In my last post I discussed how I got into the Renaissance Faire business. Now I'm going to share with you what it's like to actually run a Ren faire. I'll do this the best I can by giving you a day by day run down of my adventures at the 2012 Faire.
Thursday - October 4 - Set up and rehearsal
Sleep deprived and six months pregnant I arrived at the fairgrounds around 10am to began decorating... er, by myself. All of my helpers had to work so I had to swing it solo. There was garbage EVERYWHERE from the previous weekend's carnival. There were tractors and vending trailers all over the place and I was about to lose my mind trying to figure out how and when this stuff will be removed. Just as I was about to breakdown and cry from this poor start, a massive crew came and cleaned up the grounds in less than an hour. PHEW! I strung up handmade fabric garland and ribbons in the trees but very quickly ran our of decorations. The grounds were a LOT bigger than I expected so the decor looked kind of patchy and awkward.
In the photo above you'll see a bit of my handmade decor and fabrics on the the ground. Luckily the gypsies brought their own goods to help enhance their area.
I began to receive phone calls from vendors, cast and entertainment having to drop out at the last minute due to awful mishaps (dying mothers, illnesses, car breakdowns). As terrible as this all sounds, I remained very calm and pressed on.
Friday - October 5 - The first day
The weather was beautiful. It was a great day for a faire but I was a nervous wreck. I had no idea what to expect when the gates opened. I was also on edge because we didn't raise enough money to cover all costs. We were now completely relying on the entrance fee to pay the ground rentals, security payment, electric bill and hotel fees. I wore a simple Irish peasant dress and white cotton chemise, too exhausted from the day before to even THINK about being laced into a 20-lbs dress. The vendors were very easy to deal with and as most of them have experience in selling at faire, they came quietly, set up and waited for the show to begin.
|A few school groups on a field trip to the faire|
Too scared to watch the patrons enter the faire, I went to my makeshift office and sat down and stared off into space wondering, "What the hell have I gotten myself into?" The decorations were crap, there were cars parked in the faire area because of poor communication, cast members were missing, there were only 15 vendors and one of my food vendors was serving out of an RV wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Quite frankly I just wanted to get my car, drive home and leave it all behind. This was not the faire I imagined.
I stayed tucked away in my office most of the day too ashamed to show my face.
|Gaping spaces between booths from missing vendors|
|Cars in the background from the gun and knife show next door|
|And more giant empty spaces.|
This post will be waaaayy too long if I include the second and third day of the faire so I'm going to cut it off here and share the rest in tomorrow's post. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!!!