We are getting ready for the fest of fests and looking forward to another great year at BAF. We are lucky to have artists who have been with us for 5, 10 and 20+ years – and to have added some remarkable new talents to the list.

Yes, a fest is a lot of work, but we hope to foster a community in our little area of the world that makes the working a lot more fun. During the fest, please feel free to ask questions of your neighbors and especially of our wonderful volunteers. We hope to make it your favorite weekend of the summer.

We hope to provide answers to all of your questions. We want you to feel prepared and ready to have a great weekend! Here are a few answers for you. And we will add more as we get asked.


Deadline to apply – March 31
Acceptances sent out – mid-May
Last day to pay – July 15
Booth assignments finalized – mid-August


We are located across from Holstein Park. Our address is 2200 N Oakley Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647.

We have changed the map around this year, which should make for easier load in & out for everyone.  Get the new map of the 2016 fest grounds.




Get the social media kit for 2016


Spaces are approximately 10’x10’ – some on the streets and some in the park. Park spaces offer gorgeous shade, but uneven and hilly terrain. We have done our best to remove unaccommodating spots from our map and make it a great experience for everyone. Many returning artists request their same space each year. New artists are assigned to spaces as available.

Only 10’x10’ size tents are allowed. Our smaller confines do not allow for much gravy room. If you come with a larger tent, you will lose your booth assignment and will be asked to move to a space where your tent can be accommodated, even if you are already set up.

Booth assignments will be sent out in mid-August. UPDATE for 2016: See your booth assignment on Zapp or on the artist page here.  If you would like to make a request, you can make a note in your application or email booths@bucktownartsfest.com.

There is a small amount of storage room behind most tent areas – but not a lot. We put up fencing behind the tents to protect the neighborhood grass, so really there is only a little “nudge” area.

All booth assignments are final. Change requests will not be accepted. Exchange, sale or switching of spaces is prohibited unless approved by BAF. Artists who do not cooperate may be asked to leave.

Booth sharing is available to artists who have both juried in to the fest for an additional $100 fee – a total booth fee of $400 total ($300 booth fee + $100 sharing fee) and $300 total ($200 booth fee + $100 sharing fee) for sharing senior artists.

Bring signage for your booth & wear a name tag. Our visitors are here to meet you and learn about your work. Putting up a sign with your business or artist name on it helps them find you! And a name tag gives them the chance (and all of us!) to know you better.


There is limited parking because we are in a neighborhood. We do our best to provide parking for our artists. You will receive more information about available parking when you check in the morning of the fest. Please be aware that you must place a parking pass in your window to park in any parking lot provided by BAF. Without a parking pass, you will be towed. Passes are found in your artists’ folder at check-in.

Street spaces are first-come, first-served.  As of 2014, the Pulaski School teacher’s lot is no longer available to our artists for parking on Saturday or Sunday.

No parking is allowed in the alleys. Violators will be towed.


Saturday Morning – Artist Load In
6:00am – 10:30am

The load in process for artists will begin at 6:00am on Saturday morning. We recommend coming early to ensure ease of access and ample time to set up before the Fest opens to the public at 11:00am.

Find Your Entrance **The following is subject to change pending final map approval for 2016.**
Which street to arrive from…
Good traffic flow is the most important element of a smooth Load In. There are three designated entrances with all traffic flowing east.

Please use this map to determine which entrance is correct for your booth space:
Get the Booth Load In Map for Artists

  • Booths 68 – 83 & Booths 1 – 37
    Enter from Western, going east on Belden
  • Booths 38 – 67, Booths 84 – 133 & Booths 166 – 198
    Enter from Western, going east on Lyndale
  • Booths 134 – 165
    Enter from Western, going east on Shakespeare, turn north onto Oakley and then east onto Lyndale

Volunteers will be on hand at each entrance to check you in.

Please park as closely to the curb as possible while you unload. Once unloaded, please go park your car and then return for set up. There will be volunteers on hand to help you unload your booth contents and to watch them while you park your car.

  • If you reserved and paid for a rental tent and/or table and chairs, it will available at the Info Tent. Volunteers are on hand to help you get them erected, should you need. **Please remember to weigh down your tent with sandbags (which are provided) if you plan to leave it erect overnight on Saturday.**
  • There will be coffee in the early hours of Saturday at the Info Tent. And we have some amazing neighbors who provide breakfast for us around 9:00am that day. It is a welcome reward after the early set up!
  • Off duty police officers provide security throughout the weekend of the fest and at the park overnight on Saturday night to protect your booths.


Sunday Evening – Artist Load Out
After 7:00pm

All booths must be packed up and loaded out on Sunday evening.

Please DO NOT leave trash on the streets or in the park. If you do, our volunteers will have to collect it. There are dumpsters located behind the main stage for your garbage.


If you ordered a rental item, it will be waiting for you at the Info Tent when you arrive for Load In. Be sure to ask an Info Tent volunteer and get your name checked off the list before taking your rental.

If you are renting a tent from the Bucktown Arts Fest, sandbags will be provided with your rental. These are important to use – especially when leaving your tent overnight Saturday (in case of bad weather).

Payment for rental items is handled through ZAPP® and is due no later than August 10.


Artists at the Fest may need to register with the Illinois Department of Revenue and submit Special Event Tax Revenue forms. Not everyone needs to register/file—some may only need to fill out a special event coupon. Generally, artists eligible for these special event coupons include those who do fewer than three Illinois art shows per year and out-of-state vendors.

Download the 2016 tax coupon here.

To find out your tax liability, if any, please contact:

Illinois Department of Revenue
Special Events Unit: (847) 294-4475
Taxpayer Assistance: (847) 294-4200

Learn about your responsibilities to the Illinois Department of Revenue as a vendor:


Just a reminder that we can’t do the fest without each other! Whether it is helping someone with load in, bringing them back a drink, or keeping an eye on someone’s tent while they grab some food, your small kindnesses are welcome.


BAF is an all-volunteer run organization with no paid staff. All of our proceeds go to fund arts education at Holstein Park and in the Bucktown/Wicker park neighborhoods.

Read more about us.

See what we fund, develop and support.


Invoices are handled through ZAPP® this year.  

Payments are due by July 15. Non-payment by the due date will result in cancellation. After confirmation of acceptance and payment in July, payment for rental items is due by August 10.

Questions about fees? Just ask treasurer@bucktownartsfest.com.


We look forward to spending a great weekend together! See you soon!

–The Volunteer Committee of BAF


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