Paradise City Northampton 2017

Paradise City Arts Festival
Northampton, MA
May 27-29, 2017
Booth fee $950

I'm a painter, with pieces from $75 to $4500. This show was the first "real" show that accepted me, eight years ago, and it has also been my highest-grossing show ever, two years ago. But after this year, I'm going to take a break from it.

The show takes place at the Three County Fairground in Northampton, MA. It's a wealthy area, and the show advertises heavily on all media, and draws people from all across New England. It has a great postcard mailing program, and a beautiful show catalog. Gate fee is $14, but you can get big discounts from going to their website and giving them your email address.

In the past, the show has taken place in three distinctly different buildings on the site - a small, old barn; a medium-sized new barn; and a gigantic arena building. This year, for the first time, it took place in three identical buildings, the new barn plus two new new barns.

I was in the last row in the last barn, the farthest from the gate. Traffic was very light - and I think it was because of my spot. I heard many people say, basically, "Whew, we're almost done, thank heavens."

The new arrangement made set-up and breakdown easier, I will say that, though I think that if you were in the middle building, that might not have been the case. Artist parking is plentiful, and on site. There's a special area for RVs, who can spend the weekend, at a price. I believe there are hook-ups.

The new buildings are lovely. There was plenty of storage for me, and for others along the walls of the buildings. I don't know about the areas in the middle aisles. There are general storage areas in each building, and a special locked storage area for jewelers.

This is a lovely show, with stunning, jaw-dropping high-end work. There's a great mix of 2D art, furniture, sculpture, fabric, ceramics, glass, jewelry and anything else you can think of. Booth sitting is offered every day (you sign up), and there's terrific food.

I did OK at the show, about $3K, but that's about half my usual total for this show. Others around me did very well, and friends in the other buildings had even more successful shows. I might have saturated this market somewhat, as many buyers came up to say hello, but not to buy. A year or two off from this show will be helpful, I think.

If you have high-end stuff and find delight and excitement and inspiration in being in a truly fabulous show, this might be one to try.


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  • All of that adds to the bottom line, right? Free housing and family also -- makes this a very pleasant place to spend the weekend and one of the reasons when show directors say to me, "how many artists are on your list for (e.g.,) New England or Texas, I say that I don't segment the artist lists because you never know, perhaps you never thought you'd travel out of your area, but now that family wedding or class reunion beckons you nearby. 

  • Yes, I stay with my brother in Hartford, and this year, was also able to spend a couple nights with our daughter, in Rhode Island, and go to a concert with my sister and her kids, in Mansfield, CT. There are lots of reasons for doing shows, and in my book, visiting with family is one of them. Thanks for remembering! 

  • Thanks for the review, Carrie. We made the trek to MA once to do this show with our photography. All the accolades above are what I thought also. But selling 2D at this market was very tough. So many beautiful functional objects everywhere and a high end clientele also made it a pleasant place. Way too far for us to go and it was pricey, the booth fee as well as hotels and food in the area. I've marveled at your good sales here. Didn't you use to live near?

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