- Chad Moore
RIVER CLAY FESTIVAL - Decatur, AL
Updated: Oct 26, 2018
I am the best at picking festivals!!! Did it rain again? Yes! Of course it did. Because, I thoroughly enjoy the concept of being moist.
This was my first time at River Clay Art Festival and I was excited to do it because I had heard nice things. Sales... people said were just OK, but the organizers really take care of the artists. I can't stress enough what a difference that makes. When the organizers of the festival truly make an effort to make the artists feel welcome and appreciated (especially if you are traveling from out of state). Not all shows do that or even make an attempt and artists will end up doing a show just because of how they are treated. This show features a VIP sneak peek" and a VIP party Friday evening, which was enjoyable and really well done. The "sneak peek" was a complete bomb as far as sales go, but they had wine/beer and food, so things could have been worse (like I said, being treated well goes a long way). The VIP party... top notch! It was hosted at the Alabama Center for Fine Arts and had some of the best food you'll ever have at an art festival party. I was driving back and forth to Birmingham, so I didn't stay as long as would have normally, but it was truly impressive.
I just wish the sales had been better. For the entire year, this was my worst festival from a sales perspective... even worse than Louisville, which had a hurricane sit on top of it.
Could some of this have been blamed on the rain on Saturday? Certainly. It was an off-and-on again rainy sort of day with college football thrown in during the afternoon. But, I have a feeling that this wasn't the only thing bringing down sales. Sunday was relatively nice. Weather was pretty good, there just weren't any people.
So, the question being asked by artists were, "Is Decatur too small to sustain a yearly festival?", "Should this be a one day show?", "Is festival too close in time to the Monte Sano Art Festival in Huntsville, which isn't too far away?". This, I believe, was just the fourth or fifth year for this festival, but if they have another show like this last one, artists (other than local) will stop participating. There's a good chance I may not fill out an application for this one next year.