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.
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’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.