FAQs

Merchanting FAQs

1. How do I become a merchant at PSG?

When you register for the festival, be sure to do so as a merchant and fill out all the fields. Be sure to complete all the fields on the application to avoid delay of approval. You must be registered for the festival in order to be approved as a merchant.

2. How many merchant slots are available?
70 vendor slots (each measuring 12 foot frontage x 24 feet deep) are available and are pre-assigned by the merchant coordinator. You may rent up to 3 side by side slots. All frontage area must be used for vending purposes. Merchant slots are assigned in advance of the festival by the Merchant Coordinator, and confirmed once onsite preparations are completed.

3. How will I know if I've been approved as a merchant at PSG?
Circle Sanctuary staff will contact you once your registration and application have been received and paid for. If your registration is accepted and your application is approved, you will receive confirmation and further information.

4. Where are merchant slots located?
Merchant slots will be along the main roadway, and along the side road leading toward the stage.

5. How do I get the location I want?
Location preferences can be made known at the time of application, otherwise, slot assignments will be made at the discretion of the Merchant Coordinator. We will make our best attempt to fulfill requests; however, we cannot guarantee your location due to the variables of the site and other festival requirements.

Preferences may be things like, "Quiet Zone," "loud area," "want to be near another merchant," "put me with the drummers," "I plan to camp elsewhere," or anything else that might be helpful in making your experience the best it can be. PLEASE recognize that we cannot fulfill all requests, and preference will be given to earliest approved applications.

6. Are new merchants welcome?
Of course! We invite anyone interested in selling goods or services at PSG to apply via the Merchant Application on the website. Merchants are approved on a first-application-received basis out of fairness to everyone. We do not reserve merchant slots until an application has been received, paid for, and approved. We do attempt to limit the number of merchants selling the same wares to improve the diversity of goods available and the success of individual merchants.

7. Where do merchants camp?
Typically, merchants camp in the space behind the merchant slot. There is, however, no guarantee of space, so we encourage merchants to arrive early on Sunday, and negotiate with the neighbors if necessary. Festival participants are generally friendly and accommodating to merchants, and will help configure space so that it works for everyone. In very rare instances, you may not be able to camp right behind your slot. Merchants must arrive by 7 pm on Monday evening, or the merchant slot will be released to other campers.  PLEASE NOTE: There isn't enough space behind merchant slots to accommodate group camping!  Only merchants may camp next to their booths.

8. What are the parking restrictions?
We are interested in preserving the aesthetic of our beautiful natural setting, and so we move all vehicles to an ample parking lot at one end of the facility. However, we are aware that you may need your vehicle for camping, vending, or storage of delicate or valuable items. If this is absolutely necessary, you must first apply for a permit with your registration in order to guarantee space for your vehicle at your slot. Your vehicle, used for merchanting, must fit within your 12'x24' merchant space.  If you are given a Merchant Row parking permit, you may park either a trailer OR a vehicle behind your merchant space -- not both -- and you must fit within the 12' horizontal space and not cross over into the next booth.  If you need more than 12' horizontal space, then you must purchase an additional merchant space.  Please be aware that if you have a large vehicle or camper, there are a limited number of merchant slots available that will accommodate one. The size and type of your vehicle will be requested on your application. No RVs or 5th wheel campers are allowed in merchant row --if you have one, you will be parked in the RV camping area.

9. Who are the Circle Sanctuary/PSG staff that assist merchants?

  • MoonFeather is the PSG Manager (email). During PSG, she can be reached through Info Tent on Town Green.
  • Immediate Health/Safety issues should be addressed first to a Guardian, and then to MoonFeather or Anji if necessary.

10. What is the PSG 2017 theme and how can it affect merchants?
The theme for 2017 has not yet been announced -- stay tuned!  Merchants can benefit from displaying goods that connect to the theme and the associated rituals, workshops, and events. Merchants are also welcome to decorate their booths to reflect the theme and to attract and delight festival participants. Keep an eye on the website to see what workshops and information about rituals has been posted.

11. What kind of advertising is available to merchants to attract customers?
The best advertising is word-of-mouth from happy customers. Have friends and supporters promote your business, talk about your unique handicrafts and excellent service, and spread the word about your practical supplies. Get involved in the festival! Be sure to let folks you encounter know that you are a merchant at the festival. Show your face, contribute to activities, and meet others. Hand out business cards or brochures. Talk to workshop leaders or ritual Guides to find out how you might contribute to or support their work. Plan to lead a workshop at your booth as part of your required workshift. Contribute an item to the PSG Raffle that benefits Circle Sanctuary. Participate in the discussion on the PSG Community FB group in advance of the festival to see if there are particular things folks are looking for. Bring items with a range of prices in order to reach customers at various income levels. Write a great listing describing your business! Each merchant is listed on the PSG website, and in the Town Guide that every participant receives. The Merchant Coordinator promotes merchants (as a whole, not individually), and gives information at the Town Meetings.

12. What is the Starlight Shopping Spree?
Sometime during the week, PSG celebrates merchants with a late-night shopping opportunity (usually about 10pm-12am). Many merchants offer specials, sales, or entertainment during this time. This is a great opportunity to reach customers who can't/don't shop during the heat of the day, and to move some merchandise! Starlight Shopping Spree is promoted in the schedule of events and by the Merchant Coordinator at Town Meetings on behalf of merchants.

13. How do people typically shop at PSG? What methods of payment are typically accepted?
People generally wander to morning workshops and meetings down the road, past merchants. However, peak shopping hours seem to be around noon (lunch break), through the afternoon, and then early evening (before rituals, concerts, etc). Mundane business hours typically work (9am-8pm), depending on your preference and other activities. However, merchants are required to be open each day during festival.

Payment methods accepted by merchants are based on personal preference. Most merchants will accept cash, some will accept credit cards, some take checks, and some barter. Many merchants offer more than one option to customers for payment. Bartering for alcohol is prohibited. Merchants assume the risk of unverified payments. Some merchants verify credit cards via wireless connections, but those connections to can be unreliable, given the location of the festival. Personal cellphones work in most places throughout camp, though data service may be unreliable.  The amount of personal information a merchant gathers from a customer is up to that individual merchant. Festival participants generally understand merchants' concerns, so make decisions based on your level of comfort.

14. What is Town Meeting?
Each day, everyone gathers on Town Green to get updates about the day?s activities, the evening rituals, concerts, or events, and general "news about Town." It's a great opportunity to meet people, get valuable information about the festival, and participate in community-building. We encourage you to, at least, send a representative of your booth/encampment to the meeting to network and gather information.

15. What items are merchants prohibited from selling at PSG?
There is absolutely no sale or bartering of food products, alcoholic beverages or beverages of any other kind, tobacco, tobacco products, and paraphernalia for tobacco use, firearms, other incendiary devices, and any other item prohibited by local, state, or federal laws governing the festival. There is absolutely no sale or bartering of tattoo, piercing, or other body modification services. Merchants found selling or bartering these items will discontinue doing so, or risk expulsion from the festival.

16. What are workshifts and are merchants required to participate?
Each festival participant is required to contribute 4 hours of work during the course of the week. This is essential to the community-building process, of which the merchants are a part! Workshift duties are diverse and require various levels of skill and/or knowledge; however, there is enough work for everyone. You may want to register and signup for workshifts after arriving and offloading your supplies so that your time choices are greater. Merchants also have the opportunity to lead 2 adult workshops, which, if accepted, are a way of fulfilling your workshift requirement.

17. What can merchants expect on Opening Day?
Arrivals begin on Sunday, June 18th at 9am.  When you arrive, you will travel through the Gate with your paperwork, and, based on the slot number you have been assigned on your permit, be directed which way to turn. You will see small white signs on the side of the road, with numbers and merchant names listed. Merchant slots, "no camping" zones, water, and pathways will be marked by colored tape.. Paths to workshop zones are marked with flags. Find your slot number, and pull into the spot, or as far off the road as possible to offload. If you are parking at your site, we ask that you position your car or camper right away before offloading to make the arrival of other festival participants easier. There will be a Merchant Greeter to meet you, and available to help direct you to your spot, welcome you to the festival, and answer questions or provide information. Offload and park your car right away if it's not remaining at your site, and go register and sign up for your workshifts. Set up your booth and camping space. Merchants may open for business beginning at noon.

18. Can festival participants merchant without a merchant slot?
No. Anyone selling or bartering goods or services at PSG must have a valid merchant permit and do business from an assigned merchant slot. Merchanting is not allowed at private campsites.

19. What can merchants expect on Closing Day?
Most merchanting activity finishes by Sunday morning, June 25th, and most festival participants pack up and leave during the early part of the day on Sunday after Closing Ritual. Merchants are not required to remain open for business on Sunday if you are packing up, but last-minute shopping isn't unheard of! PSG participants are required to take their leave by close of day on Sunday so that Land staff can begin cleanup.

20. What do I need for my merchant slot?
Merchants need to bring their own means of display, and coverings for their wares in case of inclement weather. Many merchants opt for portable shelters that can be found at any local hardware or camping store and folding tables, bookshelves, crates, etc.  It is suggested all merchants have a fire extinguisher in their booth. Many merchants bring banners, signage, flags, drapery, and other things to decorate their booths. While you may bring all manner of things to augment your space during your time at PSG, we ask that you take it all home with you at the close of festival. Please do not make any permanent installations of artwork, plants, trees, shrubbery, logs, stones, or shelters in your merchant space. We make our best effort to return the land to the state we found it in.

21. Can I have someone come in help me set up and take down my booth that is not attending the event?
No. For security and safety reasons, only registered participants may pass by the gate.

22. How does electrical service work?
Electrical service is not available at this site.

23. What about Illinois Sales Tax?
All merchants who sell products are responsible for paying Illinois sales tax, and Circle Sanctuary is required to provide the State of Illinois with a listing of all merchants.  You will be provided with the Illinois tax form once you are on-site, and it is your responsibility to collect and pay the required Illinois sales tax on your sales during PSG.  Services such as henna or card-reading are exempt from this sales tax requirement.