This year, I went to Maker Faire with Stephen (hizKNITS, my podcast partner) and Tammy (PunkRawkPurl) under the working concept that we'd interview for our podcast (Yknit) and do research on the state of CRAFT and possibly get ideas for future event planning. Fortunately, we did get a nice interview with
Stephen drove us down early (10am) so that we could make sure to see the Yarn Harlot speak (11am) and to get our press credentials and scope the festival layout. It was good that we did this as parking had already started to back up and we took one of the final spots in the lot adjacent to the fairgrounds. Folks who arrived later in the day had to park a substantial distance from the festivities and had a big delay from the interstate.
We picked up our badges and lanyards, got our maps and heading in with about 15 minutes to spare before the Harlot. The seating for the main stage was about 500. I'm horrible with respect to these types of estimations but I confirmed that with other folks who were there. At first, it wasn't quite full, but about 10 minutes into her talk, the place was packed. Always a delight, Stephanie entertained the crowd with amusing stories and research about the benefits and educational aspects of knitting.
Afterwards she had a very popular book-signing and then had a crazy packed "knit-in" in a woefully tiny craft lounge. Since we had interviewed Stephanie the night before, we felt good about leaving her and exploring the fairgrounds. We saw pretty much the whole thing including the vendor booths in the Craft area, the work spaces in the Make area and all the outdoor activities including people powered music, transportation and, of course, DINING.
It was so cool to see all ages and all genders participating in the Craft areas. We saw our good friends from "A Verb for Keeping Warm" and got to meet the good folks at TinyMeat, Sweet Meats (is there a theme here....) and all the other Etsy and local independent crafty businesses.
There were robot wars, live demonstrations of science in action and quite a bit of fun music (including my favorite, the theremin). We saw lots of Ravelry friends, bloggers and mulit-crafters.
At the end of the day, we were all in a daze (might have been the non-stop junk food fest) but very happy to have attended. Next year, we plan on going but being more strategic with our interviews and, hopefully, plan something groovy and community-based like the Knit-In, but with more room to spread out.
There's tons more that I could mention but let's just say that: