 45 pound PVC pipe weights. Inventory on pegboard 4' high pegboard walls on three sides adds extra weight. The tent in total has withstood a micro burst that took down a large music tent and at one show I bailed 50 gallons of water off the roof (that bent a 1" conduit ridge pole but the tent stayed up and there was no fabric damage or serious leaking). The only problem I have had with the tent(s) in 24 years use has been leakage along the top side seams (needle holes). I have remedied this with clear silicone. I paid $1,126 for the first tent and $807 for the later white canopy. That is more expensive than commercial tents, but at shows I am still dry and standing. Over the long haul the investment was worth it.
It looks like you are getting good advice for your tent in Colorado weather. I see that you are from Arvada - so I wanted to reach out to you just in case you don't have your setup yet. I don't have a tent, but I do have the rest of the art show setup equipment for sale (I'm in Boulder) - 10x10' flourish black walls with 3 extra wings for maximum configuration possibilities, folding tables 4' or 6', folding padded chair, about 38 plexiglass slanted 30" shelves that hang on the flourish walls for prints or art, hanging clips, hanging metal strips, lights, and two large professional metal art bins. Call or text if interested. Brooke - 303-931-7404
I highly recommend Abccanopy for a well made waterproof tent. The frame is unusually sturdy (way better than the flimsy EZUp frames) and the design makes it easy for one person to put it up. I went through a few intense rain storms last year and the year before and came through with no leaks whatsoever. The price seems too good to be true, but if you're looking for an economical option that is tried and true, I'd go with Abccanopy. Same price either through their site or Amazon. Also comes with weight bags and a durable rolling bag. There are three solid sides, a side with a central zip door, and a full screen side.
Can confirm the quality of Abccanopy! I used this last year and it withstood quite a bit of rain!
Windows have a fully waterproof might come canopy for sale for $800 with awnings and stabilizers a a clear from wall. Giles Bowers 9126633300.
I have a fully waterproof Light dome canopy with 2 awnings, stabilizers, and clear front wall for $800. It has been used only 6 times. Giles Bowers 912 663 3300 email@example.com