Art Fair Insiders

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

I did a show in downtown Philadelphia this weekend where there were heavy wind gusts.  Saw 1 tent (not sure of the brand, not an EZup, but was aluminum) have its one front leg lift up 7 feet off the ground and onto the tent next to it. Saw another tent (a Trimline) end up upside down on the other side of a 4 foot fence that ran behind our booths. 

A few reminders:

1) If you have weights hanging from your tent, secure them to your tent legs. In the first instance, the person's weights were swinging in the air after the front of the tent was 7 feet off the ground.

2) if the winds are strong and are coming in from the front of your tent, roll up your sides or at least unzip the back two corners to let the air flow thru your tent.  Both tents had their roofs and 3 sides on them.  Both tents ended up becoming kites. As soon as the wind started, I removed all three of my sides.

3) Have enough weight.  I had 6 GreatWeight bags (from Trimline) each with around 40 pounds of pea gravel.  Both tents that had issues did not have enough weight.

Both exhibitors got off pretty easy - no one got hurt and there was minimal damage to merchandise. Could have been way worse.Please be prepared for wind.


Views: 2549

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on October 14, 2016 at 10:47am

Water: usually available at outside faucet in parks. Local businesses have cooperated. Janitors in buildings or restrooms are another source of water. I carry a coffee can and 3' section of hose to unknown shows.  Carry a pair of pliers to open faucets with no handles on them. 

Comment by Marti Johnson on October 14, 2016 at 12:05pm
Thanks so much!
Comment by Hal Moran on October 14, 2016 at 5:52pm

When on grass, I always drive 1/2" x 24" rebar into the ground next to each tent leg. Then zip tie them to the legs. I drive them down at least 12 inches.

This is in addition to my weights.

Comment by Robert Wallis on October 14, 2016 at 6:00pm

If I'm on grass, I'll use large spiral dog stakes and ratcheting tie-downs. The dog stakes can usually be started by hand, and go in about half way to two-thirds, and I'll use a hammer or piece of pipe as a pry-bar to screw them in all the way. There's no way they're coming out after that unless they are screwed back out.  

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on October 14, 2016 at 11:38pm

Metal stakes are prohibited in many parks in the west because of underground sprinkler systems. An exception is Jackson Hole which requires the spiral tie out stakes. They mark the underground water lines with blue spray paint 

Comment by Greg Little on October 26, 2016 at 9:59am

I use a 40lb dumbell on each leg and sit them on top of each tent foot plate. Unlike the bulky cement filled PVC weights, there is no question of their exact weight. They are also available in a wide variety of pounds. I also have some 50lb. kettle-bell weights but the dumbells are easier to secure to the legs.

A simple "U" bolt found at any hardware store will very securely hold it to the leg. I replaced the nuts that came with the U bolts with knobs that make it much easier to use the u bolts by hand tightening.

Comment by Maryllis Wolfgang on October 26, 2016 at 11:42am

Notice the PVC on top of the tent that landed on the next tent then both slammed into the third tent.  I've seen tents 10' in the air flying down the street.  Wind is nothing to take lightly.  We put 75lb on every corner when we did outdoor shows.  And all the panels and art and one time me hang on the frame (and the tent lifted a bit but did not fly away0 - all total gives it a BUNCH of weight

Comment by Maryllis Wolfgang on October 26, 2016 at 11:43am

Comment by Maryllis Wolfgang on October 26, 2016 at 11:45am

If I were to do outdoor shows again I would take your suggestion and strap the weights to the leg, but I think if these weights are going to swing - so will the leg.

Comment by Larry Schneider on October 27, 2016 at 8:24am

The best weight system will not cure stupidity.  I use  PVC tube filled with lead shot. It withstands the worst weather.  At three rivers Pittsburgh the van was packed and ready to go home .  I had the Lite Dome  canopy frame and top cover still up due to the rain.  I took the weights off first and put them in the van.  The top was still on.   Stupid and I know better but I  wasn't thinking.  . A sudden wind gust blew the canopy up and over landing upside down. Weights should be the last item to pack no mater what the weather conditions are.


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