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Sunday, 17 July 2011

How fair is a craft fair?

Let's start at the beginning...

I booked Adderley Green Summer Festival a few months ago with a bit of hesitation as it was an outdoor event but as it was scheduled for July I thought "What's the worst that can happen? It's July, if it's not red hot it'll just be a bit drizzley". How wrong was I!

It rained from the moment I got there (8:45am) to the moment I left (1:30pm way before the 4pm event finish time). Now when I say rain, it was varying degrees as of rain, from light drizzle to absolutely tipping it down. The sun came out for about 15 mins then disappeared. I've watched it get worse and worse as well as the days gone on so I'm glad I came home when I did. It was just a disastrous day really.

There might have been 2,000 attendees last year but we were lucky if we got 200 during the time I was there due to the weather.

Didn't sell a thing - I mean literally NOTHING! But wasn't just me, so many of the other stalls had the same problem not helped by the fact that a high percentage of the people who had turned up hadn't brought any money with them!!!!

But the final straw was the wind picking up, scattering my stall all over the grass and breaking one of the (borrowed) gazebo poles.

So I swiftly packed up my stuff and left, although even that wasn't easy. Got told off for bringing my car back on to the green but there was no way I was carrying it all the way back to the car park.

So all of this got me thinking about craft fairs and how "fair" they are. Whilst the organisers can't be held responsible for the weather, they were nowhere to be seen when everyone was struggling to keep their gazebo's pegged into the floor. Wasn't just mine that made a break for freedom you see. Neither of the organisers were about or answering their phones and only showed up to tell us we shouldn't have our cars on the green. She even said she couldn't blame me or others for wanting to leave. Which then begs the question: so why charge us the full £10 fee? Would it not have been decent and fair to charge a reduced free given the circumstances?

Whilst I can appreciate that they're not a charity, neither am I! I decided to attend the event, despite the poor forecast, after getting reassurance from the organisers that "a little rain never hurt anyone and it didn't put anyone off last year". Well it isn't last year, it wasn't just a bit of rain and it did put people off.

So to summarise, not only am I the £10 fee down, I've also now got to fork out for a replacement gazebo as well as replacing some of my stock that was either ruined by the rain or the highland fling across the wet muddy grass! And I just can't but feel a little bit aggrieved that the organisers just didn't seem bothered, offer any support or consolation of any kind.

Whilst this won't put me off craft fairs, it's certainly put me off outdoor events and it's very safe to say I won't be doing them again unless supplied with a gazebo or bigger marquee!

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