This past weekend, we had the pleasure of attending Five Points Festival, a collaboration of designer toys, comics, and street art, presented by Clutter Magazine and Midtown Comics. The festival was a two-day event that had one show floor, featuring artists and toy designers from all over the world. Exhibitors also attended and sold toys and comics along with a large variety of geek culture items. There was also an outside beer garden that Lagunitas Brewing Company sponsored, featuring a variety of beers. Food trucks featured different types of food from Philly cheese-steaks to Lebanese dishes to empanadas, provided by Live Fast Group.
The showroom was divided into two parts: artist alley which featured over 150 artists and exhibitors with all types of pop culture items to buy. The layout of the floor was very similar to other smaller conventions that we have attended. Five Points mastered the space with ample room to navigate throughout the floor without any issues. The absence of aisle markers did not infringe on our ability to easily find what aisle we were on but finding the location of a particular booth took a few minutes longer than expected. Since the size of the showroom was not overwhelming and the free guidebook provided had a map, this was not a big deal.
The staffing at Pier 36 were friendly and awesome to chat with. Not once did we have an issue with a worker and the showroom and beer garden remained clean at all times. For experienced con goers this becomes an important part of our experience as a clean event center is a happy one! Volunteers and staff members of the event itself were always smiling and helpful and present if needed. Another aspect that we must point out as we have had less enjoyable experiences in the past. Five Points created an environment that was welcoming and inviting!
The best and most exciting part of this festival was the focus on artists. We were blown away on day one of the festival when artists were at the forefront with positive energy and stunning pieces of artwork on each booth. Our expectations were met and surpassed with the different artists from all over the world with very unique creations, some of which were custom made and exclusive. While walking around we also noticed that whether you were a novice, expert, or somewhere in between, any and all questions were answered with enthusiasm.
This festival did not disappoint with their goal to bring street art and designer toys to the east coast. Many large conventions bombard the con goer with celebrity guest lists that flood the event centers with long lines that often take away from the artist that is trying to put their work out into the world. We had enough time on each day to converse with different designers and artists and even vendors. We never had in issue hearing ourselves or others speaking as in some conventions where it is too loud.
Beer and art should always be paired together! On both day one and day two, we scheduled time to head outdoors to grab a beer and food to re-energize ourselves. The prices of the beers were affordable (we are New Yorkers, beer and liquor is rarely below double digits), and the selection was good. We did wish that the selection of beer was larger, but each beer we tried satisfied us and did not break the bank. Food is a necessity during a festival/convention. The accessibility to food trucks is always an amazing idea and we totally took advantage! Even though we were impressed with the food itself, I had four empanadas, we wished there was a larger variety.
Overall we not only enjoyed our experience at Five Points but will look forward to this festival continuing and expanding over the years. It is not very often an event gives the artists and designers the front line in a festival, allowing them to expose their artwork to the world, in an environment where attendees are seeking custom art, exclusives, and one-of-a-kind art work and comics that we will cherish for a lifetime.
Be sure to check out our pictures and videos from The Designer Toy Award and Five Points Festival, links are below.