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Art Detour Dates Change (Again)

The 2011 edition of Art Detour is testing fate.

Instead of traditionally taking place during the first weekend of March, Art Detour 23 will  be held on the third Friday weekend: Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, 2011.

Things didn't go very well the last time Art Detour moved festival dates. That was in 2008, when the Artlink-sponsored shindig took place during the second weekend of March.

Coupled with First Friday the weekend before and Third Friday the following weekend, the Art Detour 20 attendance was much lower than previous years. Also, gallery owners and participating artists weren't thrilled with the extra workload and face time. By the end of Detour 20, nerves were shot (and everyone still had to get ready for Third Friday).

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Artlink, which remains in charge of the festival, cites factors such as using "First Friday as a marketing tool," and feedback that included: "Why come out Detour weekend? I saw the art on First Friday" to back its decision to move the dates. And unlike 2008, there will be two weeks between First and Third Fridays for artists and galleries to prepare.

But there are a few more drawbacks. For example, the further away from March's beginning an indoor/outdoor shindig is thrown in Phoenix, the greater the potential for 100-degree days. Also, many spring-break-bound students will miss the festival since classes don't resume until that Monday.

Who knows? Maybe everything will be just peachy.

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