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Renaissance, Pirate, Faerie Festivals & More!

Michelle Thorstrom

After 19 years solid of vending at many types of festivals, I started to see a general "trend" in the energy of each type of crowd that attended these different events. For the record, I did Renaissance Festivals, Comic Cons, Faerie Festivals, Pirate Festivals, Steampunk Events, and one single Oktoberfest. 

At Ren fests, people always "got it." I didn't even have to explain to them how they had to "fluff" their bosomage after we laced the corset on. I hardly ever got asked "Where would I wear this?". The people just completely connected with my product on multiple levels. I love the rennies. You truly did feel like a family at those shows.

At Comic Cons, the enthusiasm of the crowds are PALPABLE. Outside of my booth, there was constant high-fives, "OMGeee! I LOVE your cosplay!!!" and multiple deadpools throwing "pool parties". Everyone there was excited to see you, no matter what costume you wore, and the obscure characters LOVED it when you got their reference. Just a big love fest. Such palpable energy in the crowd that sometimes it would literally overwhelm me. I WILL say that Comic Cons can be tough, depending on what you are selling. Handmade, higher priced items ARE appreciated, but if you are next to a booth that has thousands of things that are $5-$10, and then your stuff is $100, there can be some sticker shock. I did get lots of incredulity there. 

Faerie events? Oh mercy! I have never been high in my life, but I think I got secondhand high there, and it wasn't just the drugs. The folks that went to these shows were the most peaceful, flowing, spiritual, harmonious mystical creatures that I have ever been around! Lots of people would bring me kind gifts and food. There's crystals everywhere. Everyone was relaxed and playful and twirling. I remember walking to my booth one morning and there was a lady in a forest clearing leading a yoga session, with everyone in their costumes for the day, and so it's fae and fawns, wizards and witches, all out there doing yoga together. Such a beautiful sight!!!

Pirate Fests are where all the rowdy, rough and tumble folks go. There is literally constant sea chanties and untold shenanigans constantly afoot. The level of costuming is UNREAL. The details and finery that I have beheld at pirate fests are UNMATCHED. The feeling in the air is joyous and rollicking and rascally! There are cannons booming, mermaids swimming, and profuse tomfoolery. 

Steampunk events, while they were big and thriving, had the most DEDICATED fans I have ever met. It's like 90% people who are makers and crafters, and you will see me in my booth discussing the "portable time machine" that is strapped to the back of the adorable man wearing it, with his handlebar mustache, little circle glasses, and impeccable Victorian clothing. I loved my steampunk friends, and these were the shows that I was the MOST sad to see phasing out.

AAAAAnd at the Oktoberfest, I tried to be sure to bring just basic black corsets and floral skirts. You know. For the Dirndl look. And well. The whole day, PROBABLY 100 TIMES, I heard people come up and examine them and say, "Isn't this the stuff that the Kardashians wear?" *forehead smack* I believe I made a total of $200 for the whole show. I think that was one sale. For a 3 day weekend. But I DID eat a lot of bratwurst, so there's that. 

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