Patrons are wearing giant hats shaped like beer steins with a head of foam on top.

There are more artists than patrons.

The Kettle Corn guy is losing money.

An artist's kid sets up his violin case on the ground, plays badly, and makes more money than you.

Add the ones you've seen :-)

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  • My very first show, the kid with the violin set up right in front of me.  He didn't make more than I did, but he did make the customers flee.  No one came close to that area until he quit.

    Later that year, I got heat stroke and starting throwing up on customers 15 minutes after the show opened.  The $13 I made that day did not pay for the trip to the emergency room.

  • You're doing a well-established and well-attended show, and most of your neighbor vendors are first timers. (Review of BBC Block Association Ye Olde Faire to follow!)

  • Where there is a used car for sale mixed in with the tents

  • I did a show once where the entertainment was a contortionist who stuffed himself into a 24" x 24" x 24" plexiglass cube. He did this right in front of my booth. I kind of lost my lunch and complained loudly. I heard that the show committee talked about me for years after.

    • It would have been funny to get a couple of people to pick up the plexiglass cube and place it on your dolly and move the guy away to somewhere else :-)

  • You know you are at a bad show when you get to the town that you have never been to, you don't have a map, and it doesn't look like there is anything going on there at all, AND, when you pull into a gas station to ask directions, they have no idea where you are going or what you are talking about.

    I've had the experience of the violin case on the ground making more money than me. In this case, the girl was the niece of the show director and does it every year.

    • I was at a show about 8 years ago or so where a guy with a guitar and a small battery operated amplifier set up on the sidewalk behind us. There was an opening to a store front between my booth and the adjacent tent, and the guy used the space. He drew crowds but not much money, and he was affecting our customers as well. The guy next to me suggested we pay the guy $20 each to get him to move. I agreed and we got rid of the guy. Only time I ever paid like that but it was worth it to get him out of there.

  • This did not happen to me, but we were sharing war stories at a bad show last year. My friend told me about a time that she was outsold BADLY by two ladies selling three cotton balls in a baby food jar. I said how on earth? She said it was labled Snow Man Poop! And the ladies couldn't keep up with the demand! This was a Christmas show....

    • This has definitely been around since I was a kid (15-20 years ago), and it was being sold at the seasonal craft fairs in my small town. I think people use them for stocking stuffers to give to the kids.

    • OH NO! Great story . . . . Uch, just had to Google this, and evidently it's a "thing" . . . how discouraging. (And one more example of why I won't use etsy!):

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