This one was new first show for HAE in downtown Melbourne.
This is one month earlier than the long established festival which had been downtown for years which is now moving to a local park away from downtown.
HAE had 150 booths setup in quads down New Haven, the Main Street downtown.
Everybody had one great outside wall to display on. The other opposite side was not jammed up against your neighbor. You had room to store or hang there,nice.
There was room for rear storage if you worked with your rear neighbor.
Overall,the show had strong exhibitors, not many lightweights here.
Well, now onto the show.
This was my first Howard Alan Art show I have ever done in my 42 years out there. I have been there longer than Howard, but he has made much more money.
I roomed with little brother Stevie Vaughn. He is an old pro at doing HAE shows .
I did exactly the same as he did for setup. We were asleep by 9pm, snores aplenty.
We woke up at the horrid 2:30 am time and drove downtown. We unloaded and were asleep in the vans again by 3:30am.
Love being schronched around the steering wheel in some improbable spinal position that resembles a twisted pretzel on acid.
I awoke at 6am and wandered to my booth, totally attended by the sounds of cascading Trimline parts bouncing on the pavement.
We all should band ourselves together and let conductor Don Nedobeck lead us in an entrancing symphony of synchronized falling Lightdome parts counter balanced by bouncing Trimline parts. The public would flock to it, and we could go on tour and make as much as the Rolling Stones.
Ok. Reality check.
It never rained once the whole weekend.
Nobody's dog peed in the corner of my booth.
Nobody tried to show me their photos.
The people were very nice, what few of them there were.
Saturday I made $245 and I was the high man in my quad. I even beat Vaughn.
A few did $1K or better for the day.
Sunday morn, did my early bird routine. Got eggs and hash, got the NY Tines, got positions "A".
The place across from me, a Wonderful Parisian cafe, let me in an hour earlier than advertised. Had great coffee, killed two hours reading NY about the Donald. Sad!
The show opened to a thunderous lull, and stayed that way most of the day.
I judge patronage at art shows by how many cinder blocks I could roll out of my booth and hit nobody. For example at Fort Worth I would not even try to roll a pebble. At Melbourne, I could have easily rolled three cinders and hit nobody. I made $520 more on Sunday. At tear down
The train charged thru at 5:57 and I was in and out by 6:27'. Ellen saved supper for me, it was the highlight of my day, besides the bike maneuvers.
Now, let me talk seriously about why this show did not work this year.
First off, Howard did his professional advertising. They were in the papers, on posters in shop windows, TV, and the Internet.
Still, the turnout was disappointing.
Very few Good Shoes Patrons.
There was a big event in the same place as us last weekend on Saint Paddys day. Beer and food,no art.
When I drove around the area I saw lots of out of biz retail and restaurants and bars.
This area has still not rebounded from the 2008 recession.
This is still a serious Bible-belt down. They ain't all surfers and smoking pot.
They like beachy dreck art and it better be related to there, not Cocoa Beach or anywhere else.
You still have the other longer established show going on, although in a new remote location, I wish them well, but I see a similar scenario to what has happened with the Cocoa Beach Spacecoast show. Not good. The area cannot support two shows this short in time. Something will give.
Howard long timers who have done his shows for years, do not forget I am a newbie, tell me a lot of times a new, first time show, like this, fail. Takes time to build.
So next year, if you got $400 to spend, and hang out on the beach, give it a try. I cannot guarantee you will succeed.
Me, I might give it another try.
Three in the morning setups go against my inherent religion.