kristin chapman

Creative Bleed Archive

6th Annual Bay Area Maker Faire 2011

touch lights in the Fiesta Hall @ the Maker Faire, San Mateo, Ca, 2011 © creativebleed

This last weekend was the 6th Annual Bay Area Maker Faire at the San Mateo Event Center. (I didn’t bring my camera this year so I only got a few iphone shots that do not at all highlight the faire, but are just completely random).

R2D2's in the Fiesta Hall @ Maker Faire, San Mateo, Ca 2011 © creativebleed
Anyways, this is the third year I have gone to the Maker Fair in San Mateo and I have to say I really enjoy it. There are so many neat things, but every year I do feel a little overwhelmed, tired and a bit ripped off after I leave. And this why:

1.) There is too much’s overwhelming and tiring. You really do have to spend both days there. Every year I start in a different place, the first year I started in the Expo Hall so I got to make all kinds of things before the crowds. The second year I started in the Fiesta Hall. And this year I started at Homegrown Village because it always becomes a ghost town by the time I get there in the afternoon.

2.) It’s too crowded, even if you spend both days there, it’s so easy to miss things. More importantly it’s hard to make things because there are just too many people which is the whole point of the faire and what your paying for.

3.) It is $25 for an adult ticket for one day. Considering the amount of things there are it could be worth it, but because of the crowds and the endless activities it ends up being a bit much. You really spend most of your day attempting to see everything and not doing much but overloading your senses and realizing your getting cranky and need a nap.

Old Mixer that was a prop in the kitchen of an old house on wheels that was used as a stage @ Maker Faire, San Mateo, CA 2011 © creativebleed
In conclusion I either a) don't know how to properly navigate the faire, b.) need a week, or maybe more fairs throughout the bay area (being we are so heavy populated) or c.) maybe the entranced fee is tiered, where you pay less to just spectate and more to participate, or more for access into certain places like the expo hall.

I also want to add that although there is a lot of kids things through out the faire which is great I do wish there was designated area for just kids activities and their parents. Something that moves at a more “kid friendly” pace. But I loved that they moved both the Swap-O-Rama and the Bizarre Bazaar out of the little hall and under tents in Homegrown Village, much easier! k