We love participating in VARF, and were happy to return for five weeks this May to June! Of course, with an outdoor fair and the growing Virginia heat, there are always some hiccups.
First weekend, I was madly trying to track down our new tent with absolutely no info coming from the company as to an ETA. So, week of we went ahead and bought a car port from Harbor Freight and some canvas for side walls so we would have something.
So when did our new tent arrive? The day before show opened, so too late to get it set up for first weekend.
We did get it all set up for second weekend, thought we were hot and tired and did not realize it was inside out until it was all up. We left it that way for the show. Last hiccup? We were in our usual spot, but with a larger space it was clear just what an odd hill it was. The tent stayed well, but we were constantly having to accommodate for the lean. Next year, we’re adding a platform and an in-tent fan!
This was our second year doing Steampunk World’s Fair, and we were happy to move to an inside hotel room space. This set up is unique as far as shows we have done – the first floor hotel rooms become vending space, small boutique shops that have creative set ups. Fortunately a vendor friend pointed out we would need to bring more lights, because hotel rooms are not meant to be bright. We also thought to buy a lot more vertical displays, because this was not a good space to try and bring multiple tables in and have multiple customers at a time.
Only things we’d change for next year? Confirm all details with the hotel so we don’t have any check-in issues like we did this year, get something eyecatching to put outside our room, and make some advertising posters including that we do costume repair.
Fall and Spring are always chancy times of year for weather. We’ve been fortunate this year in having better luck than last thus far. But this small faire in April got interesting.
First, creativity with set up. We had not yet received our new tent, so we made something up quickly with two 10 x 10 canopies and a quickly sewn cover. The set up this year was odd. Flow did not make obvious sense. One of the reenactor groups was so far away they seemed like a private encampment. But the crowds on Saturday were decent and people had fun as usual.
Just in time for the evening feat it started to pour down rain. Fortunately the feast is in the big garage building of the fairgrounds. We had a good meal with friends, then decided to pay for a night in a hotel.
Good thing we did. We came back Sunday to find our tent was standing in a lake. The organizers allowed people to move into the large building and use table space for Sunday. So I started opening us up for sales while Nathaniel took down our tent and helped out neighbors.
So for all that the event ended up unusual for a renaissance faire, the move indoors ended up being a good thing. Maybe it was that the vendors were now moved together and easier to find. Maybe it was the small remaining group of people staying closer together and making the building festive. Either way, Sunday went even better than Saturday. So, pouring rain but a good show. Thanks everyone!
Here’s a little change from our usual shows. Artomatic is one of my favorite recurring art events in the DC area. Every couple of years, they take over a vacant office building. The space is first come first serve to artists for whatever they want to create and share. It is a great opportunity to meet other artists and jump start your creativity.
This year Artomatic came back to Crystal City, and we managed to get a three person room. We split it between the two of us and another gamer artist friend, Kat, who does lovely comic style art. Doing a room together made us seem like a small, curated gallery. People loved stopping by and seeing our work over the month the show was running. So here’s what we displayed in our awesome room.
On to March in my review catchups! We enjoyed doing Madicon at James Madison University again this year. It was the first show for our new logo design tags and redone displays, and we were really happy with the new look.
Yeah, I am way behind. Glimmerdark was in February, a fantasy and dark fairy convention that took over from Wicked Faire. It had it’s issues as a new/revised event, but I look forward to seeing what it becomes.
So to catch up more easily, I’m just going to sum it up in pictures. Enjoy!