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Holding Down the Booth - episode 1, on the grass

Safety at the shows for ourselves, our work and our displays is paramount. This is part one of my project, Holding Down the Booth, photos from various art fairs. 

1. The basic:

2. The stake:

3. The ubiquitous pvc filled with concrete:

4. Two choices, not sure what that is on the left, but how did they fasten that concrete block to the tent?

5. The tractor weight, hooked to a bungee?

6. Serious about PVC!

7. Big tent, making sure with backup:

Any pros or cons about any of these systems? What do you use?

Views: 2410

Comment by Greg Little on March 7, 2015 at 1:59pm
Bungee cords to hold weights doesn't seem secure enough for my personal taste. I've popped a few bungee cords over the years on other uses and wouldn't use them on my tent. I use dumbell weights set on end with a 3/8' eye bolt threaded into the end. I secure these with 3/8" rope ratchets and secure the dumbells to the tent legs with web straps.
Comment by Richard L. Sherer on March 7, 2015 at 9:50pm

"Tie out" and similar stakes that screw into the ground are often prohibited because the park etc. has underground sprinkler systems and they don't want their pipes penetrated by the stake. 

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on March 7, 2015 at 9:53pm

A local show now does not want artists to use water or sand filled containers. I have no idea for this reasoning but I will have to make some PVC weights. I have used 5 gallon covered buckets of water for over 20 years.

Comment by Ginny Herzog on March 7, 2015 at 10:58pm
Connie – if the bottom photo is of the Eaton Stack On canopy weights, I have been using these for nearly 20 years. They work well on both grass and hard surfaces. Of all the other options are as shown, they would be the quickest to use. Love mine!
Comment by Camryn Forrest on March 7, 2015 at 11:50pm

We use pvc pipe filled with concrete - and before adding the cement, we screwed handles on the sides of the pvc. It's great for two reasons: 1, you can use the handles to help carry the heavy pipe pieces safely, and 2, you can weave white rope through the handles to hold the pipe where you want it, so it's not swinging about.
Next show, I'll try to take photos.

Comment by Camryn Forrest on March 7, 2015 at 11:58pm

found one photo showing the handles at least ... we used SUPER long screws for the handles, and of course placed them before filling pvc with cement, so that the cement is holding the screws in place.

Comment by Kathleen Eaton on March 8, 2015 at 12:56pm

The same company that now sells the Eaton  stackable weights has come out with a new design that is less expensive and is somewhat similar to the PVC weights but less bulky and heavier. They are called the 'Ingot' also be seen at

Comment by Camryn Forrest on March 8, 2015 at 4:25pm

As some folks have mentioned, you get more use of the weight when it is NOT resting on the ground, but is hanging and pulling on the tent that way.

Comment by Greg Little on March 8, 2015 at 4:37pm
I hang my weights suspended from the top corners but also fasten them near the bottom so they won't sway around but ...theey can also be on the inside at night and out of the way of intefering with zippin' up the tent sides.
Comment by Gayle Knapp on March 9, 2015 at 9:12am

I make my own PVC/concrete weights. Since I have to carry them I make each at 25-30 lbs and have two per leg for shows that require 50+ lb/leg and for times of high wind conditions. If the weather is balmy I might place only one/leg. I suspend the weights from the top corners of the booth with them just touching the ground and held in place by either heavy-duty velcro straps (preferred) or bungees (not trusted reliably). I use clothesline (uncoated rope) that is tied at the eye-screw set in the concrete. I loop the line over the top "rafter" of the leg and use a carabiner to hook into the eye-screw. Length of the rope is adjusted via a secure sliding knot.

I can readily see why shows are starting to forbid water and sand as weights. I've observed vendors simply dumping out the water or sand onto the grass next to their canopy. This creates a mess (sand or mud) AND can kill the grass as well as create a hazard for pedestrians (visitors or other vendors).


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