Weather and outdoor events

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We love pitching our tent at art shows, and taking great care to set up our displays and enjoy the event.  In getting to the day of the event there are alot of things to plan for, and prepare….. tent, tables, table coverings, racks, displays, product, etc.  But one of the big essential things is our weather app on our iPhones.  We each have at least one weather application that we can refer to, check radar, and keep on top of the latest developments.

One of the amazing things about this digital age is the ready access to instant weather that is just on time, what is happening now.  We have radar to survey the size of the coming storm, or to assure our hearts the day will be peaceful and quiet weather wise.  And when there are weather issues cropping up fast the phone will let me know with a text or a sound…. any time the national weather service issues an advisory there is a mass distribution to people in the affected zip codes.  We appreciate that.

So how can you prepare for any weather situation?

  • Make certain the tent is waterproof – we check it each year, and invest in cans of the weatherproof spray.
  • When the tent is up we add sides to it to minimize the weather, especially rain, getting into the tent and affecting our products
  • We pack our soap in plastic tubs with tight fitting lids – keeps the soap dry, and even if it is sitting on the ground the impact is minimal.
  • A sweater or hoodie when it is cooler, or a change of clothes in the car to change into.
  • Awareness of the situation – educating ourselves of the festival plan for weather, and the possibility of seeking shelter apart from our tent
  • Weights – yes, we weigh down our tent legs with concrete weights that are like 40 lbs per leg.
  • Staking down the tent when on grass – good move, helps minimize tent movement

Bottom line of participating in outside art events is that weather might become an issue – just prepare ahead of time, and plan for these things.

How the planners and organizers of the event deal with weather spans the spectrum – from very detached to very involved.  If we can encourage one thing, dont just wait for the organizer to make decisions… if you see issues, or need them to understand the weather is intensifying please tell them,

 

Our best experience with well management of the weather at an art event was at the Cleveland Metroparks Brookstock Festival several years ago.  It was a bright and sunny July saturday, not a cloud in the sky.  In fact the sun was very hot, and it was perfect summer.  Around 4pm the park rangers began telling everyone to please pack up now.  (Sunny, not a cloud in the sky, right)  Well, you don;t disagree with park rangers, so we packed up everything, and Steve went to get the vehicle.  We loaded up everything and just as Steve closed the hatch on the SUV down came the rain.  Sudden, Hard, Driving Rain.  We helped a few others get their things together, and by the time we got home there were flood warnings because the downpour had been so fast and so intense.  But the park rangers were on top of it, wanting to protect people, and even when we could not see the danger, they were warning us.  Love that, and will always be grateful for their diligence.

On the other hand, we did one art festival (that will remain nameless) and there was not warning, or notification from the festival coordinators… they just let us all ride out an intense storm.  We zipped down 3 sides, and half of the front, keeping the awning in place and the rain pounded us.  Lightening, rain, and intense wind took out a few tents.  We remember hearing a series of loud glass shattering crashes, and realized the glass blower 4 tents away lost everything.  There were a few more loud crashes, and a bit of loud discussion here and there – rain dripping off someone’s framed artwork,  or a easle that collapsed and the framed photo shattered to the ground, glass shards everywhere.  In the intensity of the wind our tent was listing alot, and took both of us holding down the legs.  The frame had been a bit weakened before that day….. but the wind storm destroyed what was weakened.  It was a bad saturday.

Or the small monthly market we used to do out east… we set up in sun, but out of nowhere the clouds opened up and there was not one thing dry… except out tubs of soap.  everything we were wearing was drenched. The organizer hid in her coffee shop in town until the weather passed, then walked through to make sure all was well.  The ground was drenched, and the grass was slippery. The rain drove off the crowds, and we never really had a good day.


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