I am excited that Melanie Rolfes had such a great show. And wrote such a great review.
She is a really good writer who gives great Insights and I was so happy to meet her.
She is a pistol. We had a lot of laughs.
I was worried about how she would do at this show with her color abstract paintings. Obviously, she blew them away and went home with a lot of moola.
I felt I should write from another point of view--the artist who needs a lot of customers to make a good show.
That said, let me give you my five cents worth, and then those of you who have thought about doing this show will have two balanced perspectives to judge whether it is worth your time and money.
First, let us talk about the time involved doing Bayou.
It is a typical two day show with a prior day setup and you can set up early on the morn of the show.
For most of us, unless you live in Texas, this is a one to two day trip to get there, or go home.
I was coming off Louisville. And it was still a long one and a half day drive. I broke it up, being a photographer, and stopped in Mississippi and Austin. The bottom line is that you are going to spend nearly a week on the road. Consider that, is it worth it? Oh, it is an expensive show to do.
Now we will talk about expenses.
You have a single booth show fee of over $500, multiply by two for a double booth.
Hotels near the show are $100-plus. Gas, food, parking, good booze drinks, with a single booth you are looking at a minemum of $1500 to do this show. If you can't make at least $3500 here, it is not worth doing.
You good do local shows on successive weekends and be better off. Just saying.
Next, Houston is a bitch of a town to drive around in. Miss an important exit Nd you could be in south Mongolia.
I stayed at a Red Roof Inn thirty minutes northwest of downtown, it was in the $60 range which saved me $40 from staying downtown--hey, it covered my tequila bill.
What I am saying, if you are a newbie, you will probably want to stay downtown, but it costs and you still have to pay for parking. Plus the restaurant scene around the show sucks.
Reason is, Houston is a commuter town and on weekends most places close. The neighborhoods have great restaurants like the Montrose district.
The hotels where the artists stay have adequate food (nothing to do a Tequila Report about).
Now, I will talk about the show itself.
If you can do what I am about to tell you it will make your Friday setup go so much smoother.
The show wants everybody to lineup in parking lot H and come in assigned order. Trouble is you will have to wait til 9 pm before first vans come in. They give you a limited time to unload and then go park your van and then go setup and stock. Good luck with that.
Here is the easy secret.
Since you know where your booth will be(the spaces are already marked) drop off you booth and tarps during the day. Put them behind the curb off the street. Go park somewhere, then come back and setup the basic booth off the street on the grass. Rental booths are already up like this. Then when they close off the streets around 7:30 drag your booth over the curb and unto the street. You now are an easy hour ahead, and only have to stock it. I did it, others did it. Easy peasy.
The show started slow on Saturday morn for me. It went slow all day. I barely sold $500.
Sunday was not much better.
Very conservative crowd, not much into avante garde or cutting edge.
I will not be back, not worth the time for me.
If you have high ticket items you could do well. If you need quantity, it is not a good gamble for a lot of us.
Overall, many artists were disappointed.
The knives guy next to me did very well. The painter next to me, who did safe images of flowers did very well. A noted mixed media artist who does iconic images died. He barely made $300 the whole show.
Personally, I think their booth fee is not worth it. Coupled with high travel expenses, this show is a big risk to do if you are traveling great distances.
You now have two personnel experiences from both Melanie and me, hope it will help you in the future. Might do a Tequila Report about a great place in Memphis.
BTW my birthday is this Tuesday. Do not spend a lot on presents for me, a simple Golden Margarita will do nicely.