John Gargan, who exhibited at ArtsFest last year is shocked that artists are being asked to pay upfront to show their work this year:
"During the weekend the buildings take on a new atmosphere inviting citizens in to chambers and hallowed rooms that very few would normally see and then its all over by 5pm on Sunday afternoon. Large crowds of people descend on the city and generally there’s that late summer sunshine outside to set the scene off just right. Additionally its great to network with other artists and compare notes.
So why am I not going this September? Last night I began my application to apply for a space and I found that this year there is a payable fee for the stand of either £130 or £200 depending on the size of the space, in the past there has been a payable commission on sales, although I don’t think any of the artist achieved great sales. The council has decided that if they can get the commission fee up front this will guarantee the income." [link]