The Art review site has no submit button, so I'm posting this here for other artists. 

I have attached a few images of work that DID sell so you can get a feel for my genre.

The short of it is that I went to the Mystic Outdoor Art festival this past weekend on the basis of good (but old) reviews.  As we all know festivals change.  Some grow, become established and get better.  Other merely grow too big, too arrogant or too greedy and start the vicious cycle downward to glorified flea market.

The Mystic Outdoor Arts Festival has not been growing better since the last reviews were posted.  I had a miserable festival - and it was NOT due to factors beyond the organizer's control.  All things they could have done ... honestly... instead of unethically and it would have been the difference between losing money on expenses and making enough a little nut to consider going back.

The artists near me were experiencing the same lackluster to miserable fair.  Their friends (all experienced art festival exhibitors) were also experiencing a lackluster festival, even in good locations.

However the organizers have started selling full priced booths that are not only "less good" festival locations - they are completely outside the festival and separate from it and receive NONE of the paid-for festival services.  Inside the festival - reports of a lackluster disorganizes fair.  Full priced booths OUTSIDE the Festival - dismal sales and a general sense that we were defrauded.

And did I mention dangerous?  Someone was nearly killed setting up and I saw a lot of near misses throughout the weekend.  This was due to zero spending or attempt to control traffic during set up and take down windows and placement of booths ON THE STREET, OUTSIDE the festival zone - in areas where traffic was moving at high speed just inches away from the backs of tents.

More on my blog, here:

imagining a meadow.JPG

opal beach.JPG

vivid beach2.JPG

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  • My wife and i were at the Mystic Art Festival, not with a booth but just visiting it since we were in New London all week. The local newspaper had an article about one of the festival staff being hit by a car around 7am Saturday. when we got to the fair I could understand why. I found it amazing that cars drove down the street just inches behind the tents and wondered why those streets were not closed for the fair...
    The tents were set up facing the buildings with just a few feet of narrow sidewalk for people to walk by...and when someone would stop it would cause an instant blockage that made walking past them difficult.
    I noticed that some of the side streets were closed off and they were set up as a fair should be with booths facing each other and space in between.
    It also seemed like a lot of booths that were not part of the fair were set up in open spaces of businesses and churches to sell their stuff...with no regard for show rules or quality. This gave it a flea market feel.
    A vast majority of the booths were 2d..painting and photography...maybe 80%+ and this sure makes for a lot of competition if you are a painter or photographer
    Many booths did not have weights for their tents...strange...very strange for a location near the water by an old whaling port.
    I have no idea how good or bad sales were for people there...but i didn't see a lot of packages being carried around...and I did notice a lot of artists with sad looking faces.
    • I can understand that competition in a category can hurt sales.  A lot of factors can hurt sales.  Most of the festivals I've exhibited at make every attempt to at least deliver a booth at the festival.  These guys were selling full priced festival booths in areas that were outside the understood boundaries of the festival.  It was fraud, and they knew EXACTLY what they were doing (the staff didn't think the booths were part of the festival either - but they sold us the spaces, juried for a fee and at full price).

      They even send a weird little map to the people in fake spaces that only showed around 1/2 block of Mystic so we couldn't figure out where the festival really was (far far away).

      Saturday was the busier day - I had tour bus ladies blocking the bench blocking my "space", which was too small to set up a tent along the sidewalk (fence on one side, tree on the other, bench blocking 1/3 of my booth entrance - a huge disadvantage).  Sunday I broke their long list of rules and put stuff on the bench and made a little money.

      I can extrapolate what I might have made if I were treated fairly and honestly instead of defrauded.  It could have been a pretty good festival for me - one I'd return to.  Even if I'd been in a "bad location" somewhere on the end of the actual festival, I would have made $1-2 K.  But I was defrauded and placed blocks beyond the edge of the festival, beyond the blocked off side streets, the lots, the parking, the facilities and way way beyond the staff areas that usually mark out the edges of a festival.  And it was dismal. 

      I want my money back and I'll be sending letters, photos, and evidence to whatever state and Federal Law Enforcement agencies protect businesses and consumers from fraud.  Because this was EXACTLY fraudulent misrepresentation of a good or service.

      • Thanks for posting. I'm sorry this happened to you. I tried CT first time with the Guildford Craft Expo in July. I saw some 2-d there in quick passing. I was happy with that show, eventually I will post on it. Maybe look at Guildford for next year?

  • (Honest, ArtShowReviews site does have a submit button. I get this message now and then ... if you don't see it, please refresh  your browser, close it out, reboot. So sorry. It seems to disappear for some folks, but I always find it, and I'm not special. Thanks for giving it another try, plus adding your info here, appreciated by many.)

    • Thanks - I did refresh, but maybe I need to restart the browser.

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