Yikes! The Boardwalk Art Show in Virginia Beach, which started today, closed early because of incoming storms. I just checked their website and they are listing the space #'s where there is damage to tents. I'm sure anyone at the show is on top of this, but just in case, click here for the latest information: http://virginiamoca.org/artist-updates-after-storm

This show is doing a great job of communicating and taking safety seriously.

We all send our best wishes to all the artists at this big show this weekend.

In another thread Suzanne Ens reported that her tent had completely blown away. http://www.artfairinsiders.com/forum/topics/tips-for-boardwalk-art-show-please?id=2160589%3ATopic%3A406877&page=3#comments

You need to be a member of Art Fair Insiders to add comments!

Join Art Fair Insiders

Votes: 0
Email me when people reply –


  • Carrie is a great neighbor to have at an art show.  Very positive and helpful.  And her paitings are pretty cool too.  Everything she said was pretty much true for me as well.  No sales on Thursday or Friday but I did well on Saturday and Sunday.  For me the show was down from last year.  The weather was hotter this year and there were a lot more beachgoers instead of art buyers.  From a baking hot setup to wind and rain, this is definitely not a show for sissies.  I feel fortunate to have survived unscathed (but tired) and with a little money in my pocket.

    I would love to hear from someone whose tent remained standing in one of the wind tunnels between buildings.  I'm not sure any amount of weight would have helped.

  • What a roller coaster of a show!

    Thanks in large part to advice from folks here at AFI, I brought all my weights and also stopped at a hardware store on the way to the show and bought two big buckets, which I filled with sand, and attached to the tent. 

    My tent - a Showoff - held up during the storm, and during the heavy winds on Friday and Sunday. 

    I did well at the show financially, but the stress of the event was far beyond anything I have experienced. Part of the stress came from the fact that I ran into a curb/island and trash can in a parking lot Sunday morning, bashed the side of my nearly new van and blew a tire. Sigh. 

    I have to say that the organizers of this show did a great job communicating, all the way along. This is a big show with plenty of built-in difficulties, and they seemed to be prepared and ready.

    For any of you unfamiliar with it, the show is held on the Boardwalk at Virginia Beach. It is a wide, concrete path that faces the beach and ocean to the east, and lawns and hotels (mostly) to the west. A heavy three-railed fence lines the eastern edge of the boardwalk, and benches and gardens line the western edge.

    You reach the boardwalk primarily via short, alley-like roads, more like driveways, between hotels.

    The organizers - the Museum of Contemporary Art - work with police and others to allow artists to drive onto the boardwalk in shifts, and unload for 40 minutes at their site. The drive-on program is a huge help, though of course 40 mins is not enough. There was a plan to drive on for load-out, but it looked messy and I was prepared to dolly all my stuff out. Very pleasant police officers, however, invited me to drive up to my tent, and dealt with all the people on the boardwalk to make that possible. 

    I was helped immeasurably throughout the show by Alison Thomas, who was my neighbor at the show, and who I met via AFI. (Check out her work - it's fabulous). She offered to share a hotel room with me, and helped me with parking, too. She texted me after the storm, telling me that our tents were safe. And she was just a great neighbor and companion during this long and difficult event. 

    So. The organizers knew the storm was coming, and kept us informed for the entire day. They came around shortly after the show opened to tell us about the decision to close early, and gave us permission/suggestions that we take our stuff down as early as we felt we should.

    My husband, at home, kept an eye on the weather, and at one point, told me to get my stuff down earlier than I had been planning on. Alison and I took his suggestions to heart, and were glad we did.

    The organizers distributed little newsletters daily, giving us important info, and also emailed us the info via Zapp. I was impressed. 

    The wind continued to blow on Friday, and it rained, too. Buyers came out - but not in droves. Saturday, the weather was beautiful, but my sales were very slow. It was a day to go to the beach with kids and dogs, and look at art. The people at the beach that day were not buyers, at least not of my stuff. 

    Sunday, the wind was so strong that I really thought my tent might go over. I have large paintings, and they (along with the smaller ones) flapped and slapped against my mesh panels so hard that I took everything down, moved the large paintings to several inches from the ground (man, did that look odd), and packed at least five away. Two big sales on Sunday, late in the day, made my show. 

    So there were ups and there were downs. It was a good, good show for me in terms of money - but it took a whole lot out of me. 

  • Although for people in our business the big thought this weekend about the Boardwalk was about the storms, the local media didn't even seem to notice it. Here is a quick video from Virginia Beach.

    Boardwalk Arts Festival graces the VB oceanfront

  • I wouldn't say we were caught off guard.  We were well notified by the show starting from early morning.    Not once in 11 years have I taken my work out at night.  I did last night mostly because of warnings from the show.  There was no warning from the sky but there was plenty of warning from the show and from radar.

    • So, how did it go today, Alison? Things relatively back to normal or were there some big holes in the show? The weather looked very nice. Good attendance?

      • The weather still didn't cooperate much, rain, then wind, then sun, then rain again.  There was a good sized crowd that didn't seem to be buying much.  I'm hoping the real crowd comes today and tomorrow.  On my trip to the artists party at 30th St. it looks like most artists set up by either getting a rental tent or picking up an EZUp.  I saw a few blank spaces through.

  • I think what caught them off-guard was that the day was beautiful and sunny.  The storm came up really quickly and started with very high winds.  Almost no warning of the change in weather.  No dark clouds or rain, just a sudden high wind.  I live about 12 miles inland and was about to head to the store when I heard the wind suddenly roaring.  It had been nice and sunny just a minute before. 

    I was sorry I couldn't be there to help today, but had a couple appointments.  I did put word out last night to a bunch of local artists, hinting that some visitors may need help with tents today. 

  • I heard about all those storms hitting the east coast.  They looked pretty rough.

This reply was deleted.