Hanna Causes Cancellation – No Refund to Artists


The News Journal – Wilmington,DE,USA
By DAN SHORTRIDGE • The News Journal • September 13, 2008 Some Delaware artists are up in arms after a popular arts festival was canceled last weekend in Bethany Beach and the Chamber of Commerce (host of the event) did not refund fees or make other arrangements such a a rain date or application of the fees to next year’s festival.

Read the rest of the story: http://www.delawareonline.com

What do YOU think? Should they refund?

Here is your chance to share your opinion. I have just built a new forum for artists to share their information. You can be one of the first to join in before I issue the invitations to a specially selected group. Visit www.artfairinsiders.com now and let’s continue the discussion.


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10 Responses to “Hanna Causes Cancellation – No Refund to Artists”

  1. Colin Murray Says:

    Shame on the the Chamber. Yes, there are costs attached to putting an event together (advertising, permits, etc). But there are also artists, small independent business owners, trying to survive in an economy that has deeply affected our business.

    On their own web site they say their mission is “a voluntary organization uniting businesses and professional individuals and entities to accomplish collectively what could not be done individually.”

    They should provide a 50% refund, at minimum. I would not be supporting their show, in future years. I don’t care how successful the event has been in the past. There are plenty of other art shows.

  2. Julie Corcoran Says:

    Thanks for the heads up – I will never apply to a show in Delaware. This is my sole family’s means of support, my heart goes out to all the artists who applied.

  3. Mary Anne Enriquez Says:

    Crazy. This is one of the reasons why I hedge at entering outdoor shows at all. The show should refund. Are they insured? Did they spend all the money on promotion or personal uses?

    I would like to know what can be done about this, as this article really worries me. We have massive storms in my area, and certainly, this is the worst of my fears.

    BTW, I lost my art studio due to Hurricane IKE far reaching storms reaching the Chicago region on Saturday. Here is the story:

    Studio Flood ~ 1 of 17 photos

  4. Charles Says:

    Agreed.. there should be some refund of monies to the artist.. we all know there is cost to put a show on but there is also a lot of freebies too. Some sponsers even pay high $$$ to be there and that drives the cost down for things such as advetisment, banners, etc. Non profit groups and charities also have free ad space and that ads to bringing down the cost.. In my travels of 18 years doing shows all around the country I have called to the carpet a few chambers and promoters for their dealings. There have been some who have turned promoting into a money making scheme to get a jury fee for spaces they already have sold and or know they will take 100’s of checks for just a dozen spaces… United we stand. devided we pay…good luck

  5. Lee Hill Says:

    Although artists are out their expenses when a show is cancelled by weather or other factors beyond the organizer’s control, it is part of the risk we take when signing up for outdoor shows.

    There is weather insurance for artists, but the cost is too high in my opinion.

    It is unfair to criticize organizers for something they cannot control and they too have costs that they cannot recuperate. If there is a “surplus” from corporate sponsorship, etc., yes, a partial refund or invitation to return seems reasonable. But in the “real world,” it is unlikely.

  6. Jan Says:

    I can see how it would make the cost high on events to refund fees, but in all fairness if they did not have vendors for the event there will not be an event. All of the events should have a portion of the fees set aside for cancellation refunds, we would be happy to receive 50% instead of nothing !

  7. Jeni Buckingham Says:

    3 years ago a well-attended Boston Mills art show was ruined by a huge storms and a flash flood – never before seen in our area. The water was about 2 feet deep and literally washed everything away (booth and all) in some parts. The artists were not reimbursed, but the promoters invited them to be automatically juried in for the next year. That’s still a lot of money lost to artists who spend an average of 500/booth for the outdoor show.

    Anyone who thinks this is a romantic lifestyle is a bit mistaken!

  8. boulderbrook Says:

    As a show director I have been fortunate to never yet be faced with this decision. During idle times I do think about things like this and what is the best policy. As you can imagine at the time of the event we would have spent a lot of the income from booth fees on everything from printing festival guides and advertising to Port a lets and all other mechanical fees.

    So what would be the bes solution, perhaps figure out just what percentage of collected fees were spent (believe me fees are where the show makes income not gates and sponsorships) and then perhaps offer the artists that percentage as a discount to the following year or even split it into two and offer it for the following two years so the event can remain viable.

    I would be interested in some perspective from the artists on what they think is fair while they consider that money has been spent for their benefit and preparation for their arrival, things that need to be done far in advance and how those costs should be absorbed. Do artists want to pay more for the promoter to purchase event insurance (if you can get it) and spread that cost and make sure that in case of a cancelation fees can be refunfded from the insurance or some other idea perhaps.

  9. Joseph Good Says:

    Understanding that there are many costs associated with promoting a show this size, this does not excuse the Chamber from, at the very least, publishing an accounting of how the money was spent and where the excess funds, if any, were directed. It is unacceptable to think that the artists are bearing the total burden of a cancellation. I have personally spoken with at least two dozen fellow exhibitors from this show, and believe me, if this matter is simply ignored, none of us will ever consider coming to this show again. Most of us do these shows for our living, and we are a tightly knit group. We all know many other artists who, hearing our recommendations, would also boycott and not attend in the future. Without quality artists, the Bay Days Show will wither and die. The Chamber needs to step up and acknowledge the support from their loyal artisans and make, at the very least, a gesture in the form of partial reimbursement, consideration or (partial) credit for next years fees, including waiving all jury fees for those who were accepted this year, SOMETHING! Come on people, do the right thing! Your reputation and your show are at stake.

  10. JimmyJames Says:

    Art Fairs, as all shows, are a BUSINESS. It does not matter who puts it on or whether it is a for profit (as many are today) or put on by a non-profit groupt (which non-profit does not mean they don’t make money and enjoy profits, they just are not taxed on profits, etc. and may also have a worthy cause to spend the net profit on.) Businesses take risks everyday as we all do in ours. Shows are no different. If any of us puts on a wonderful display and it costs us a lot of money to be there, etc. – any no one buys anything, that is the risk we assume. In the case of an Art Fair, they are charging for an Art Fair which includes “customers” and a safe and desireable setting- that is what they are allegedly offering. When “they”, they Art Fair organizers or promoters for ANY reason can not provide the venue due to weather or any other cause- they have not offered what they bargained to give and in any other business in the world (America at least) would have to give back the money paid by the vendors- not as a matter of just conscience, but as a matter of law. When a show makes good money, they don’t return anything in the way of a rebate or partial refund to the vendors who made it a great show- and when they do not have a venue / show to offer for ANY reason, all monies should be returned. They are renting space in the form of an “oportunity to sell”- if they can’t provide the oportunity, just like if you can’t supply me your condo I rented for my vacation – the money gets returned. We all make charitable contributions and ALL of us do additionally by taking an active part in these often charitable cause shows- but it is a business, and an expensive one at that in $$$, valuable time out of our lives and away from our families, and loss of other income during that time. So the promoters must in good conscience return the show fees when they are unable to produce a viable show. No questions. Your thoughts?

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