Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair Returning to Union Market Sept. 28th and 29th – Entry Fee of $5 in advance or $10 at the Door

Photo by PoPville flickr user afagen

Last year Crafty Bastard moved to Union Market after 7 years in Adams Morgan. They’re returning to Union Market this year on Sept 28th and 29th.

From a press release:

“We’re thrilled to announce that this year, in addition to the more than 140 talented vendors who will be featured, attendees can enjoy local food truck fare, a selection of craft brews at the New Belgium Beer Garden, and attractions for every age at the Crafty Clubhouse Tent (stroller parking included)!

This year’s carefully-selected roster of independent artisans will be selling everything from clothing, jewelry and home goods to fine art and toys. There’s a one-of-a-kind find for everyone at Crafty Bastards – and this unique shopping experience is here for two days only!

Tickets are on sale now. Day passes can be purchased in advance for $5, or $10 at the door. Kids under 10 are free!

WHAT: Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair
WHEN: Saturday, September 28th and Sunday, September 29th
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
WHERE: Union Market
1309 5th St NE”

26 Comment

  • Has there always been a fee to enter? What does it paying for? I’m a little turned off by it…

    • justinbc

      I believe it started last year when they moved to Union Market. I’ve attended each year since it came to DC and the switch from Adams Morgan to Union Market was definitely a negative one in my opinion.

  • Pay to peruse overpriced tchotchkes? No.

    This is what happens when parents over-praise their children’s artistic efforts.

    • which years have you been?

    • I used to go when it was in Adams Morgan. I dabble in crafting, and appreciate the work that goes into it. I also have a lot of friends and family with October-December birthdays and was always hoping to buy their presents there. But screenprinted tees and $20 headbands and kooky stuffed animals don’t exactly fit the bill. Oh well.

      • I don’t even mind the prices set by the vendors (if you think it’s too much, don’t buy it), but having to pay just to see what’s there? NOPE.

    • Haha! my thoughts exactly. I’ve been at least 5 times except for last year and every time I wonder “why do I come to this again?” I guess it was something to do and I could find entertainment hating on crocheted cozies for water guns (yes, seriously). I wonder how paying admission is working out for them. you all could check out the market on 15th and P or just go to eastern market.

  • I enjoy Crafty Bastards, but it was MUCH more user-friendly in Adams Morgan. I went last year, and here were the problems with the new venue as I see it:
    1) Smaller space, so everything was much more cramped and uncomfortable.
    2) Harder to get to for a lot of people, and parking was a zoo (not that parking in Adams Morgan is a cakewalk, but it just felt really crazy over there).
    3) Very limited food options within a reasonable amount of time (the market has great food vendors, but they were totally overwhelmed by the crowd; it took me over half an hour to get a sandwich). They really should get a bunch of food trucks over there for this. At least in Adams Morgan, you could easily go grab a quick bite and then go back to shopping.
    4) And yes, it is annoying to have to pay to shop, especially if you’re going with a bunch of kids (who are over 10).

    • justinbc

      Agreed with everything except the parking, since they allowed us to use the Gallaudet lot for free. Parking in Adams Morgan is some of the worst in the city.
      The baby stroller parade made walking through aisles in the Union Market parking lot nearly impossible. Seriously parents, wtf?

  • I’ve attended quite a few times when it was in Adams Morgan (and FREE), and I really enjoyed the event. I think that it’s ridiculous that they are charging the consumers to simply enter the space. Charge the vendors if you have to (who would then have to jack up their prices, but alas). Count me out.

  • Pay to browse? Not even Gucci charges to browse. Union Market should sponsor this event rather than keep people away with a cover charge.

  • I don’t mind paying to browse so much, I just wish it was either spread out more or they limited the number of vendors to give them more space. If I’m paying to browse, I want to seriously be able to browse. Last year was just super crowded. And I agree with vannessie about the food options. There also wasn’t anywhere to sit and eat our food. We ended up going to that tiny subway and eating on a curb. Not a great experience.

    • justinbc

      If you chose that Subway over A. Litteri which is literally right across from it then shame on you.

      • I just noticed the FAQ that mentions pets aren’t allowed this year. They need to publicize that a lot more as I remember seeing tons of dogs at Crafty Bastards every other year.

        • Sorry, replied to wrong post. Thanks for the A. Litteri info, though.

        • I have no problem with not allowing dogs and actually agree with the decision. I think the new policy needs to be publicized because I imagine a lot of dog owners who have attended in the past being are not going to be happy when they’re turned away for showing up with their dogs. Tweet it a few times (I have yet to see a single tweet about it and it’s three days away) and put it on the main page rather than just the FAQ.

  • The Smithsonian Craft show – a juried show of the countries top (and very expensive) craft people only charges $15.00. That seems fair because most people are just going to look, not spend $5,000. But $10.00 admission to Crafty Bastards is just nuts. A family of 4 spending $40.00 to look at hand knitted hats and sock monkeys. Sure, $5.00 advance, but this is not exactly the kind of thing most people plan in advance.

    • This.

      Which is too bad, because it used to be a great venue for young crafters looking to market themselves.

      However, obviously turnout was good enough last year that the organizers feel confident reimposing the entry fee. I wonder if more will stay away this year, given the experiences noted above (granted, not a scientific survey). If it is a mob scene again this year, don’t see why the organizers would either lower or discard the entrance fee.

      Curious if the DC Flea (child of Brooklyn Flea, written up on PoPville a few months ago) will be charging an entrance fee….

      • justinbc

        I plan to pass on it this year for the first time, mainly because of the poor planning last year (and the fee, which is absurd, even if small). I probably spent more last year than any other year too, but pushing people out of the way just to be able to see what’s on a table is too aggravating. It actually tops the year that it was drizzling at Adams Morgan and all the idiots were blocking booths with their oversized umbrellas.

        • Hi JustinBC, we are trying to give people an incentive to purchase tickets ahead of time so that they won’t have to wait in line upon arrival. The price of admission is due purely to the economics of producing the festival at a fantastic venue like Union Market. We appreciate your past support of our vendors and our fair and we do hope you reconsider attending!

    • Hi Victoria, just want to let you know that all kids under 10 will be able to enter the fair free of charge. We really do want Crafty Bastards to be the kind of thing that people plan to come to in advance. We’ve found that it helps us manage crowding and long lines at the ticket counters located at each entrance into the fair.

  • justinbc

    The vendors are clearly not the problem. If people don’t like what you’re selling then they can just move on. The fact that the venue charges them to find out whether they like it or not is however rather disappointing, especially given the limited space at the new location to sufficiently peruse wares.

  • I echo the other comments. I don’t really like the fee, but I could understand it under certain circumstances of making the event more enjoyable. except that everything went in the opposite direction. smaller space instead of larger, more crowds packed in, less food options. i mean, what’s the point? If my $5 meant that i could peruse in comfort rather than be in a shoulder-to-shoulder sardine can then OK. but why should i pay any money at all when i can barely make my way from table to table, let alone take time to look? it makes the entire experience feel like a waste and doesn’t solve ANY of the problems cited as the reasons for leaving marie reed except for weather.

  • I love Crafty Bastard and have been going for years. I also love Union Market and go at least twice a month. However, I don’t think these two things were meant for each other. The size of the venue is just too small to accomodate the crowds. Last year was incredibly crammed and you could barely get inside the booths to look at the merchandise.

    It’s also a total bummer that dogs are no longer allowed because that’s one of the things I loved about the event. It’s also one of the things that Crafty Bastard used to embrace.

    I don’t mean to get on this forum to complain but perhaps these things could be reconsidered in the future.

    • do you have a space in mind that would really work?
      keep in mind that DC schools are no longer an option for events like this.

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