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Artists, Craftspeople, Musicians, Festivals, & Others that exhibit, perform or work in the music, art, craft, festival biz and special events industry, will find these past Newsletters of interest.

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Years 2012-2014. To access a back issue, click the Newsletter title. Use the search box above to find a topic in all years.

December 2014 Newsletters - Artists & Crafters | Musicians | Food Vendors | Promoters | MarketPlace

Artists and Crafters News:

Networking with Artists
by Carolyn Edlund

The other evening I had dinner with two artists. One was visiting the area, searching for galleries that might be a good fit for her work. I introduced her to the second artist, who had a working relationship with a local gallery.

They admired each other's work, and made an agreement. The visiting artist was introduced to the gallery owner, who agreed to review her portfolio. She in turn agreed to recommend the local artist to a gallery in her own town.


This is networking. Artist recommendation is one of the top ways that galleries find artists and my dinner companions used it to create a win/win situation. Their actions gave both of them coveted introductions that could further their careers and their art sales.

You might think of other artists as primarily competition, but I'd encourage you to consider how your art community is actually a perfect place to start your own network. Artists need each other. No art festival could exist without artists exhibiting together to draw a crowd. And it's been found that artists who start businesses in isolation are far more likely to fail than artists who surround themselves with a supportive community.

How can you work with other artists for common benefit?

1. Attend (or start) a salon, guild meeting or other group to share helpful discussion, resources, opportunities, advice, and mentorship.

Read more!

Food Vendor News:

Food Carts, Food Trucks, and Food Concessions Serve Different Markets

by Barb Fitzgerald

Not long ago food trucks were called "roach coaches" and served quick snacks to industrial site workers. Now, food trucks and food carts seem to be on every street corner and discussed on every form of media. In fact, just today I was listening to Here and Now on NPR, while the host, Robin Young was discussing mobile food trucks with Richard Myrick, editor of Mobile-Cuisine Magazine.

Myrick pointed out that many carts and trucks are opened by chefs and culinary entrepreneurs because they are less expensive to start and run than a traditional restaurant. It seems, as a result, many mobile food businesses are becoming known for the unique quality of the dishes they serve. This makes me wonder about the difference between street food, served from food carts and trucks, and so called, fair food, served from food concessions.

Whereas, many street food vendors are making a name for their selves based on the quality of their menus, concessionaires at festivals and fairs are known more for serving outrageous junk food. In fact, last summer, food booths selling deep fried sticks of butter and deep fried Twinkies were winning awards for the best food at many state fairs. Can you imagine street food carts having the same success with such a menu? At first glance, it sounds like only street food vendors serve good food because that is where all the good cooks are. But, that"s not it.

Food sold on the street is different from food sold at fairs because the market is different. Like restaurants, street food businesses are generally open full-time, and depend on a steady clientele of repeat customers for their success. Food concession businesses, on the other hand, are open part-time in a variety of markets, and therefore, must serve hundreds or thousands of customers within a very short window of time. Food sold from a concession business must also have a higher profit margin to offset high operating costs.

Read more here!

Event Promoter News:

The Refund Policy Showdown

by Carrie Groves for The Crafts Report

Promoting events Refund policies. The very words are enough to instigate eye-rolling, heavy sighing and, occasionally, verbal boxing matches. In one corner stands the artist. He's over-applied to shows, and has laid out a huge amount of "due-on-application" money. Once he gets his acceptances back, he's going to lose hundreds of dollars in non-refundable booth fees for some of the shows he won't be able to do. But, without over-applying, he won't have enough shows. He wants his money back when he has to turn down acceptances in some of the fairs.

In the other corner stands the promoter. He's invested time and money finding the show location, printing his applications and mailing them, assembling the jury, and sending out acceptances. Once an artist fills a booth space, the promoter doesn't want that spot to be empty. And, he wants his time and labor costs covered.

Can there ever be a winner in this sparring match? Or can we at least come to some sort of acceptable compromise?

We posed this issue on the online forum for the National Association of Independent Artists (NAIA), an artist-run organization that focuses on issues regarding art and craft shows, asking artists and promoters to comment. Artists voiced various opinions, but everyone agreed that some sort of refund was appropriate and right. Only two show promoters responded, and both were committed to being "artist-friendly." No one came forth to justify -- or explain -- the practice of non-refundable booth fees.

In fact, a number of show promoters have made a concerted effort to honor their half of the monetary equation. For example, Carla Fox, a Portland, Ore., metalsmith, is the director of the 32-year-old show of the Lake Oswego Arts and Crafts Guild, and a management partner in two other shows; she says, "Never have any of these three shows asked for booth fees up front. It would be a bookkeeping nightmare to hold and sort, and return fees. There are always good and valid reasons for artists to not do a show after they've been accepted. If we can fill the spot, we always try to give the artist a reasonable refund of his booth fee."

Read more here!

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