Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Septemberfest in Schaumburg IL is a large festival which includes a carnival, large food area and main stage with bands and entertainment into the evening.  All are set on and around the grounds of the Schaumburg Municipal center.  The Arts and Crafts area consists of probably 250+ artists and crafters.  Well it has the possibility of having that many.  


We have done this show for about 4 years now.  Parking for guests is very limited, but they seem to come out for the show and the music at the main stage. The arts area closes at 5pm and we watch the people coming to the nightly band concerts carrying their lawn chairs and coolers.  As far as the art show goes, we have watched it deteriorate seriously over the last couple of years.   What do I mean by deteriorate?   An influx of buy and sellers..  This year I would say that close to 35-40% were buy and sell.


As an example, a year ago there was a person that was 2 booths over from us.  That person had a double booth.  The only thing in their booth were items that were shipped from Eastern Asia.  Their items were stored behind the tent in their original baxes and they would restock from them. 


Management for the show was made aware of these vendors on the first day of the show.  Management chose to do nothing about it.  Septemberfest agreement states that the artist must be in the booth with their product.  If the items are buy and sell, the vendor will be asked to tear down and leave.   When this was mentioned to management they said that they did not want any confrontations with the vendor so they would leave them there and not have them come back.  Strange way to handle things when their agreement says if you have buy and sell you will be asked to leave and no refund.  Confrontation would not be an issue when they have plenty of Schaumburg police on site all day. 


So this one vendor got to stay the whole show and make life miserable for true artists trying to sell their art work.  Then we get to this year.   Guess what????     Yep, this vendor was back.   In a different location but back again.  When management was confronted they said well he paid his fee before we found out he was buy and sell so we had to let him in.  Then they go on to tell me that it will all be changed next year bacause they have a new president.   Well in my thoughts it is not the president who lets these people in but the people running the arts portion of the festival.  If they wont remove somone who is violating their policy.  It makes me believe that all they want to do is fill spaces in this show and they do not care who applies. 

Maybe a festial is not the best venue for art.  We will look to other locations to fill the void in our calendar. 

B. David Kruser




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Comment by B. David Kay on October 12, 2012 at 2:43pm


With all due respect, in 2011 one of your main people for this show was notified about this specific vendor and the response was that they did not want to have any confrontation by asking them to leave.  It was pointed out that your agreement says they will be asked to leave.    I am not sure why they did not ask the buy/seller to leave when they could have asked one of the many on site Schaumburg police to assist in case of problems.  Then this year, that same seller was back and in a different spot on the grounds.  It was again told to staff and nothing was done.  Staff said that the person paid their fee before they knew it was the same person.   Their was so much buy and sell at the 2012 show that many of the artists that I know said they are not coming back.

Roxanne, thanks for taking the time to respond to this. If you want more details call me.  Always glad to talk to you and help. 


Comment by Roxane Benvenuti on October 12, 2012 at 2:00pm

The application information states that the Septemberfest Committee reserves the right to view each booth after set-up and to request removal of any items that were not juried into the show and/or were deemed inappropriate for sale at Septemberfest. Any violation of these rules could result in immediate removal from the Septemberfest Arts & Crafts Show as well as disqualification from any future craft fairs. The Septemberfest Arts & Crafts chair of 24 years has always been spot on and has escorted crafters with buy/sell items out of the show in the past or insisted that those few items that crafters sometimes try to sneak into their booths along with their handmade items be removed from their booth immediately. We do not have a new President as mentioned in the comment, but we do have a new Septemberfest Arts & Crafts Chair and Assistant/Co-Chair for next year since the former chairperson has resigned. In addition, it would be very helpful to promoters and festival coordinators if crafters notice another crafter with buy/sell items that they contact the people in charge and let them know their name and/or booth number during the show instead of commenting about it afterwards so that something may be done about the issue. Please note that accessing the site around the Municipal Center grounds is made easier to patrons by taking one of the free Septemberfest shuttle buses to the Septemberfest site.


In regards to Larry’s comment, staff is always on-site rain or shine for the entire festival.

Comment by Connie Mettler on October 6, 2012 at 8:59am

David, so sorry to hear this. Any chance you can email me the name of these organizers at Schaumburg? connie @ They may not know we all talk to each other and pay attention to this kind of information.

Sometimes festivals can work for art, but it is always a tricky balance.

Comment by B. David Kay on October 3, 2012 at 1:51pm


Thanks for your thoughts and insight.  They are always welcome.   We have found the spring show to be OK as it is smaller and more Arts than crafts or other participants. 

I agree that it is nice to work with a promoter who has no problem excorting a buy/seller out the door.   I stand behind Donna Hanson at Step by Step 100%.  Yes it is nice to be out of the rain and heat and wind and go indoors. 

Unfortunately, we will not see you this week end, because we will be in Galena IL again.  Galena show is getting questionable also.  But we are going to try it one more year.  So we will catch up with you soon. 


B. David


Comment by Lawrence Cimaglio on October 3, 2012 at 9:42am

Hey guys! I found it difficult to make any money there 3 years ago and this year even cancelled participation in the spring show.  I am certainly happy I did that.  No, bad management (remember the storm last year where all the management people ran for the hills?) is usually endemic in a show, especially when it comes to a municipality.  We too often read or listen to the promotion portion of a solicitation for a show, but the pragmatic realities don't seem to bubble to the surface.  I look forward to seeing you this weekend with a promoter that has no problem escorting a "buy/sell" out the door.  That line in the sand has made Donna's business (shows) grow!  It's great to go indoors for a show, isn't it?!!!

Comment by Melanie Rolfes on October 2, 2012 at 5:43pm

Thanks for the review.  For me finding a festival that is also a good venue for selling my art can be tricky. 


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