Performance times vary depending on performance location. Artists should expect to be onsite for approximately five hours on performance days, which includes arrival and check-in time one hour prior to first performance, four 10-20 minute performances, and strike. General times might be approximately 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 2-7 p.m.
Arts A’Fair performances “pop up” in areas that are not traditional performance areas. Artists work with onsite State Fair staff to determine how to best present the performance (in the round, proscenium, etc.). The performance surface is concrete, but some artists choose to bring flooring that must be placed and removed each day by the ensemble. Performance areas are not typically covered. Guests watch from benches, retaining walls, and other places around the perimeter of the performance area where they can sit or stand.
Artists may indicate a preference for performance location or time of day when submitting their proposals, however the selection committee will make the final decision.
It is possible to leave small set pieces in place between performances. Be aware that fair guests may sit on, walk on, or otherwise interact with the items left in place.
Each performance location will have a trailer that is available for artists to use as a dressing area, break area, and overnight storage of items. Items can be tucked under the trailer or stored inside. Trailer is shared with another artist/arts organization that performs in the opposite part of the day, so artists must keep their items contained when leaving for the day.
Weather can change quickly during the fair and could be different on one side of the fairgrounds than the other. Decisions whether to hold or cancel a performance will be made as close to performance time as possible. Artists and onsite Arts A’Fair staff will make the decisions together, based on the specific weather conditions and prioritizing the safety of performers and fair guests.
Performances with highly visible elements or music tend to have the most success drawing audiences.
Performers are encouraged to engage with audiences in the performance location. Artists can decide how to incorporate that engagement into their performances, whether they address audiences through the sound system as part of the performance or by mingling with audience members that approach them after their performances. An Arts A’Fair staff person (Barker) will be onsite at each performance to assist performers in drawing a crowd or introducing the artists.
The State Fair works with a professional audio company to provide amplification and playback support for the Arts A’Fair performances. Artists will have the opportunity to discuss specific audio needs for their performances prior to the start of the fair. The State Fair is a busy place with lots of ambient noise. Artists are encouraged to take advantage of the audio resources that the State Fair provides. Artists will need to set-up and strike all sets, props, flooring, etc. each day. Minimal props are encouraged. All performances are outdoors during daylight hours, so additional lighting is not provided.
Site visits that take place prior to the first day of the fair are possible, but must be arranged with State Fair staff in advance. Barkers and audio technicians are not available for rehearsals.
Between performance times, artists can take a break in the dressing area or walk around the fairgrounds, provided they are back in time for their next scheduled performance.
Directly before and after their performances, artists are allowed to pass out informational items promoting their organization or an upcoming show. They must remain in the performance area when handing out information, as no one is allowed to distribute information while traversing the fairgrounds. Promotional signage may be allowed, but must be approved in advance by State Fair staff.
While there is no specific limit on the number of artists in a performance, large ensembles may need to share microphones or take turns using the dressing area. Other challenges may arise for large ensembles based on the unique requirements of their presentations.
Each arts organization will receive one parking pass to park in the nearest on-grounds parking lot to their performance area. This parking pass is provided to assist with bringing costumes and props onto the fairgrounds.
Each arts organization will receive $1,000 per two-day run, which include multiple 10-15 minute performances each day. Performers also receive State Fair admission tickets for their performance days and $10 each in State Fair food vouchers. Groups located outside the Twin Cities metro area will receive a per diem reimbursement.