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I finally made it into my first show!!! Thank you all for all of
the you gave me on that end. Also got my first rejection
from a show a realllllly wanted to do but, oh well, I will try for
that one again next year. Now here is the question. The show I am
doing is an outdoor show, one day only, and not until September. I
had been checking out tents in anticipation of my doing “Shows” but
this looks like the only outdoor show until next spring (jeez that is
so far away). Anyway…I have been doing pretty well with my sales
since the only people that know of my work right now are friends,
family and the people I work with. I have yet to make a profit
though with all of the expenses I have and will be spending even more
getting ready for this show in Sept. I finally got to Sam’s club and
saw that they had the ez-up with three side panels for under $200.
OK, so I know it is not the greatest quality one and they are the
Velcro tabs but I am very tempted to buy it and use it for the next
few years for the few outdoor shows I would be doing. This way I can
make money, turn around and sell this one (that is if there is
anything left of it to sell) and then invest in the better quality
one. Here are my questions. How waterproof is the cheap one? Many
of you talked about using gallon jugs for weight – will that work
for this one? I was thinking of putting grommets on the panels and
lacing them to the legs. Oh, Costco had the Instashade tent for around
the same price but it did not have sides. Thanks again, Elle

what area of the country will you be doing shows in?? Weather
conditions in that area might dictate how strong a canopy you would

congratulations, Elle!! I have not yet done the "show’ thing - sell
through other venues. So I look forward to hearing how it went and
perhaps you will be able to share some good advice with us! Where is
the show? Shael Barger
Berkeley, CA

Elle, I used the e-z up canopy from Sam’s for several years and it
worked pretty well for me. I recommend having a display that is
relatively water resistant in case water blows into your space. You
really will want 4 sides so you can close up at night or in a storm.
I made weights by pouring cement into 2 foot sections of pvc pipe and
capping the ends. Be sure to put a big screw eye through one end to
hang them from and attaching handles to the pipe before you fill them
makes them much easier to carry. I use nylon tiedown straps to hang
them on the corners of my canopy. The important thing with the e-z
up is to have it heavily and evenly weighted. I also put grommets in
the corners of the top so I could attach the top to the frame. The
top can blow off. I recently bough a light dome canopy and like it a
lot. It’s a lot nicer looking than the e-z up but it was a lot more
expensive, as well.

Good luck,


Good call staying away from the insta shade tent!

Three sides with the EZ-up? How odd! OK you are right, the velcro
won’t stay on in any wind at all but if you need to be frugal right
now here are a few tips.

I had to seam seal my EZ-up…made it all yellow where it was applied
but otherwise it leaked the second time it was rained on.

Buy a tarp or something that you can clamp on as a fourth side just in
case it rains sideways.

Buy clamps, the plastic kind are more expensive…the metal with the
orange rubber coating can rust but are much cheaper. Clamp the walls
to the legs in a couple of places if you leave it overnight with just
those velcro ties, they will not hold! Clamp the tent top to the frame
in eight places if expecting ANY rain. Do this about 2 1/2 feet in
from each corner. You create little rain runoffs this way. Otherwise
the top will sag and collect rain in four areas between the corner pole
and the peak. This will cause your top to pop off or collapse the tent
completely if there is enough water weight. I have seen some EX-up
crumpled that way.

Weight the legs…with the water filled jugs, or sandbags or cement
filled PVC tubes or cement blocks for that matter but otherwise you
have a great big kite.

I used the EZ Up for 2 1/2 years before it completely fell apart and I
upgraded. It wasn’t a horrible way to start, you just have to be


In the paper yesterday morning was a picture of the twisted remains
of a few Ez-ups after a storm hit a show in Norfolk, VA. I’ve got an
archtop canopy, and think the security is worth the extra money and
longer set-up time, since the weather is unpredictable down here. …on
my way to the 2nd of three outdoor shows in a row…

Wendy Newman

I’ve used an ez-up for several shows in the southeast. For weights I
have PVC pipe filled with concrete with an eyebolt inserted into the
concrete at the top that have worked just fine. For a finished look,
use the PVC caps on both ends. The velcro sides work okay althoughI
like the ease of the zippered sides better.I only use my sides when
closing the booth at an overnight show so your idea of grommets and
lace-up seems like more work to me than you might want for ease and
quickness of set-up and take-down. I’m with you on going with the
ez-up first then investing in a better tent. This way you can see what
other people are using at shows and get a feel for what you want. Much
good luck with the show. Janet

I will be doing a show in Fairfield County, CT. I haven’t done shows
in years. Mostly what we have is rain, at least that’s what we used
to have every time I did a show. Eons ago we just all used dining
flys when we showed on grass or covered everything with plastic tarps
if we were on sidewalks when it rained. No one had anykind of huts
and they were just starting to make display racks for art work (I
used to sell painting and we all made our own flats that we tied down
with tent stakes or traveled with a ton of cinder blocks for weight
on cement - all sounds so archaic. Also the show fees were so
cheap back then.) I was just reading about the Washington Square
outdoor show in the village (NYC) that I used to do. Can’t believe
the price and now they all want fees just to judge your work - what a
racket. I am starting to think that i might be on the wrong side of
the business. Just think, tons of people - many selling absolute
junk - sending you money for not so many spots and you can just say
NO!!! I had the “privilege” of being rejected several months ago
from an art guild. I sent them $25, got up real early on a Sunday
am to display my work and then leave for three hours until they
looked at everyone’s work and then come back to pick it up. When I
got back, they were cleaning up all of the wonderful breakfast they
had bought and enjoyed while checking out our work. They told me I
would hear in a few weeks. Well, three days later I got the
rejection letter telling me that I could apply again in another year
and then they asked me for money to become a member of their
organization (not the guild). Found out that my work was too
commercial for them – sure, I make money at what I do, not like a
lot of them. (just venting, sorry!!!)


Hi Elle, I have an ez up that I bought at Sam’s with side walls with
Velcro straps, they work very well. I was considering getting the ones
with the zippers but someone told me they had a lot of trouble with
them braking and not zipping up. Only invest in a white tent, since
the ones that are blue are very hard to see your jewelry through.
This tent does catch the wind and will go air borne with out staking
it down or using weights. The last show I did I didn’t have my weights
and I had a heck of a time holding onto the tent. I have had my tent
for about 4 years now and like it very much, it seems to be holding up
very well. I don’t see investing in an expensive tent and all the
trappings if you can’t get your money back relatively soon. One
doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to sell your beautiful things at
a craft show. You can be very inventive in making your stand look good
without spending money to do it. Good luck and make a lot of money and
meet nice people who appreciate your work. Roxan O’Brien in
Pennsylvania for all of you who need to know
place of origin.

This is just an aside to jurying fees which are a joke. We have been
doing art shows for about 30 years and I think it is the only
business where you actually pay to be rejected. Imagine not getting
into a show and paying $25 to be juried out of it. And how come we
never know how much money is being made by the promoter or
organization on rejection fees. Just venting also.

Hi Elle - I remember very well my first event ever - which was closed
midday - heavy rain. They actually cancelled the rest of the day!
Anyhow, I studied the surviving tents and talked with the owners about
the pros and cons - and later bought the strongest available. First
thing - make sure it isn’t a flat top rain catcher - the loaner I used
at that event caught rain! Wind is the worst damage - stake the tent
VERY securely and completely if the weather forcasts high wind
conditions. Under manageable conditions, I have seen EZ-ups survive
(no first hand experience though). Did notice that they were lowered
overnight to a shortie height - even if the weather was fine.

Where I am - you can rent a tent - they set it up for you for like
$45- $50. That might be a good way to test the waters and do your
research of what to purchase.

And don’t trust your neighbor’s tent too much - once, my neighbor’s
16’ tent uprooted and landed on mine. (My standard one inch pole tent
survived the crash without a dent). And once I was knocked to the
ground with my neighbor’s clothing rack. Watch out for flying tables
and breaking tree branches too. Sorry, but because of first hand
experience, I dread the outdoor events and have been phasing out! :slight_smile: