This weekend was spent in Gent. For fun and profit, although in the end it only ended up being for profit, and we didn’t make much.
We tried selling statues at Africa Matters at the Vooruit, a nice little festival on, yes, Africa. In previous years, as much as 2500 visitors came along for the ride, but this year, after having moved the venue twice in the last two years, only half of that number showed up.
We had planned to stay only for the Saturday, only agreeing to come over last Thursday, but ended up staying for the Sunday too, when our Saturday went relatively well, selling one quite large statue.
Overall, the number of objects sold wasn’t that bad, but we had lowered our prices significantly and mostly only sold small pieces (keyrings, bookmarks and so forth). In the end, we only barely managed to cover our expenses.
What I did enjoy was that all the visitors, and the other people trying to promote their wares were very much Africa minded, in the right mindset, a very welcome change from the previous market we had tried. Two of the other sellers included an African book store, Black Label and a guy selling handiwork from South Africa, Isandla Creations.
Back in November, the organizer of the event had contacted me to ask if I was interested to take up a stand at the event. I asked a couple of questions but never heard back from him. As something of an apology, he offered a heavily reduced fare for a table. Last Thursday. We had already decided to go, just to take a look and combine it with a weekend of relaxation, Gent being one of the cuter towns in Belgium.
But indeed, after the show was over on Saturday, we only zombied around in two cafes, the ZOO and the Maron, in an area lovingly called ‘Patershol’. For some reason, we found the new ‘Shrimp look’ advertised on the local menu very funny.
We were just too tired. And on top of that, we had no choice but to stay in the Formule 1 hotel, just out of town. Cheap, decent, but not very close to the action.