March 27, 2011

Druid City: My 1st Festival

The setting: A relatively new festival in it's second year had found a nice, plushly green government plaza in which to hold a very necessary cultural event in Tuscaloosa, AL. Artists and musicians and were asked to take part and being green on the festival circuit, I welcomed the opportunity. But spirits were damped over the forecast of rain for the early morning and afternoon. I must say, the thought of my original art getting damaged by water was something I really didn't enjoy thinking about, especially when my mind was all abuzz with concerns over what I needed to accomplish for my first festival.

The day moved on sluggishly, without many people wondering the paths frightened away from the grey skies overhead I suppose.

So we waited.

And then, I heard a rumble in the clouds.

Luckily, the moment I heard thunder I and with the help of a dispatched helper (my sweet wife, who toiled with me, yesterday) to cover all the artwork in plastic. As the last piece of tape was applied, Ker-splash! For the whole of about 2 minutes the rain came down without much mercy... but I was prepared. Except for some droplets on some mattes and backing paper on frames, all of the original artwork and prints I brought for the day came out unscathed. Whew!

But was that the end?

Turns out, yes. And soon the people came and the festival really got underway. It actually turned into a typical, sunny, hot afternoon.

It was a lot of fun, I met a lot of people, networked a bit and listened to a lot of music (some was good: check out The Bandar-Log, from Auburn). We moved a few poster prints and a lot of postcards (thanks for the suggestion, Kelly!), gained a lot of friends for my mailing list, and found a few leads on stores that might want to sell my work.

Overall: good day.

I thought the handling of the festival by the organizers was very enthusiastic and pretty well done. Everyone was nice, helpful and I felt very accommodated for; and more importantly, the fees were very affordable and made it encouraging to take part. Talking with one of their volunteers, it seems like that they've grown since last year retaining all of the artists who had participated and hope to do so again, for 2012, hopefully growing more. Except for the fact that I had to walk a really long way to load up my car at the end of the day (I don't know how this wasn't thought of), put a slight, sour note on top of what was a pretty nice day disappointed me a bit. Watching all of the tired artists lug their materials and tables on a winding path around to the parking lot was a bit sad.  But it didn't ruin anything for me and I look forward to seeing what they do to improve next year.

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