Honfest 2008:
2 much, probably
Honfest 2008, too long

About Honfest

The oddly attractive festival, held in June on the Avenue in Hampden.  It brings out a plethora of Hons* (we think wannabes) and Pink Flamingos, both made famous by a few John Waters Films, and now resurrected, more or less, for commercial purposes.  Honfest 2008 was once again blessed with great weather, a large turnout and the merchants; ready willing and able.  Another 2 day affair that was a blast but for most of the merchants, we heard the second day, Sunday was much better.

Arts and Crafts, Food and Beer Vendors

We talked to some vendors and many, but not suprisingly, were disappointed in their sales.  Honfest, whether a one or two day festival, just does not attract the type of crowd that just goes out looking for arts and crafts, let alone fine arts, so this type of response was totally expected.  For Food and Beer vendors, it was a win win situation, as long as the weather held up, and it did.  We did learn, through the grapevine, that one needed to get a wrist band, at the cost of $2, verifying they are indeed old enough to drink beer.  We saw no problem with this, and we encourage it, but the $2, was even before you could buy a single beer.  *Please understand, the wrist bands were NOT being given out by the beer vendors, you had to go to a booth just for this!  It seems someone was making an extra couple of bucks... we don't know the whole story but it still seemed odd.

Local Merchants

The backbone of Hampden is undoubtably the local merchants! No question about it, if one goes to Hampden, they are out to shop the zany, quirky spaces and stores.  They may get a quick bite, or even visit a favorite watering hole like, Holy Frijoles or Frazier's, but they will finish and take a stroll along the Avenue.  With this said, the BIGGEST complaint we heard from local merchants was the $150 or so fee to be able to set up a small space in FRONT of your own shop.  This is kind of like the "tail wagging the dog" or even "biting the hand that feeds you", why on earth would you charge a fee to the same people that makes Hampden so popular AND attracts 95% of the crowd that visits Hampden!  This is shameful at best and at worst, just downright selfish AND stupid.  Let's picture Honfest with 30% or more of the merchants closed during the festival, not a pretty site and for sure would have the regular visitors to Hampden wondering why.  If Honfest has become too costly, have the food and beer verndors pick up the tab, the poor artists are already overcharged IMHO, or better yet bring it back to a one day festival or even hold it in someones backyard!

John Waters et al

There's been alot of good and bad things said about Honfest this year.  We agree with what was generally said, it's become a JAFA festival.  It is purely about commercialism, just downright getting away from the orginal spirit of the Festival.  We can best describe it, "as selling knockoff handbags to the tourist", just don't deny what you're selling and make sure the buyer knows, because the rest of us do!

by the Artguy - "if I knew better, I'd be just like you..."
Photos from Honfest 2008
Honfest 2008 on YOUTUBE


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