Updated: Oct 11
This was third time lucky for me to get to this convention. What with Covid cancellations and then bad weather last year, I was finally able to get to BMC.
As a magic fan, this was a very special convention show. For everything you get and see, the price is very reasonable.
I purchased the Gold card for full entry during the convention.
The running and organisation of BMC was excellent. Lots of polite staff, helping when needed. Security at the doors was good, with passes being checked, as considered a private event at Winter Gardens.
The winter gardens is a brilliant venue and accommodates the BMC convention well. A classic building that has been modernised.
Initially registration was quick but I had the advantage of registering on the Thursday. The programme and laminate to wear being impressive and making good souvenirs.
The convention was celebrating its 70th year. The schedule was full with lots of magic variety for all. The Winter Gardens in Blackpool being the home of the convention. The largest magic convention in the world.
In the run up to the show, the organisers kept adding confirmed acts. Originally I planned to go home Sunday afternoon but as the Sunday Gala show looked so good (along with poor trains to get home), I decided to go home on the Monday.
As a first time visitor, it can be a little overwhelming at first. Pacing yourself is crucial. The dealer halls were fantastic and after first view of many stands, I rested up with a coffee. I could take everything in more that way.
I personally found everyone to be very friendly. You felt part of a special club and I was able to meet and talk to many freely.
On some online posts, some newbies complained about difficulties finding some of the lectures. I planned ahead, printed off schedules and knew what I wanted to see. With a little planning you will be fine and there are always lots of people that you can ask. Anyone I asked any help from was very accommodating.
I officially attended on my own, however, many other LMN members along with Magic Circle members that I know were in attendance. Therefore, I was able to regularly meet with many of them to catch up and eat.
Running this site also meant that I had an advantage, as many that I met for the first time had helped this site and I had previously been in touch with them over the years. Therefore, I was able to attend knowing lots of artists. The site was often a converstionn opener as well.
Part of my hobby is collecting selfies and signed playing cards. If you have the confidence to ask, you won't get turned away. Everyone was pleasant and in some cases, you end up having full on chats.
I had to get a Stephen Mulhern selfie as do like him. He is such a nice and accommodating chap, and despite the hundreds of requests and interruptions that he gets, he always puts on a smile. No wonder he is so popular generally but of course within the magic community. A bonus on that occasion is that I was able to get Richard Cadell, who is a fantastic performer/illusionist as well as friend of Sooty.
Meeting Joel M and Tom Elderfield is also an example of two individuals who happily spend time and chat while you get your selfie. A great conversation and having followed Joel M's tv magic career over the years (and having a signed copy of his book) it's great to see him doing so well and now of course the 41st Blue Peter presenter now. What a good choice. Tom was also brilliant to talk to and while known as a magic creator, consultant and performer, he is also a faithful who happily signed a playing card with a great message.
A big thanks to everyone I met who I had selfies with and gained signed cards from. All artists that I hugely respect in this field. Too many to mention but please see the separate blog posts with galleries of pictures. Special thanks to Jay & Joss also, I had previously interviewed them and their interview is the most popular on this site, still attracting traffic to this day. Lovely to meet them both
I did visit the Ruskin. It has to be done as the venue many magicians visit to drink, socialise and jam. I only visited once as drinking is not my thing and I needed to pace myself. However, I can see why it is so popular with many. Perhaps next time I will plan more Ruskin time. But for this first BMC for me, the focus was on the event itself. I was able to attend with mates Ian Gamage and Adam Edgeley.
The Gala shows and performances were excellent. I Particularly enjoyed the Friday and Sunday show. To see performers who are world class, that you would not normally get a chance to see is amazing. As a fan of Lea Kyle and Eric Chien, I never dreamt that I would see them perform live. Lea was particularly amazing as a true magician who has reinvented quick change. What a talent. How does she do it?
Would I go to BMC again? Absolutely. In part it is what you make of it yourself and you just need to grab opportunities. I was made to feel very welcome by all. A great experience and I would recommend anyone interested in magic to attend.
And remember, as The Witch would say - Blackpool maybe a dump but it is brilliant because she was there! Lol.
An example of just anyone in magic that you could meet.
Thank you Blackpool and BMC, you were amazing hosting this event.
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