Saturday, 20 December 2008

ANGEL Art and Craft Market (Candid Arts)

This is our second review and we hope that it's just bad luck that we've come across two craft markets that were if nothing else a great place to meet other designer makers but not so great overall!
One of the craft guerrilla gals took up a stall for the Candid Arts Angel Market Christmas Weekender... here is what she had to say...

"The Angel art and craft market happens on a weekly basis in Angel near the old Punk/ Goth haunt the Slime Light.The idea of Candid Arts holding a Christmas craft market filled us with excitement as this well established art charity has plenty of Kudos and patrons.
Tucked behind the tube station in a very wide alley Candid Arts sits proudly but almost invisible. With it's large industrial doors you could be forgiven for thinking that it wasn't actually there! There's a small sandwich board just outside the door but you'd hardly see it from the main road.
As you go through the large courtyard garden, nestled amidst office blocks and old brick faced factories small clusters of mismatched tables and chairs clumsily sit on old characterful paved floors. The place itself is gorgeous and has so much potential! The stall prices are overly expensive and for that kind of money (£120 for two days and a preview night) you'd expect their publicity machine to be working overtime!
We waited over an hour for a table and were greeted with three dirty cafe tables. Others had to place their products on the floor as it wasn't made clear that it was a B.Y.O. table event.
The publicity was almost nonexistent. The flyers and banners were in such drab colours that you could hardly see them. On the high street there were no posters or at least a sandwich board would have been nice. This was left near the door next to the saddest Christmas tree I have ever seen. Inside the variety of craft was unfortunate, mainly jewellery and a few others like two ceramists,painters,felt makers and someone selling African artifacts that were clearly bought in Morocco at a wholesaler. As they have a very strict pre vetting system I find this really amazing and shocking!
The Candid Arts cafe is cute and you have to go through the courtyard and up some metal stairs to get there. The staff were young,inexperienced and clueless but as we were there we thought we could support them by bringing them our custom. A small sandwich no bigger then 20cm of baguette and a slice of cheese and a few salad leaves was more expensive then in a high street coffee shop chain. For over £3.00 you expect a decent filling in a sandwich! I won't mention the coffee.
The flyer promised mulled wine,carols and minced pies.It seemed to me that this was complimentary so to get people through the doors and shopping. There was no mention of any charge. The sour faced bar staff asked for £2.00 without conveying that it was a donation based option.It was up to me weather to give them £2 or not but I was made to feel like there was no choice and if I didn't like it I could go else where. Minced pies and carols were no where to be found.
The loos were dirty and overflowed. The heating was most of the time switched off and when a stall holder went to turn the calor gas heater on he was reprimanded by one of the staff. Over all it was held in a beautiful venue though the staff and organizers were unhelpful, aloof, dippy and very slow.
Hardly any shopper came through the doors and I have to say that I won't be giving my hard earned cash to people that are only filling a quota.Be it a charity or not!
I get it that it's a charity but even so and because of that you'd expect something quite great or at least minimally organised! I got the feeling that as long as they were making their money then the stall holders,their welfare and all the rest didn't matter!
Unfortunate but I hope they get their act together."

Publicity/ visibility:
General helpfulness/ approachability (related to the organizers):ONE STAR
Value for money (IE stall rental): ONE STAR
Longevity/potential (will this craft event be one that people will come back to!):ONE STAR


ONE STAR = bad
TWO STARS = moderate/average
FOUR STARS = great
FIVE STARS = fantastic

Please note:
This review was submitted by an genuine designer maker that partook in the above event. These are personal opinions and are subjected to individual views and expectations. If you have been mentioned in this post and feel misrepresented please contact us and we'll post your side of the story.

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