At festivals I have met Senators, Actors, Artists I love, old friends and teachers I lost track of, and CEO's. The Art festival is often a magical time when politics, religion, or other factors can be set aside for the enjoyment of Art and a fine day with friends and neighbors. I like this.
I talk to people see what they like and dislike, not only of my own work but over all. I learn about people as a whole. As such I learn my Audience, my community, and about myself.
I also try to demo or educate people about my work or the work of those that came before me. Most do not know the history of ceramics or of set types of objects so this gives them a connection to them. Often I get to see interest and curiosity grow and I know that they want to learn more. So when I have the chance to plant a seed in someone for the search of knowledge I am exited.
All of these things are not why I make my art to start with. But I do find that they are a factor in what inspire me. Because once I get home, often before I am even rested up I am itching to create new things. Not just because I have to replace what was sold but because a person's story triggered an idea or challenge.
For me a festival is a hotbed of inspiration, not from other artists but from the visitors and people that I meet.