Frieze will give a 10% refund to galleries in its New York fair after heat stymied sales.
In May, after the record-high temperatures in the fair’s tent on Randall’s Island prompted complaints from exhibitors, Frieze organizers sent out a letter to participating galleries indicating that there would be some sort of reimbursement to make up for lost sales and general discomfort. After that email was obtained by Artsy, Frieze Fairs director Victoria Siddall confirmed the refund, though not the exact amount. But yesterday, a letter sent out to dealers indicates that the fair is willing to pay back 10% of the total booth charge, with a minimum amount set at $1,000. “Our intention has only ever been to create a fantastic experience for you, your clients and artists,” reads the email as quoted by ARTnews, “so we are truly saddened and sorry for this and want you to know we are working now to ensure it can never happen again.”
The gesture comes as Frieze prepares to launch a second American fair, this time in Los Angeles, with its first edition set to open in February 2019. And despite the gesture, some dealers are still stung by the art-selling conditions at this year’s New York fair. One dealer reached out to ARTnews after the publication of the story to say, “Regarding the refund, I think the percentage should be higher.”