This has been a silent week for me from blogging. It has been a silent week because i was not sure what i wanted to tell you about our experience in Kent last Saturday. Well, here goes:
We were so looking forward to the Masterpieces in Art and Wine Festival in Kent, and had loaded our tent and merchandise for the one day event. We arrived, and realized we were on the street (concrete) with a fierce wind blowing up the hill toward us.
We set up the tent, and added our heavy concrete weights to each corner of the tent, which seemed to stabilize the tent… and as i was setting up a table to begin putting out our merchandise the big gust of wind moved our weighted tent 2 feet, pushing the table as well. 2 feet! That was a lot of movement. And unlike grassy areas, there was nothing to spike down the tent. (Our neighbors had apparently thought this through and brought a cordless drill with concrete bit, and drilled holes in the street, then spiked into the holes. But somehow i would imagine the City of Kent would not really like that much!)
Big decision – fight the wind with our tent for 10 hours, or pack it in. The decision was painful but a good one… we packed it in and went home. As did several other vendors in our stretch of the festival. We hated to tell the promoter why, but she knew. She was watching tents for the wineries slide down the street. She was not thrilled with us because we left a big gap in the otherwise orderly row of tents, but we just did not want to be a liability, or have either our tent or our products injure event goers.
Did we do the right thing? Yes, yes we did. When it comes to small businesses and insurance liability the better choice is to air on the side of caution, and remove the possibility of any destruction. We watched a glass blower’s tent pick up the wind, and his heavy steel frame that he hangs his glass pieces on was nudged by the moving tent – everything tumbled over with series of loud glass shattering crashes, and in this one wind gust the artist lost well over $1,000 in merchandise, and his tent went on to take out another artist’s tent, causing injury to them. No, thank you, that is not what we would ever want to encounter. Yes, our insurance covers us, but wisdom says be cautions.
So Dear Kent Masterpiece in Art and Wine Festival, we missed you, but I think you understand our hesitations. PS- remember last year, when our tent completely disintegrated in the high winds and driving rain? Yes, that tent frame went right to the boneyard because we could not even hold it together with duct tape!!!!
Decisions come up requiring clarity, wisdom, and a small sense of hesitation. It is the most difficult thing to back out of a commitment, take the loss on the cost of the event (yes, booth fees can range from $50 – $200 or more) and just pack it in, but that is also the price of doing business.