Invest in a Tent & Weights

Are you investing in a new commercial grade tent for our market?

Our Requirements:

  • 10′ x 10′ Commercial-Grade White Tent
  • Minimum of 160 lbs. (40-50 lbs. per leg) of weights
  • Must have 4 solid tent walls available for use if it rains & overnight.
  • Canopy must be attached to weights and secured to frame.

Why do I need Weights?

If you experience an unexpected strong wind burst –  without proper weights – your tent (and your investment in it) is gone.  A tent flying through the air can be very dangerous. Imagine how you would feel if your tent went airborne and hit a child, pet or fellow artisan. When you choose to not follow weight requirements — your choosing to risk hurting someone.

We require a minimum of 40-50 pounds of weight per leg (and at least 160 pounds of weights in total).  You will not be permitted to vend without proper weights.

Why do I need 4 solid tent walls?

If it rains, you will be able to close & secure your walls to stay dry – and protect your merchandise. As any experienced tent vendor can tell you, this can be vitally important in heavy rain.  If you are working alone — please make sure you can quickly put up walls on your own.   Sometimes rain comes quickly with little warning.

Weights for the Canopy
The best weights are strapped to the bottom of each leg, and then tethered via a bungee to the top corner of the canopy, thus lowering the center of gravity of the canopy. In a strong gust of wind, even canopies secured with enough weight can be broken if the weights are not suspended from the top corners of the canopy or if built-in velcro straps used to secure the canopy to the frame are not properly fastened.

Do not begin setting up tables or “merchandising” your tent before you have properly installed your weights and secured your tent canopy.

At Oakbrook Center, we cannot stake tents into the ground. The Village Green is artificial turf and the areas around the Village Green are either concrete or stone.

Examples of canopy weights (we bolded our favorite option)

    • Filling an empty bucket (2.5 gallon works great) with cement and tying this to each corner of the tent with a rope or bungee. It is NOT sufficient to place the bucket on the feet of the canopy.
    • Filling buckets/containers with sand/cement that can be anchored or secured with a rope or bungee; these include canvas bags or plastic buckets/containers that have a handle through which a rope or bungee can be secured.
    • Sandbag weights that are specially made for securing canopies. These sandbag weights are vertical and can be strapped the legs of the canopy.
    • PVC pipe capped and filled with cement can be hung on the inside of canopy poles as long as it is secured so that it does not collide with customers. 

In a strong gust of wind, even canopies secured with enough weight, can be broken if the weights are not suspended from the top corners of the canopy.

Weights, Sand, Pea Gravel or Water? 

Actual weights that nest together can be an effective option, but they tend to be more expensive. Sandbags filled with pea gravel, sand, or water tend to be less expensive, but you do need to be mindful of three things: i) Will the container leak? ii) What are you filling the bags with?  iii) What happens to your vehicle if they leak during transport?

If you are using either sand or water, leakage might be an issue during transport. Pea gravel does not absorb water like sand — which makes transport easier after a rain. Here are links to products that have been recommended by other vendors.

Commercial Grade Tent

We require a “commercial grade” white tent which must be 10′ x 10′.  We require a tent with solid white walls that zipper for overnight storage & safety during heavy rains. From time to time Costco offers great value on commercial tents with 4 side walls. Things to note when selecting a tent:
1) Does it come with 4 solid side walls? (This impacts price)
2) If it comes with weights, the weights may not meet the 40 pound per leg requirement. That is, you may need to supplement with additional weights to reach the 160 pound minimum (again, that’s 40 pounds per leg).
3)  Does your ten come with a bag with wheels?  Wheels facilitate transport, and the Oak Brook Artisan market is a “dolly-in” market.
4) Does the tent have a vent on top to allow wind  to escape should a strong gust of wind enter your tent (vs creating pressure for your tent to uplift)
5) How easy is your tent to set-up?  Can you do it alone or do you need a second person to help?
If you’re a first timer, we recommend practicing setting up your tent at home first.  You should also come early enough on the 1st day of the market that you have adequate time to fully set-up and secure your tent. Plan extra time to deal with the unexpected.  
6)  How does the canopy attach?  Weight on the tent legs will help keep your tent frame from flying away.
Consider how the canopy is constructed and how it will stay on the frame with a strong gust of wind. Some of them have hooks that can be hooked to weights with a bungee cord.  
Recommended products links from other artisans:
Prices vary (and so does quality). Tents typicaly cost $250 to $500 (e.g. Costco or Eurmax through Amazon).  We’ve had good luck with both Costco & Eurmax tents. Walmart has them cheaper — but vendors have told us the cheap ones break (sometimes during the 1st use)