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    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    FestivalSpeak for Prospective Vendors

    OK, I admit I'm taking a great deal of this from Behind the Burlap, but I'm altering those that fit my experience best. And reorganizing them into sections, because I'm OCD like that.

    Most of you know I've vended at festivals doing henna body art. I always asked the promoters about the conditions of the site, so I could bring the right equipment. If I had only done this list years ago, I might have saved myself from various disasters.

    This is not to say that EVERY festival I've attended had problems. Many went off without a hitch, and a good time was had by all. However, things are not always 'as advertised' by the vendor organizer, merchant coordinator, or poor intern who got saddled with the job of setting up a festival on short notice.

    So, this is a customary "What they SAY vs. What they MEAN" list of amenities that may occur at any festival site:

    There are some trees in the park. = One of them is right in front of your 10x10 space.
    There is shade. = One tree every 100 feet.
    There may be wildlife. = Don't leave your cooler in your tent overnight, the bears will eat it.
    There's always a breeze. = Bring rope, stakes, and God help you if you are selling anything made of paper.
    It almost never rains. = Bring and/or sell tarps.
    It can get cold at night. = Bring a snow shovel to dig out your tent in the morning.

    It's a great spot! = No one else would take it.
    There should be enough room for your tent. = We overbooked the vendor area.
    There's LOTS of room for your tent! = At least 6 extra inches on one side.
    You're right next to the stage. = Bring earplugs and learn to read lips.
    You're near the bathrooms/porta-johns. = Bring fly paper. And a strong stomach.
    You're right next to the beer garden. = You get to sell directly to a loud, rude and possibly vomiting customer base.
    You're next to the food court. = Some guy selling Cokes and candy bars out of a cooler.
    I have a perfect spot for you. - Behind the stage.
    Easy drive in. = Your tent faces the main road.
    It's level. = Except for the gopher holes.
    It's got a little slope. = Bring pallets and blocks to level your entire display.
    It's in a beautiful lush green park. = And ALL the sprinklers will turn on at 6 pm.
    Camping on site. = But only right behind your booth.
    We've upgraded the site from last year. = We added flower beds.
    We added flower beds. = Right next to your spot, so expect lots and lots of bees.

    We are short on volunteers. = Trash cans never get emptied, so bring your own trash bags.
    We give discounts for demos. = They spent the WHOLE entertainment budget on one celebrity speaker.
    Yeah, sure we advertised the event. = One classified ad in the Thrifty Nickel.
    We are taking new vendors. = None came back from last year.
    We have a juried list of vendors. = You'll only have 4 other booths selling exactly the same thing you are.
    We got 5000 people last year. = Because there happened to be a carnival across the street.
    We are trying something new. = Everything else failed last year.
    We hired a new fair director. = And your good location goes to her friend, so you get to move. Which you won't find out about until you arrive to set up.
    We wont have anyone but you next year. = Please don't bail on us.
    We are looking for sponsors. = Last year bombed.
    Vendor applications are due on the 15th. = No, wait the, wait...just pay at the gate.
    It's a new fair. = We have no idea what we're doing.

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