Locke Street Festival at the base of the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton, the “mountain” to locals, was a great place for us to give out copies of Escarpment Views on Sunday. So great that Mike and I left with not one copy left over. Not just the current Autumn issue, but every single back issue we brought, was taken. I’m talking about hundreds of copies. Possibly close to 2,000. And we could have given away more.
I knew that the festival draws crowds. I think I read that there were 15,000 visitors in 2009. So we packed the car as full as possible with boxes of magazines.
I did not expect we would be cleaned out.
I did not expect to sell so many subscriptions.
I did not expect to meet people from Georgetown who came because of the ad in the magazine.
I did not expect to see current subscribers picking up back issues they hadn’t received.
I didn’t expect to hear that one lady uses our centre photos for meditation.
I didn’t expect to be questioned about our mandate and then to see the person get teary-eyed and wish us well because we have the best intention.
I didn’t expect the long day, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., during which we stood most of the time, to fly by as quickly as it did.
Mike roamed the street taking photos and came across Andrea Horwath, leader of the NDP and a previous advertiser of ours, out campaigning. He gave her a copy of the Autumn issue because it contains an election feature of questions by readers and answers by the political parties. To Mike’s delight, Andrea had the magazine in her hands for a while as she spoke to people.
There were lots of people wearing Green Party buttons at the festival, and suddenly one of their candidates appeared at our table saying “I heard you have an election article?” I was happy to give him a copy.
I have to mention Goodness Me, a natural food store, for excellent public relations in inviting us to use their washroom, handing out gift bags with neat samples of products, snacks and lotions, and selling delicious, wholesome ready-made wraps and big bottles of water at reasonable prices. I’ll be back at this friendly store.
And I think we’ll definitely be back at the Locke Street Festival next year.