Only once or twice have I cancelled a show, due to high heat. There are other times when I wondered if I should have. In the Midwest we are in the midst of a massive heat wave. It is supposed to be 105 on set up day Friday, 99 on Saturday, but lower on Sunday, 87. I don’t know if my booth will have shade. But it is a street show, so I'm guessing there will be little shade.


I consider myself pretty experienced at staying cool, but I’m not young anymore, and in those temps who will come to purchase, anyway? I normally push right through, like it was some kind of endurance contest ("Art Fair Survivor"), but then I think, what do I really want to put myself through? I know that a weekend in broiling heat will suck the life out of me, and I will spend the next few days after, down and out, recuperating. I'm thinking of Ann Arbor last year (reading about it, I wasn't there), when the heat made so many artists sick.


Is anyone else having such thoughts?

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  • I haven't cancelled this year for heat a couple I wish I had .The patrons have had a glazed look on their faces not wanting to stop and shop for it would stop the breeze from walking to stop.In Chicago all summer came up from Fla. for a cooler summer LOL I GUESS thats not working out although I think its about to break we only had 1 100 degree day this week thats a start .My Sales we're pretty fair until the furnace kicked up a notch. I Was suppose to be off but saw weather to be only mid to upper 80's this week so doing a market in the city trying to make up for the hot weather and cold sales .Stay Hydrated everyone

  • Mother Nature has been a real bitch the last couple of years.  It stinks when you need to go for income but physically get sick.  You made the right decision.  And it's a good reminder for Artist's to look after each other - heat stroke can affect your ability to know and do the right thing!  They now make gateraid powdered packets that you can add to bottled water, easy to pack and a simple way to make sure you've got water and a sports drink.  I have to say when it is abnormally hot, people if they are their don't buy well.  So I wish Mother Nature would cut us some slack so we could do what we do best - make and sell art!

    • Heat can kill a show but the diehard collectors will still come out regardless of the weather. We once did a show in a little resort town north of Austin, Tx where the temp reached 105 in the afternoon.  The show started at 9 am and closed at 9 pm.  We had great traffic till about noon, then no traffic till around 6pm and the traffic came back.  Almost all of the artists either closed down during the afternoon or got into their cars and ran the airconditioners.  We haven't been back although we did have a good show.  Had to drive 30 miles to get something to eat after the 9 pm close.

      • We did the Royal Oak Art in the Park a couple of weeks ago.  The heat was over 105 and even though we were under a tree it was brutal.  My neighbor had a large canister with a hose and mister that she would mist us all with from time to time.  It felt fabulous and along with an icy towel around my neck and gallons of water we manage to survive the day.   Despite the heat, we did very well in sales.  But by the time I got home at night I was exhausted.  We did two days like that and took another three to recover.  I sure hope next summer isn't as hot.  But I have to give two thumbs up to the show itself.

        • I decided with the economy and my personal talent crisis, to take a year off. For once my timing was good. OMG! How brutal the heat has been in the midwest, mideast! Last year I did one show that was officially in the high nineties, but the tents blocked any breeze and it was in the 100's by noon. The only way I made it was to emply a plastic bin and put ice and water to stand in! I also had ice in a bandana wrapped around my head ( I love Lucy style). Yes I did have tables with long skirts so the customers couldn't see the bin. My hat is off to everyone who stuck it out this brutal year. I'm going to redo my stuff and start again next season.

  • I did an outdoor show on June 30th in Virginia Beach - on hot asphalt in 105 temp (with the heat index of 115). The only reason I showed up was because I'm local and it was only a 6 hour show. I spent most of the time with a cloth that had been dipped in ice water wrapped around my neck. It was brutal. 

    Last year at the Steel Pier show in Virginia Beach we had three days like this. I came home every night totally wiped out and sick - and sales were way down because people don't come when it's that hot. 

    These are very hard decisions to make..... artists are tough people - we endure a lot -- but sometimes we need to cut ourselves a break.

  • Its better to have explained your health and cancelled than collapse or get sick on the day.  

    I did one show a few years back and it was over 110F by 1pm.  Although we were all under cover (a large tin shed!) which stopped the direct sun, it also stopped any breeze and we were all suffering in the oven-like air.  People came out early and shopped quickly before returning to their a/c cars/homes.   There was no-one around by the end of show and everyone packed up as fast as they could to get out of there.   I spent the next 2 hours in a nearby pub with blessed a/c and drank so many cold drinks I lost count.  My husband told me it had taken almost the whole 2 hours for my face colour to return to normal from beetroot red!     Thankfully the show has never been that hot again.

  • Show has been cancelled. I was considering asking them to just come on Sunday, but decided to just check it all off. If I showed on Sunday, I would still have to drive down there Saturday, and my van’s a.c. can not keep up with this heat. I spent all of a minute on the phone with the co-director, he sounded so depressed. Of course, he HAS to be out there for set up this afternoon, at 103 temps, and tomorrow. I felt guilty, I explained that I’m too old to take the heat.


    That might be a simplification, but not by much. I don’t consider myself that “old”, normally, and work to stay in shape; but I’ve had health issues, and I know I don’t bounce back that well. I handle day to day life fine, and the average show, but my reserves are just not there. Last year, at a show I should have cancelled (upper 90’s, high humidity), I was supposed to drive the 3 hours back home, but could barely drive back to the hotel where I’d stayed the night before, and hope they had a room.  Then I spent the next 2 days as a zombie on the sofa with the cat.


    I wished them all luck and hoped no one would get sick.

  • These summer heat waves will have big-time implications for the outdoor fair business sooner or later.  Florida is turning into a three-and-a-half month industry (Jan-mid April).  Darned few of us can make enough money in 3.5 months to sit on our duffs the rest of the year. 

    I am leaving in about 2 hours for a 2.5 week visit to Jersey coast, flying back to Fla. to restock for 2 weeks, then flying back up to DE and VA for most of the rest of the summer (with another quick flight home in there, somewhere).  I'm staying in VA tTidewater area as late as I can afford to, probably won't be back in FL until the last week in October (to lead a week-long workshop). 

    I wish everyone cool, cloudy days (by summer standards).  I don't know what happened to those 78 degree, overcast days I remember from being a kid in Philadelphia. Maybe there were fewer of them than I seem to remember!

    • Geoff - What shows are you doing this summer?

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