Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Boise, ID Art in the Park
One of the highlights of my art festival year is Art in the Park held at Julia Davis Park in Boise ID. Not only is it in my home state of Idaho, albeit 550 miles south of where I live in the northern panhandle, but it’s also one of more professionally run festivals on the circuit.
For those of you researching shows to do and are adverse to paying out a 20% commission based on your total gross sales for your booth fee, stop reading now because that is the case with this show. However if this steep booth fee isn’t a roadblock for you, I think you’ll find Boise’s Art in the Park both a financially as well as fun show to do.
One gripe many traveling artist have about particular shows is how hard set-up and teardown are. Even though close proximity parking to your booth is nearly non-existent, this festival has arranged with the Boise City Parks Department to donate their employees as well as dozens of small ATV/tractors to actually move all of you equipment and art right to your booth location. In the 30 shows I do every year this is the only arrangement of its kind I ever found. This is a huge plus in my book if you ask me.
Weather as always can make or break a show but for the second week in a row (knock on wood), we were presented with perfect temps and gentle breezes. I could get used to this ☺
Another amenity found at Boise is the wonderful artist reception dinner held after the show is closed to the public Friday evening. Free adult beverages as well as a meat eaters AND vegetarian buffet made for a great reward for the long hours of sales. Speaking of hours they were (for this year anyway) 10-8 Friday & Saturday and 10- 5 on Sunday. Ample time to conduct the volume of sales this show always seems to have. During this dinner booth awards are announced. As always, there seems to be those who complain about how these awards are judged and this show was no different. Both awards were given to Boise locals, which brought up murmurs of prejudicial treatment but in my opinion these artists were deserving.
The director offers special overnight parking permits for those who plan on staying in their RV but be sure to ask for it.
The estimated crowd of 250,000 people over this 3-day event offers the 265 artists plenty of potential customers to work with. Although a few of the artists I spoke with said their sales were down from last year, many, including myself had record sales for this show. So I think those with off sales were more a reflection on what they were showing more than a poor economy.
I love this show and as long as I’m invited to attend I always keep it on my schedule.
Booth fee – 20% of gross sales
Cost of sales ratio – B
Hours of operation – B+ (10AM to 8 PM)
Location – A
Event staff A
Overall grade A-
Art in the Park