Artfest 2009, pay to (erm) play

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]

  • Matt Murtagh

    I fully agree with this, I thought long and hard about having a stall this year but the price just seemed ridiculous.

    I'm currently studying at BIAD and there was a lot of interest in this from fellow students however the consensus was that possible sales would only cover rent of the space if you were very lucky. The arts are suffering heavily from the current financial crisis and it seems miserly for the Council to expect struggling artists to help them make a profit from a publicly funded arts festival.

  • I’m guessing it’s more about covering costs than profit-making u2014 but the showing of artworks (rather than the disappointing “craft fair” which was the other place people were selling at last years AF) is adding artistic value to the event, anything that’s putting people off needs to be looked at.

  • I’m guessing it’s more about covering costs than profit-making u2014 but the showing of artworks (rather than the disappointing “craft fair” which was the other place people were selling at last years AF) is adding artistic value to the event, anything that’s putting people off needs to be looked at.

  • I’m guessing it’s more about covering costs than profit-making u2014 but the showing of artworks (rather than the disappointing “craft fair” which was the other place people were selling at last years AF) is adding artistic value to the event, anything that’s putting people off needs to be looked at.

  • I’m guessing it’s more about covering costs than profit-making u2014 but the showing of artworks (rather than the disappointing “craft fair” which was the other place people were selling at last years AF) is adding artistic value to the event, anything that’s putting people off needs to be looked at.

  • I'm guessing it's more about covering costs than profit-making — but the showing of artworks (rather than the disappointing “craft fair” which was the other place people were selling at last years AF) is adding artistic value to the event, anything that's putting people off needs to be looked at.