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Schaumburg might not be able to afford big acts.

Byline: Eric Peterson

Musical acts like The Romantics, Mickey Dolenz, 10,000 Maniacs and a Queen tribute band could be hired to perform at Schaumburg's Septemberfest, but that might require an increase in the village's budget for the Labor Day weekend festival.

With the main stage entertainment budget for Septemberfest remaining flat for several years, the event's planners are letting elected officials know what many high-demand performers are asking these days.

Whether the information makes any difference to this year's $55,000 budget or the ability to book more expensive acts remains to be seen.

"The main purpose of this is merely to point out what's realistic," Village Manager Brian Townsend said.

While the village hasn't received complaints about its main stage bookings, some elected officials and others have asked why well-known performers seen at other local festivals and venues haven't played Septemberfest, Townsend added.

For its three headliners each year,the Septemberfest Committee generally has spent about 30 percent of its budget on Saturday's act, 35 percent on Sunday's and 20 percent on Monday's. Opening acts generally receive about 5 percent of the budget each.

Among the acts on this year's shortlist, 10,000 Maniacs and Mickey Dolenz ask about $25,000 to perform, The Romantics and The Ultimate Queen Celebration Starring Marc Martel ask $20,000, and The Lords of 52nd Street -- Billy Joel's band of the '70s and '80s -- $15,000.

Blood, Sweat & Tears asks $35,000; Air Supply $40,000; .38 Special and Night Ranger $50,000; and Blondie, Chicago and REO Speedwagon $100,000 or more.

The three trustees on Schaumburg's finance and general government committee will discuss the information Wednesday.

Though last year's lineup included Spin Doctors, Lita Ford and a Fleetwood Mac tribute group along with area band 7th heaven, Trustee Marge Connelly said she has heard comments from people seeking something other than low-key and local performers.

When she asks where the acts they're thinking of have played, it often turns out to be at venues that charge admission, Connelly said.

For only the second time, the village will charge for access to a VIP area near the stage this year, but that alone won't greatly raise the budget.

"We try to be revenue-neutral," she added. "Some years we're up and some we're down, but it's worked out. Should taxpayers subsidize this kind of thing is the issue. There's no free ride. We don't have a printing press in the basement."

Trustee Tom Dailly said the tribute bands he's seen in Schaumburg and elsewhere have been good and within the village's means -- as have some other bands that never played on the radio.

"One of the best bands we ever had was the Lt. Dan Band (with actor Gary Sinise)," Dailly said. "Lots of fun!"

Trustee George Dunham said he's been aware of past suggestions to seek bigger names and appreciates that Wednesday's meeting is meant only to be informative about potential obstacles.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:May 22, 2018
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