Look at these folks in Pittsburgh wearing their brand new “Equality Lincoln” shirts! This is a new design that I am almost out of already. The two lines on his forehead are meant to mimic the international symbol for human rights (which is an equals sign).
Anyway I’m glad I tried a new place, it was very refreshing especially after doing 3 Chicago festivals in a row. Vine Rewind ended up being my 3rd best festival this year (after Twin Cities Pride Fest and Square Roots Music Festival here in Chicago). It’s run by an artists’ collective called Redfishbowl and they are amazing. One of the guys that ran it actually bought one of my shirts. There was a lot of beautiful art for sale at the festival that likely wouldn’t have stood a chance of being seen if they had to pay high Chicago vendor fees. I was also asked to return to more of their events. The music was awesome too. I love it when I receive a good response in another city. It goes to show people in a lot of places love my shirts, and that they could become a national brand someday.
This weekend I’ll be at Chicago Hot Dog Fest in Lincoln Park. A new design will be released there. It will be my 2nd to last Chicago festival of this year (the last one is Edgewater Fall Arts Fair at the end of September) – the other weekends will be filled in with festivals in other cities. I tend to get sick of a place if I’m in it too long. Next year I will do no more than 2 shows in a row in the same city.
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!