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Featured Review

51st Frankfort Fall Festival - 2019

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Held over Labor Day weekend each year, this festival attracts artists from across the country to exhibit. Local Frankfort organizations support the event by sponsoring additional attractions such as carnival rides and entertainment, as well as running the food booths.

We received an amazing number of FastAudit reports for this show - be sure to check the individual comments and sales reports for this show below to get a full picture.

Only a few auditors said they wouldn't be interested in participating in future shows. One, whose medium is recycled items, reported sales of $3,400 with an average item price (AIP) of $35. An artist working in metal sold $4,000/AIP $35 and commented, "Art does not sell well here. Crafts sell well. Some buy/sell."

A fused-glass artist who sold $1,000/AIP $45 concurred, saying "not my market - super-crafty buy/sell. Location is a big key. Kansas St is the main street of artisans. I was in an alleyway off the main street. They charge the same fee for artists regardless of placement, except that Kansas Street gets about 50 times the foot traffic. It's understandable that everyone can't be on the main street, but an alleyway should be a cheaper fee."

An auditor who didn't list a medium sold $3,000/AIP $25 and said he or she would return despite a malfunctioning speaker near the booth: "It was too loud and kept playing while the band was playing. The speaker made it difficult to talk to my customers."

Of the scores of other auditors who said they would participate in future show, many commenters praised the level of organization, strong attendance, and the staff. "Frankfort Fall Festival is one of the most organized shows I have ever participated in. Customers are very supportive of artists, and the staff is wonderful," said an exhibitor who reported $2,500 in sales of hats and purses.

Another artist selling handmade purses and fabric accessories appreciated the RV parking and, especially the volunteers. "Your youth volunteers are so respectful and hard-working. Can't say enough. If and when we retire, this will be the last show we drop. Your chamber should provide seminars to other promoters!"

An artist whose medium is fabric made $6,800 with an average item price (AIP) of $18 and said, "The volunteers that help this three-day event are impeccable. They're kind, help with bathroom breaks, bring water to crafters, and I feel are the backbone to this event running so well. The team captains are terrific!"

An artist selling handmade fiber items sold between $4,000 and $5,000 with an AIP of $25 and also praised several volunteers by name for their attentiveness and help during the show. An artist selling doll clothes reported sales of more than $10,000/AIP $50.

An artist whose medium was soft sculpture sold $5,000/AIP $20 said the show and the volunteers were great, but "many people (regular customers) passed us by or could not find us hidden in the parking lot. Maybe signs on the street to remind people to come in here would be helpful."

Another fiber artist ($3,000 to $4,000 in sales/AIP $15) praised this show in particular and added a suggestion for all shows in general: "I wish booths had a clearance at the curb for drainage during rain. Booths flood. It would be nice to have maybe 10 inches of room for the water to flow."

A half-dozen or so additional artisans selling purses, clothing, and other fabric offerings reported sales ranging from $1,336 to $98.50, with AIPs between $15 and $60. All said they'd return for future events.

Several metal artists sent in their audits with favorable ratings for the event. One commented, "This is how all shows should be run. The vendors are what make a show excel, and they definitely help out all vendors in any way possible."

Another metal artist, who reported sales of $2,400/AIP $35, mentioned one concern: "It seems that in the past four years, each year attendance is dropping." An artist selling signs, metal art, and wood art appreciated the turnout and sales, but said, "Do something to draw more of a crowd on Monday."

Wood was a popular medium among artists who sent in their FastAudits. Two who were selling wooden toys reported sales of $2,000/AIP $25 and $5,000/AIP $40, respectively. Other sales reports in this medium range from $4,000 to $8,000 with AIPs of $25 to $55. One artist commented on the well-organized load-in/-out, with "plenty of staff to accomplish it quickly. The only downside is my particular booth can't set up until the morning of the show. I like my spot, so I will continue doing it, but it makes for a crazy morning."

Jewelry is another medium with a large representation among our auditors, with sales reports as high as $6,000 and $7,000. One jeweler who sold $3,000/AIP $50 commented, "A disappointing thing happened during the festival - a person hit their head on one of the tent awning snad we were told to remove them. Monday was the hottest day, and without our awning, our jewelry pieces got very hot - people could not pick up or try anything on that the sun hit. Some patrons burned themselves. We were unable to move our displays out of the sun." This artist was also one of several in differing mediums who commented that tight spacing made it difficult to set up in a spot between two other vendors. "Wish there was at least 4 inches between tents."

Among artists selling paintings at the show was one, whose medium is watercolors, who would consider returning "if we could bet a booth on the main street." The artist went on to suggest the event layout incorporate a fine art section for higher-end artists.

Another painter, whose medium is acrylics, was exhibiting at the festival for the first time and said they were pleased with the level of advertising and attendance. "I will definitely apply to come back to the festival next year."

We received reports from multiple glass artists, including one who specified stained glass and another offering lampwork glass. Holiday decorations and home decor was another sizeable category, along with "sensory" products including bath salts, candles, soaps, and lotions. Several vendors mentioned that they'd been coming to the show for many years, while a couple were exhibiting for the first time.

Several photographers audited the show, with sales reports ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. One, with sales of $4,620/AIP $129 commented, "The Frankfort Fall Festival is my best show of 2019, so far. This year we had perfect weather for all three days which led to record sales for me, and record attendance for everyone. Frankfort Fall Festival guests have started to look for me during my four years attending here, and I have grown a loyal following. I made many small sales as well as one super-large sale.

"Frankfort Chamber of Commerce should give seminars on How To Run a Successful Show. They have a lot of eager show personnel who will become your friends and who truly want the artists to succeed. Load-in and load-out were smooth and well-organized, parking is plentiful and nearby, booth sitters are available, and the list goes on. I look forward to FFF every year, and this year exceeded my expectations."
Complete Review

Sunshine Artist Authored Reviews are compiled from attending artists’ Sunshine Artist FastAudits™ or written by external SA Reporters, and will appear in an up-comming issue of Sunshine Artist.

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When and Where?:
Aug 31-Sep 2, 2019
Frankfort, IL

  Frankfort Chamber of Commerce
  Marianne Melcher
  Frankfort IL
Spaces: 380
Space fee/s: $525.00 to $1,575.00
  100% Outdoor
Attendance: 250,000
Admission: $0.00

Complete Review