This photo was taken at Twin Cities Pride Fest last weekend, which is one of my top 5 festivals of all time. Hr actually put his shirt on right away and could be seen skating around the festival in it. I released a new design there that will be posted soon.
It was a pretty huge and well attended festival. Big enough that you can get lost in it, and it was divided into color coded themed sections to make it a little more manageable. I plan to do it again next year.
It’s amazing and infuriating how I can get into a festival like this, but I couldn’t get into Logan Square Arts Fest in my own neighborhood this year (and discovered how mismanaged it is behind the scenes when it took them forever to return my fee).
Anyway here are the replacement festivals. 3 different festivals in 3 different cities across 3 days. It’s a little crazy but it’s what I could find and I hope it works, since by the time I found out I wasn’t in Logan Square Arts Fest it was too late for me to apply to alternative festivals I had in mind, like ComFest in Columbus. Shake the Lake is the Madison fireworks, which is another very well attended show (and my shirts do well at 4th of July shows – I remember when I used to sell at the Springfield fireworks. I always did well there – Madison’s show is much larger.)
My shirts did about as well a couple miles from where I grew up as they did here in Chicago at Belmont Sheffield. I saw several people wearing shirts they purchased in previous years (like this guy, who helps run the festival and evidently has worn his shirt a LOT). I really like how people in multiple places enjoy my shirts, and by extension, how Lincoln Apparel transcends geography. In fact, it’s never really been about place at all – it’s about every place equally, because Lincoln saved the Union for everyone residing within it, not just one particular part, and this concept of unity can apply anywhere.
These are two of the last “Immortal Words at Gettysburg” shirts being proudly worn at Waterfront Festival. These shirts are limited edition and no more will be printed. They will be replaced by new designs.
As for Taste of Des Plaines, it was a cheap festival intended to quickly fill in a gap in my schedule. Like most suburban festivals it’s not very fun, the people are cheap and it’s basically just “meh”, no reason to go there unless you live there. This is why I avoid suburban festivals usually. Plus it was rainy and cold.
My next festival is Twin Cities Pride Fest at Loring Park in Minneapolis. Apparently this is the 2nd largest festival in Minnesota by attendance (behind their State Fair) so it may end up being my best festival ever. It is several times larger than anything I’ve ever done. I’m proud that I managed to get into this one, so that I can spread Lincoln’s message of equality and inclusion there! A new limited edition design will be released there.
I’m so glad I discovered the Twin Cities! Shows there are so much more affordable and laid back than they are here in Chicago. It’s been worth the trip every time and I had another set of awesome shows there last weekend. I also scored a decent new printer there that has MUCH lower minimums than guys I’ve been using here in Chicago; this should increase the number of new designs this summer dramatically. I have so many more designs and design ideas than what has actually been printed!
Here’s someone from St. Paul who wore a shirt at Art in the Hollow that he bought from me last year at a festival there. He really loves to wear it and was impressed with how durable the prints on my shirts are!
I didn’t realize it until this week, but I am in the second biggest festival in Minnesota! Twin Cities Pride in a couple weeks may dwarf any festival I have done so far. A new design will be released there.
My next festival is only a couple miles from the neighborhood I grew up in. The festival is the Waterfront Festival in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s at Yahara Place Park right on Lake Monona and runs from 11-8 Saturday and Sunday. I’ll keep spreading Lincoln’s message no matter where I am – after all, it applies to every place equally.
I’ve updated the festivals and shows page with the festivals I’ve been confirmed for in June.
I ran into some frustrating snags scheduling the festivals this month that may result in me having no “home” (Chicago) festivals. First, I couldn’t afford the Do Division fee back in April, which resulted in me booking a festival in each of the Twin Cities instead. Second, I am currently waitlisted for Logan Square Arts Fest. Both of these festivals have been very beneficial for me in past years, and I know people look for me there, so it’s distressing not to be at them.
However, perhaps I’ll do equally as well in Minneapolis and Madison. It’s important to remember my shirts are about everywhere equally; they aren’t about and don’t belong to a specific place. Madison and especially Minneapolis have worked very well for me in the past, and I’m glad I got into Twin Cities Pride Festival (which looks HUGE.) I’m cautiously optimistic I’ll make it into Logan Square Arts Fest for my fans here in Chicago but no guarantees right now. I’m currently looking at alternative festivals in case I don’t get into that one.
Photo is from Spread the Word in Denver, the furthest from Chicago I’ve done a successful show.
Last week I made the 1024-mile trip to Denver through some tornadic thunderstorms in Nebraska and a near-blizzard the night I was coming back home. Denver weather is incredibly unpredictable and variable.
It was all worth it though. Unlike the dinky overpriced Denver market I ended up at last summer, Spread the Word was a real music festival full of people who really seemed to dig my colorful shirts. Lots of good bands too – and on the first day I had a spot by the stage so I could watch the music while I was slingin’ shirts!
This dude looked sharp in his new limited edition “Immortal Words at Gettysburg” shirt that he wore around the festival both days, and several other people wore their newly purchased shirts too.
I was even interviewed about my shirts by a radio station that was set up there. The people were friendly, open minded and easy to talk to. Some of the other vendors travel around to festivals around the country just like I do now. It’s a relatively new festival so I hope I can continue to be a part of it as it grows!
It was an awesome experience but it’s fitting that my next show is a “home” show. Doing a 1024-mile drive takes 17 hours and is tiring (even if it’s worth it)! This year will be the 6th year I’ve done Chicago’s Belmont Sheffield Music Festival. This was my first Chicago show in 2014 and was the festival that more or less triggered my move from Springfield to Chicago later that year. It’s the opening festival of Chicago’s festival season and I’ve done well at it every year. I look forward to another awesome weekend, this time only a few miles from my Logan Square home. Festival hours are 11-10 Saturday & Sunday and, as it’s name implies, it’s at the intersection of Belmont Avenue and Sheffield Avenue. Hope to see you there!
I seem to always have a good show in Minneapolis. It’s perhaps my favorite city aside from Chicago to do a show in, people there seem to respond well to my shirts. This photo was taken at the Minneapolis Pancakes & Booze Art Show on Friday. I love how he looks in this pink “Young Mr. Lincoln” shirt – I helped him pick it out actually!
I’m working on setting up a couple Minneapolis festivals in June.
My next festival, though, is in a city I’ve avoided thus far. Saturday from noon-10 and Sunday from noon-8 I’ll be at the Virginia Avenue Music Festival in Indianapolis. Never been there yet, just driven through, in part because I’ve always seen it as a bland, conservative place without much culture. I hope I’m wrong on that.
My first Chicago festival will be the Belmont Sheffield Music Festival Memorial Day weekend. I’m also mostly done with the new site – let me know what you think!
It’s festival season at last! This year will continue the trend I started last year of doing festivals every weekend in the different cities where I have been successful, and then some. I had a lot of fun traveling last year – and my shirts could become a regional or national brand eventually having been successful in many places. Interestingly, this year starts in Minneapolis, where last year’s season ended, and is one of my favorite cities besides Chicago.
A new design may be released in Minneapolis on May 3rd at the Pancakes & Booze Art Show at the Cabooze from 8pm-2am.
Full list will be kept up to date here: http://lincolnapparel.com/festivals-and-shows/