Massive Barn Market on Oct. 8 postponed
09/27/2016 03:01PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
On the morning of April 16, as event organizer Lisa Vonderstruck of Brandywine View Antiques prepared to welcome visitors to the second annual Massive Barn Market at the Chadds Ford Historical Society, she saw what appeared to be an endless line of people standing in the distance.
“Years ago, when I first began to organize antique markets, I was excited to have ten people behind the rope,” Vonderstruck said. “To look up and see a half-mile long line of people this last time, was mind boggling.”
“A vendor came up to me at about 11:30 in the morning and told me, 'You've been shut down,'” she said. “We were so engulfed with people, that I took a second to look at the audience and thought, 'Wow. This is big.' In the aftermath, a lot of people referred to the market as the second coming of Woodstock.
By conservative estimates, the event drew an attendance of well over 5,000, a huge jump from the 1,500 who attended the first antique market in 2015. Humanity swarmed everywhere, as more than 100 vendors from three states and 11 food trucks formed a small city of antiques and collectibles, making deals and negotiations with visitors who drove to the event from five states.
Meanwhile, outside of the event grounds, traffic was a bottleneck of vehicles along Route 1 and Route 100, as local and state police – joined by volunteers -- directed visitors to parking lots, which were half filled by the beginning of the event. Those who could not find parking nearby, Vonderstruck said, could be observed entering the festival grounds through the nearby woods.
“Can you imagine driving three and four hours, and not being able to find adequate parking?” she said.
Although the popularity of the event drew raves from appreciative vendors, not everyone was happy. Several members of the local community voiced their frustration about the excessive traffic, and as she began to plan a follow-up event, which had been scheduled for Oct. 8, Vonderstruck made the decision to shut it down and re-tool.
“About a month ago, we realized we could not execute an adequate market that meets the needs of the vendors, the customers and the surrounding community,” she said. “Because we were anticipating that a lot of people would attend the Oct. 8 event, I decided that I'd rather go big or go home.”
Vonderstruck said that she is targeting Spring 2017 for the next Massive Barn Market, a time line that gives her six months to plan for. She is currently negotiating with local officials in determining a new site for the event, one that she said will need to have additional alternative routes funneling off of a main road. In January, she will release the name of the new location, and a new website she elicit the ideas from vendors and the community. She also wants to hire professional parkers, select alternative routes to the festival site: a location off of a main road that provides three entrances and exits that will take festival goers to a parking site.
To receive up-to-date information on the rescheduled Massive Barn Market next spring, visit MassiveBarnMarket.com, which will be launched in the next few weeks, or visit brandywineview.com.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.