Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Melbourne Art Festival—Winner,winner chicken dinner...for most

I decided to go bold again, like the old days. (Talking type style)

This show was last weekend, it is held at a county park about 10 miles north of downtown Melbourne.

It used to be right downtown until they moved to this park.

Frankly the old location was far better, it brought a better class of patrons, a lot of them from the beach.

But it is now going to be here at the park.  They squeezed 200 plus booths around a lake.  It is a pretty setting with nice grass and trees. It is a long walk for patrons plus they have to park a ways from the show.

In spite of that, they came in copious numbers and bought, and bought all day long on Saturday.

Sunday, a heavy storm dumped tons of water on our canopy’s around 1pm.

It lasted almost an hour, and drove the crowd away, many did not return after the storm ended around 2pm.

The storm also created streams and lakes that flooded many booths.

Still, most artists had killer sales at the show. I was not one of them.

Let me tell you about demographics of theMelbourne show.

This show is held northwest of downtown.  It attracts a lot of retirees who do not buy much and when they do, it is mostly Lowend.

It attracts a younger crowd and they buy, mostly conservatively and mostly beach stuff.

If you are doing seascapes, palm trees, birds, fish, mermaids, etc. you can kill here, especially if you are priced low.

My neighbor did mixed media collages, all like the above mentioned.  She sold nonstop all two days long.

Along the Atlantic coast from Daytona to Melbourne they love beach stuff.  It rules the day.

Sadly, fine original art goes unnoticed. Very few buyers.

When it was downtown I always did good, it was a steady $3-5K show.

Now, I cannot even break $1500.

I have done this show over 20 times, but it is time to give it up.

Luckily, I have the Winter Park show coming in three more weekends.

Hopefully it will be a winner.

Later Gators.

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Comment by Nancy Reyna on April 29, 2021 at 11:13am
I was there too, Nels! The storm was the end of the show for me, and I’m still cleaning up. It was my first time there and my sales were $1000, which I thought was ok for a first time, and a day and a half. Only prints, not even a little original sold. Both my neighbors sold a big original, as did a photographer friend, but as one of them said on Sunday, “our customers didn’t come today”.
I’ve done shows in Florida only, for three years, and I’m still looking for the right ones for my watercolors, so I appreciate your analysis of this one!
Comment by Barry Bernstein on April 28, 2021 at 1:43pm

Ouch!! When I saw the rain it made me think of you going home before Ft Myers with just the thought of rain that didn't materialize. I was in Birmingham AL and I didn't talk to one person who didn't have a good show... unless you were in the blue section. I'll explain that later.

Comment by Nels johnson on April 28, 2021 at 12:26pm

Thanks Kathleen

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on April 28, 2021 at 10:44am

Good luck at Winter Park Nels!

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