While swilling some witch's brews and watching horror movies we conceived this festival. Somewhere in a box we still have the original, legal yellow pad with the notes we jotted down that night and began developing our vision. And that vision has remained true since its inception.
To create an event that came genuine from us as the "Halloween People" and be free (no ticketed admission) to the community.
Draw folks to Historic Magna Main to discover the revitalizing area and experiencing the charm of the historical district.
Attract crowds to support Magna Main businesses as well as the participating Artists and Vendors. And perhaps even pique the interest of potential entrepreneurs.
Further brand the Art on You Studios name.
Not only did we succeed in every part of our vision, we far exceeded some aspects of it. We garnered the sponsorship of local and internationally recognized corporate giants such as FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, Jerry Seiner Kia Salt Lake, Warner Bros., Sony, and Coors. For one glorious and fantastic day, Halloween Enthusiasts, Collectors, Artists, could celebrate their extreme passion for the holiday along with oodles of curious festival-goers in the middle of Summer to tide them over to October. We were dedicated to expand awareness and appreciation of Halloween through this annual all ages event which celebrates the history, traditions, multitude of Gothic, Dark, and Halloween Art, Horror Entertainment, and the growing, modern Halloween Phenomenon. But holy Hell, it's exhausting work to prepare for and execute. How long would we continue the event?
Last Fall we were discussing how long we honestly wanted to continue the event - until the 10th annual? Maybe 13th annual? It was never going to continue forever; we knew that from the beginning. There are still so many other things we want to do with our lives. We got our prompt in January, 2018.
Yes, politics were involved just as we initially noted. However, it was not an entire governing body or entity. It was a few specific individuals. The skinny boiled down to us having the potential to make money along with a newly implemented state law, and pressure for us to create a non-profit foundation for the event. Otherwise, our festival could not be sponsored with the stage, sound system, barricades, portable restrooms, and multi-million dollar insurance policy. Honestly, this wasn't a gigantic surprise, there had been outspoken dissenters regarding sponsorship and our revenue potential for years. But there are other factors behind the scenes.
No one really imagines the countless hours that go into an event of this caliber. No one sees or hears about the bullshit that goes on behind the scenes. All the public experience is the end result just like a film or a concert. As an attendee, you have no idea. Further, people like Renee and I have extreme expectations when it comes to commitment/dedication to our endeavors. Considering the Hundreds of hours and all the shit and elements that literally contributed to our doctor diagnosed health risks, the fact that our shop and my personal art career were being neglected for the festival, Renee’s new USPS position to create a genuine retirement fund and source of insurance (which has left her absent from the shop and much of the festival planning and organizing that ultimately lead to severe guilt and anxiety), and often constrained family life, the political stab by those specific individuals that we were already incredibly frustrated by, was just the final stab to make the firm decision that we needed to retire the festival. These are all unsavory aspects, that until the deluge of, “Why? Why? Why?”, we preferred to keep behind closed doors. So, let's not focus on the negative!
We're now focused on sharing photos, fun moments, Artist/Vendor success stories, unique experiences, and priceless memories. Just like the death of a person, we encourage others not to be so deathist human and dwelling on the death itself and the whys. Focus on the celebration of the festival, the life it had, the vision that was far exceeded and Never Compromised, and hold fast to those memories!
Witch Renee and I would like to truly thank ALL of the Artists and Vendors who participated at our festival over the years! Magna and all of the throngs of people who came to the festival each year were exposed to remarkably unique and wonderful creations, items, artistic expressions, services, and food!
Thank You to ALL of the Entertainers who graced our Main Stage and veritable Second Stage inside the Boo-dacious Beer Garden! Your performances were moving and memorable!
Thank You to ALL of our Ghoul Crew and Christanna Beck who headed out the Crew the past few years! Your volunteer work was a quintessential asset to the success of the festival!
Thank You to the Magna Arts Council, Todd Richards, and Wes Furgason for the use of the stage and sound system!
Thank You to UFA and UPD for keeping us safe!
Thank You to Steve and Sue Nosack for organizing and running our Cosplay Contest and our Cosplay Contest Judges!
Thank You to ALL the Magna Main Businesses, past and present, that have supported our event!
Thank You to (our past and) current AoYS Crew, Steve Atkinson, Craig Gillispie, Alex Weaver, Reuben Villarruel, and Megan Kay Henrie who put up with our nutty schedule around the shop, helped pick up slack when needed, and supported this endeavor!
Thank you to our family, especially our children, Samantha Anderson, her Wife, Erika Anderson, Lexie Anderson, and Chloe Anderson for supporting us and staying strong through frustrating moments of the festivals all these years!
Thank You to ALL of our Gracious Sponsors who helped make this event possible and evolve:
FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, Our Presenting Sponsor for the past three years, Jerry Seiner Kia Salt Lake, Storm Artworks, Queen of Halloween, Sony’s Hotel Transylvania 3, Warner Bros.’ IT, Warner Bros.’ Annabelle: Creation, Broad Green Pictures’ Wish Upon, The Filling Station, Fear Factory SLC, Coors/Coors Light, Magna Chamber of Commerce, Magna Town Council, Copper Miner Saloon, Mask Events & Costumes, The Den, Steve Nosack of Equity Real Estate, Magna’s Automotive Center, Ethereal Fangs, Miller Lite, ZIP Carwash, Salt Lake County Townships, Bud/Bud Light, BlackMarket, Brew Monkey, Transwest Credit Union, Walmart Neighborhood Market of Magna, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy Johns of Magna, Smith’s of Magna, Arctic Circle of Magna, The Empress Theatre, Firehouse Subs, Little Caesars, and Dunkin Donuts!
THANK YOU TO ALL THE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FESTIVAL ATTENDEES AND SUPPORTERS who were all a part of making this event so unique and will keep it alive in countless, priceless memories long after we’ve taken our final breaths in this world!
This experience has literally, forever changed us as much as it has impacted and changed so many of you!
Candy Corns & Horns!
~Witch Renee M. Anderson & Warlock A.W. Storm Anderson
Big Budah interviews A.W. Storm Anderson about the Art on You Studios' Halloween in Summer Festival, FOX 13 Studios, July 12, 2018
"I have been a vendor for the last 4 years. It has been THE BEST EVENT I have ever attended as a spectator and vendor. No other event has been able to compare in Utah!!!! I am Soo glad I have been able to be a part of this event!!! Storm and Renee are amazing people who created an unforgettable time for all who attended!! We at DJ Crafts The Other Dolls want to Thank You both for all the blood, sweat and tears you put into this Fantastic event!" ~Jenn Buckley -Salt Lake City, UT
"BEST FESTIVAL ALL YEAR!!! We attended last year and loved it but it was even bigger and better this year! Glad others like to celebrate Halloween more than once a year!" ~Jennifer Strate Burgoyne -Magna, UT
"An awesome event I love it, Cool things to do, fun for the whole family, unique things to look and and eat!" ~Adriann Barrett -West Jordan, UT
"HALLOWEEN IN SUMMER FESTIVAL WAS AMAZING 10/10 - a Techno Warriors Editor's choice -it was blazing hot but amazing job!" ~Nick Bartel of Techno Warriors
"This spooktacular event just gets better every year. If you haven't attended one yet, you're missing out. There is something for everyone! Nothing compares! The ONLY thing better than Halloween, is Halloween in SUMMER!" ~Deni Cook -Reno, NV
"Always a great family event! Definitely a great time to be had by all ages. Storm and Renee have done an outstanding job bringing tourism to good ole magna!" ~Damien Bjorn Steadman -Magna, UT
"What an amazing event! So happy to be a part of it!" ~Sean Higgins -Salt Lake City, UT
"One of the best, most looked forward to events of the summer!" ~Sheryl Russell -North Salt Lake, UT
"If you missed 2015, get out here next year! 7 blocks of Magna Main Street over 90 vendors, thousands of people! News media and a great time had by all!" ~Bill Both -Magna, UT