Outdoor festivals& arts markets can prove to be a bit taxing and at times a terrifying experience when the wind kicks up. Tents can flip over and injure people, products can fly away or become tangled, and easels & art can fall over causing those pieces irreparable damage. It is important when you’ve booked an outdoor show to consider the weather. Be prepared for everything.
This certainly was the case last weekend at the Blue Dome Arts Festival–2 out of the 3 days of BDAF there were wind advisories issued for the state of Oklahoma affecting the downtown Tulsa area. Many artists took the warning seriously and bulked up their tents’ weights.
Here are some of the tent weight ideas that proved most effective last weekend.
1) Cinderblocks & Rope
This is probably one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to anchor your tent. Cinderblocks cost approximately $1.36 to $1.46 each depending on the size cinderblock you purchase. For the best results, purchase a full size cinderblock and at least 100 feet of rope.
Here you see pictured both a full cinderblock & a half cinderblock. This tent did not need much additional weight because they tied off with their neighbor (as you can see, their neighbor is a nice sturdy truck). Keep in mind your surroundings–tie off to sturdy structures. For instance, if there is a pole behind you, align one of your tents’ legs with it and tie said leg to the pole. You may also think about tying up to another neighbor. Be wary of your neighbor’s tent weights given this situation. If your neighbor’s tent is secure, then tying your tent to theirs only strengthens your structure; however, if they are not properly weighed then your tent may also be at risk of toppling over too.
The most effective cinderblocks are full ones. Be sure to tie sturdy knots around your cinderblock. Place each leg of your tent inside a cinderblock and secure it to your frame with rope.
2) For additional support only (do not use this as your sole method to anchor your tent): Hand weights & zip ties
3) Sand or Cement, PVC Pipe, & Bungee Cords To make your own PVC Pipe tent weight, visit ronfrazier’s blog post & DIY. As an anchoring system, this is by far the best (save professional tent weights which are pricey). This costs approximately $60.
One alteration to ronfrazier’s DIY, instead of making PVC pipes filled with cement or perhaps in addition to it–make plastic tubs filled with sand or cement that allow for higher wind days to use as additional weight as this artist did.
The wind is not all you will battle with–be sure to bring an ample supply of sunscreen, bug spray, and water to keep yourself hydrated. It’s also not a bad idea to pack yourself a first aid kit filled with general necessities–band aids, neosporin, allergy medicine, tylenol, wet wipes, & paper towels.
Stay safe this outdoor festival season & don’t blow away!