Updated: May 28
While magicians are very well catered for with conventions which magic fans will often attend, why do we not see more actual magic festivals? Festivals showcasing performers and their shows.
Edinburgh has hosted a very successful Magic Fest in December annually for many years now since 2010. A week of organised theatre magic shows, showcasing the best Scottish magicians. It was founded by magician Kevin Quantum and and organiser Svetlana Shevchenko.
I was able to attend one year when it was online via Zoom during lockdown. It was excellent value and I got to see about 8 shows and review.
Some of the artists that I saw who were not household names end up gaining a lot of publicity from the event increase their audience exposure.
The organisation of such an event always requires headline acts and a decent location(s). It makes sense that any location would be a city that has a number of venues available for different acts and attract an audience.
An opportunity for not just leading well known magicians but for lesser known acts who can be showcased as well.
Comedy festivals are now very popular, so why not magic? Appreciating that magic is also popular with children, a weekend event including family shows during the day as well as evening entertainment would be ideal.
Pricing and promotion can be for individual shows as well as passes for the entire event.
I suspect that part of the reason we don't see many such magic festivals is that is is likely to be quite difficult and time consuming to organise. But what a way to promote magic as an industry. Are we missing a trick?
You of course need a budget for costs and venues etc but could magic clubs be part of the solution?
Magic clubs are often good at supporting and providing events for their own members but just imagine if clubs collaborated to put on festivals and promote the art of magic to the public in unison? At best presently, a club may put on a single show but likely not well publicised.
Are magic clubs too insular when it comes to promotion of magic outside their own groups of members? Just imagine how good a magic festival could be if you had a number of clubs all working together and putting on shows as part of a regional festival. I for one would certainly buy a ticket if hosted at a good location.
Many of us know how exhausting it can be to organise and put on a show. But also, it can be very rewarding with many benefits, with many opportunities for promotion of performers. Maybe one day we will see more professionally organised magic festivals.
In the meantime, if you are in Scotland or can get to Magic Fest this December, check out their website here. A well organised professional event with many great performers showcased.
If any other magic festivals exist aimed at the public and magic fans that I am not aware of, please let me know in the comments.