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Topic: Festival "Crashing"
Message: Posted by: TheNightBringer89 (Jun 27, 2009 03:38PM)
Hey friends,

I've heard a lot of talk about festival "crashing" on this forum but have not been able to gather too much info on it. Searching previous posts and trying to piece together the little information I found, this is what I think busking a festival consists of:

Finding a festival (Art? Jazz? Food? Anything goes I assume?) that does not charge admission so it is public and not private. Setting up in the festival far enough away from booked acts so as not to interfere, and setting up a reasonable distance from vendors and controlling the crowd from congesting that area.

If anyone could offer more detailed advice, do's and do not's etc. or reccomend some publications on the subject that would be great.

Thanks a lot guys.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jun 27, 2009 05:21PM)
One thing to consider is that even in cities who magnanimously "allow" street performing will often have specific municipal codes prohibiting street performing at various festivals.
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (Jun 27, 2009 08:08PM)
I just got booted from an art festival in KC about a month ago. Apparently some of the oil, pen & ink artists were jealous of performing artists drawing crowds. The boss lady told me I could perform in the childrens area. I declined. I don't get paid enough to baby sit. 1st time that ever happened.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 27, 2009 11:56PM)
This whole concept of crashing a festival is something I've always wondered about.

Why not just get booked to begin with?
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jun 28, 2009 01:05AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-28 00:56, RobertBloor wrote:
This whole concept of crashing a festival is something I've always wondered about.

Why not just get booked to begin with?
[/quote]

wrong room, mate.
Message: Posted by: ray raymond (Jun 28, 2009 08:23AM)
Why not get booked? obviously that is the better route to go. however you don't always get in. the reason to crash a festival is you need to work and you are not booked. I have done it many times successfully and many times not successfully. If you are asked to leave, do not fight it cooperate. crashing a festival is a gamble. I would not worry about setting up away from places. if people see you in the middle of things they are more likly to think you are supposed to be there. how ever, vendors will be the first to complain so WATCH YOUR CROWDS. Don't use lines some people will find as offensive. you do not want to give anybody reason to complain. Go out of your way to make friends with those around you. Set up near a booth that has something to pass out. then pitch them in your show direct some traffic to them. If they see an increase in traffic at there booth the will quickly become your ally. Talk with them first. Remember this is a gamble in my exprience it is about 50/50. Remember try to book your self first though. Do not try to book your self as a street performer you will get a quick "no". Call the festival committee about 6 months or more before the festival. talk to them about being an entertainer. this will be your pitch to them. when a festival books stage entertainment they pay them big money and over half the people at the festival will not see the act. What you do is a much better value. Your charge will be less (a flat fee). By repeating your smaller act over and over more people at the festival will see your act than the stage act. Remember to tell them the smaller fee can be offset by collecting tips. Even this will not work every time. however if you are crashing the festival your chances will be much better if it is a street festival, not a festival in a park or on a festival grounds.
good luck
ray
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 28, 2009 01:22PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-28 09:23, ray raymond wrote:
Why not get booked? obviously that is the better route to go. however you don't always get in. the reason to crash a festival is you need to work and you are not booked. I have done it many times successfully and many times not successfully. If you are asked to leave, do not fight it cooperate. crashing a festival is a gamble. I would not worry about setting up away from places. if people see you in the middle of things they are more likly to think you are supposed to be there. how ever, vendors will be the first to complain so WATCH YOUR CROWDS. Don't use lines some people will find as offensive. you do not want to give anybody reason to complain. Go out of your way to make friends with those around you. Set up near a booth that has something to pass out. then pitch them in your show direct some traffic to them. If they see an increase in traffic at there booth the will quickly become your ally. Talk with them first. Remember this is a gamble in my exprience it is about 50/50. Remember try to book your self first though. Do not try to book your self as a street performer you will get a quick "no". Call the festival committee about 6 months or more before the festival. talk to them about being an entertainer. this will be your pitch to them. when a festival books stage entertainment they pay them big money and over half the people at the festival will not see the act. What you do is a much better value. Your charge will be less (a flat fee). By repeating your smaller act over and over more people at the festival will see your act than the stage act. Remember to tell them the smaller fee can be offset by collecting tips. Even this will not work every time. however if you are crashing the festival your chances will be much better if it is a street festival, not a festival in a park or on a festival grounds.
good luck
ray
[/quote]

Still just doesn't make any sense to me.

The reason you didn't get in was because
A) They don't like you
B) They don't need you
C) They can't afford you
D) They got someone better than you

If you're not getting booked and NEED to get booked maybe you need...
A) To look at your price
B) To look at your show
C) To look at your promo
D)
E)
F)

This is just a foreign concept to me.
The festival tells you NO so you show up anyway.

Reeks of desperation to me.
Message: Posted by: ray raymond (Jun 28, 2009 09:39PM)
Robert,
you are absolutly corect. I agree with you 100%. I have never crashed a festival that has told me no. It is also Not a regular practice for me any more. I prefer to get booked and often do. I just got done working a festival this weekend I was booked for. That was somthing I did when I was just getting my feet wet with street performing ( all though compared to a lot of people I am still wet behind the ears, and I understand that I still have a lot to learn) However I was just answering the question that was asked. At the time I was trying to get exprience the best way I could since I do not live near a pitch.

I do respect your opinion, you have been at this a lot longer than I have.
guys on here should put some thought into your words, myself included
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Jun 28, 2009 10:30PM)
Well I'm sure laws vary from state to state and city to city on such things, from the viewpoint of someone who puts on an annual Greek Festival, you would be invited off the property by our hired police officers. We allow no outside vendors or entertainers, even though we have no entrance fee, and since it is on private property it is not a "public" event but a private one and you can be invited to leave. Always best to get permission first, if they don't want you , they are going to get rid of you, so why waste your time? Get their permission and then you don't have to worry.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Rinaldi (Jun 29, 2009 01:51AM)
I crashed two festivals in one day...that was actually now yesterday.

I just blended in and went to work, like I was supposed to be there.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jun 29, 2009 03:30AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-28 14:22, RobertBloor wrote:
This is just a foreign concept to me.
[/quote]

that's because you're not a busker.

[quote]
The festival tells you NO so you show up anyway.
[/quote]

That's when you get the police called on you.

[quote]
Reeks of desperation to me.
[/quote]

I am not desperate. To me it's the sweet fragrance of freedom. The right to come and go as I please.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jun 29, 2009 05:00AM)
Hi Gaddy
I like the way you think, we covered this during the School of Busking.
This is a huge market but you have to know what your doing and how to approach it.
Mario
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 29, 2009 07:12AM)
I fringed the Ottawa Buskers Festival one year. I had tried really hard to get accepted, but no luck. But when the time came I was in the area, so I thought why not give it a try?

So on Day 1 I picked out a good spot on the fringe and went to work.

After 3 shows a guy approached me. He asks me how come I'm not working inside the festival boundries. I say it's because I was refused this year due to overbooking. He asks do I know the busking co-ordinator. I say sure, he's a friend of mine, but he still had no extra room for me this year. The guy says, well I'm your friends boss. I'm the festival promoter. And I want you to pack up and come with me because I'm sure we can find you a place inside. And he did. In fact I was given my own private spot for the entire festival and never had to share or rotate.

And on Monday when the local newspaper did its big festival write-up, a (very cool) pic of my show was the only one used. It was a great article and I still have it. I guess Mr Bloor would have missed out, but I had the time of my life.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 29, 2009 11:07AM)
Chance,

I wouldn't have missed out since I would have already been booked. ;-)

I suppose if you guys are talking strictly open festivals that are on public property, that's one thing. But I've seen state fairs and gates/paid admission festivals crashed before and that indeed reeks of desperation.

So I'll meet you half way on the public property/no-gate festival.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 29, 2009 01:04PM)
Maybe so, but you would have been on rotation with everyone else. The promoter made sure I got a plum space all to myself. Kinda puts on it's head the idea that promoters hate this kind of thing, doesn't it? And being the only pic in the Ottawa Sun was just icing on the cake. In reality, the people who hate it most are people like you who can't stand the thought of serious competition.

And for your information, state or county fairs ARE public events, and are required by law to provide proper FREE space for a busker when notified, even when a gate fee is charged. You'd know all this stuff if you studied half as much as you bloviate.

I've said it before: we buskers have AMAZING rights that most of us know nothing about, and the government generally wants it to stay that way. Education is the best thing we can do, even if it only happens in some tiny corner of the internet called The Sidewalk Shuffle.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 29, 2009 02:43PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-29 14:04, Chance wrote:
Maybe so, but you would have been on rotation with everyone else. The promoter made sure I got a plum space all to myself. Kinda puts on it's head the idea that promoters hate this kind of thing, doesn't it? And being the only pic in the Ottawa Sun was just icing on the cake. In reality, the people who hate it most are people like you who can't stand the thought of serious competition.

And for your information, state or county fairs ARE public events, and are required by law to provide proper FREE space for a busker when notified, even when a gate fee is charged. You'd know all this stuff if you studied half as much as you bloviate.

I've said it before: we buskers have AMAZING rights that most of us know nothing about, and the government generally wants it to stay that way. Education is the best thing we can do, even if it only happens in some tiny corner of the internet called The Sidewalk Shuffle.
[/quote]

Chance,

Serious competition? haha What do you make on a good hat pass? $100 $150? If you were serious competition you'd be making $7,000.00 - $10,000.00 or more to work a fair rather than passing the hat for penance.

Required by law? hahah Keep telling yourself that. Since you've studied and are so amazingly educated, by all means go ahead and give us a statute rather than just running your mouth.

Come on out to the New Mexico State Fair and pass the hat. I dare you. We can finish discussing bloviating after you are criminally trespassed from the property by NM State Police.

Robert
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 29, 2009 03:35PM)
Dude, you really need to step back and take a deep breath. Having a pi**ing contest only really works *if* your equipment really is bigger than mine.

You're so sure I'm wrong, and you're such a big earner on campus, then challenge me to a $10,000 wager on the matter. That's peanuts to you, right? And besides, I'm wrong and you're right, right? What have you got to lose?

And by the time I've collected on it, you'll have learned the difference between federal and state statute, as well as federal precedent and how it relates to the 1st Amendment.

Because all I need to show is that someone sued a government agency in the recent past alleging that their rights were infringed upon, and that the courts agreed with the claim and commanded that agency to co-operate and do as they were asked in the first place. That's considered winning in these types of matters. And it creates a thing called precedent, which anyone else can then use to show they had the same type of discrimination and demand the same type of redress.

To be even more precise, to take your money all I need to show is that someone sued a state or county fair board in federal court for infringing on their 1st Amendment rights, and that the board lost and was commanded to co-operate by the courts.

I can do just that. You will lose. You have lost already.

Still want to play this game? Still think you're fighting an unarmed man?

You go on spouting how fat your checkbook is. Maybe someone here will be impressed, just don't think it will be me.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 29, 2009 03:47PM)
Chance,

Am I irritating you?
And since you brought it up, I'm sure my equipment is bigger than yours. hahaha

This is ridiculous.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 29, 2009 04:16PM)
You've got nothing to lose except your diginity. Sorry, too late.
Message: Posted by: The Great Zoobini (Jun 29, 2009 04:37PM)
[Interrupts]

As a muse, I used to enjoy doing this in Europe whenever I happened upon a festival...especially Octoberfest. Nobody ever said boo to me...probably because American musicians are revered over there...

[Ok...back to the fight]
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 29, 2009 04:39PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-29 17:16, Chance wrote:
You've got nothing to lose except your diginity. Sorry, too late.
[/quote]

Guess that still leaves me two steps ahead of you bud. Heheh

Listen, you're the one arguing constitutionality. I've never said anything was or wasn't the case.

What I said was I don't understand the purpose of trying to get booked and paid by a fair, getting told no, and then showing up anyway.

That's just flat out unprofessional...and desperate.

You were the one "bloviating" about free speech, the Constitution and apparently thinking fair performers like me see you as some sort of competition.

Here's a newsflash for you...I get paid a fee for my fair shows, I don't give two nuts if you show up and pass the hat.

Go for it.
If you get arrested I could care less.
If you sue the government for infringing on your rights...so be it.

I just think it's a joke to get told no by a festival organizer and then show up anyway.

But go ahead and show up to fairs and work for free. Get arrested, don't get arrested I could care less.

-Robert
Sent via a Blackberry device.
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 29, 2009 05:01PM)
What, like people can't remember what you said just 4 posts back, like this:

"Required by law? hahah Keep telling yourself that. Since you've studied and are so amazingly educated, by all means go ahead and give us a statute rather than just running your mouth."

Now all the sudden you're backpedaling, trying to play like you never made those comments. I call you out for ten grand and all you can say is that you were misunderstood. Which would be funny if it weren't so um, what's the word, DESPERATE sounding. Yeah, that's it: DESPERATE. And unprofessional.

You work festivals. Good for you! You're not alone here I assure you! But if you're not a busker at all then why are you here in the first place? Just looking in on us little people or something? Do you honestly think buskers are beneith you? Because that's sure the vibe you're putting off today.

So in closing you're not a busker but you spend half your day here, and you couldn't care less about things constitutional but you spend the other half arguing law with me. (Law you've never studied, but that's for another day.)
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 29, 2009 05:31PM)
Yep I said that in response to your assesment that it is required by law that a state fair must give you a FREE space if you ask for it.

You still have not cited a statute or court precedant.

Again... YOU brought it up. Not me. Then you went off half-cocked about bets and competition and what not.

I stand by my original post that being told no and showing up anyway is unprofessional.

I know you want to continue ranting about your Constitutional rights and you can go right ahead. There's probably no one on the board who is a more die-hard Libertarian than I am.

BTW...those rights you said buskers have are the same rights as anyone else. You're not anymore special than I am. Sad isn't it?
Message: Posted by: balducci (Jun 29, 2009 06:22PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-29 08:12, Chance wrote:

After 3 shows a guy approached me. He asks me how come I'm not working inside the festival boundries. I say it's because I was refused this year due to overbooking. He asks do I know the busking co-ordinator. I say sure, he's a friend of mine, but he still had no extra room for me this year. The guy says, well I'm your friends boss. I'm the festival promoter.
[/quote]
Did any of this cause trouble for your friend the busking co-ordinator? I mean, did the promoter lose faith in your friend's ability to book and co-ordinate?
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 29, 2009 06:26PM)
Not that I'm aware of. I got 3 great written references from that gig, including from my friend.

Yes I said that, but not from out of the blue. It was in direct response to this comment:

[quote]I suppose if you guys are talking strictly open festivals that are on public property, that's one thing. But I've seen state fairs and gates/paid admission festivals crashed before and that indeed reeks of desperation.

So I'll meet you half way on the public property/no-gate festival.[/quote]
According to you there isn't any precedent to show in the first place. A fact which I challenged you on. Again, if you were to actually study half as much as you bloviate then we wouldn't be having these discussions. It's not my job to spoon feed you what you should already know. You want what I know then step up to the plate and challenge me. Ten large. Put up or shut up.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 29, 2009 06:55PM)
You know what, I just did some research through some past circuit court rulings. I've spent 90 minutes digging through stuff. Not a lot of time but I've got news for you...

...you're right. I apologize for suggesting that working for free after you've been told you're not wanted reeks of desperation.

You certainly do know what you're talking about. The law is clear and you are correct...you can work for free anywhere you want in this country.

Rock on.

Next time a fair offers to pay me $600 or $700 a day I'm going to refuse, wave the Constitution around, talk about court precedent and demand they give me a spot and let me work for free.

I really learned something here today.

*rolls eyes*
Message: Posted by: Chance (Jun 29, 2009 07:25PM)
Actually no, you haven't. But I know several readers that have at your expense.
Message: Posted by: ray raymond (Jun 29, 2009 07:43PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-29 15:43, RobertBloor wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-06-29 14:04, Chance wrote:
Maybe so, but you would have been on rotation with everyone else. The promoter made sure I got a plum space all to myself. Kinda puts on it's head the idea that promoters hate this kind of thing, doesn't it? And being the only pic in the Ottawa Sun was just icing on the cake. In reality, the people who hate it most are people like you who can't stand the thought of serious competition.

And for your information, state or county fairs ARE public events, and are required by law to provide proper FREE space for a busker when notified, even when a gate fee is charged. You'd know all this stuff if you studied half as much as you bloviate.

I've said it before: we buskers have AMAZING rights that most of us know nothing about, and the government generally wants it to stay that way. Education is the best thing we can do, even if it only happens in some tiny corner of the internet called The Sidewalk Shuffle.
[/quote]

Chance,

Serious competition? haha What do you make on a good hat pass? $100 $150? If you were serious competition you'd be making $7,000.00 - $10,000.00 or more to work a fair rather than passing the hat for penance.

Required by law? hahah Keep telling yourself that. Since you've studied and are so amazingly educated, by all means go ahead and give us a statute rather than just running your mouth.

Come on out to the New Mexico State Fair and pass the hat. I dare you. We can finish discussing bloviating after you are criminally trespassed from the property by NM State Police.

Robert
[/quote

$600-$700, a little while ago it was $7,000 -$10,000 to even be competitive. I am sorry robert I thought you were a busker. which is a whole art form to itself. To be perfecly clear I HAVE NEVER CRASHED A FESTIVAL THAT I HAVE UNSUCCESSFULLY TRIED TO BOOK. it would be smarter to call the festival committe and say " I am a complete moron" Also to be perfectly fair $600-$700 by the hat is not that hard to do. Any successful street performer can out entertain any other type of performer any day of the week.

Also robert this thread is about offering help on the subject of crashing festivals.]
if this is a foreign concept, you should not have interjected.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 29, 2009 08:12PM)
Ray,

Sorry if I was unclear.

The first was for the entire fair, the second was a day rate. That's my fault.

As for crashing festivals...I still say unprofessional and desperate. If that offends some folks send me some nasty messages like I've already gotten.

Otherwise...whatever.
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Jun 29, 2009 10:26PM)
Okay, I get it. Bloor feels crashing festivals is unprofessional and desperate. We all now know that his fee schedule commands thousands of dollars.

And yet...nobody seems to give a ***.

So, let's get back to the topic at hand...crashing festivals.
Message: Posted by: Bill Nuvo (Jun 29, 2009 11:37PM)
As a busker, a festival performer and as a festival producer...I see all sides here. In fact, one of the festivals I am producing now is one I crashed before! In the same token however, crashing a festival you have been turned down from (for whatever reason, budget...etc) is bad karma in my opinion. At this one festival too, though we do have spots open for those who want to crash. As a festival performer, I would much rather be paid a full sum instead of busking, just for the sure paycheque of it all.

The one thing I don't understand with this whole thread is, some of the arrogance spouted here from all sides.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jun 30, 2009 12:48AM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-29 23:26, EVILDAN wrote:
Okay, I get it. Bloor feels crashing festivals is unprofessional and desperate. We all now know that his fee schedule commands thousands of dollars.

And yet...nobody seems to give a ***.

So, let's get back to the topic at hand...crashing festivals.
[/quote]

I thought this was a discussion. Topic posted. I replied. And Chance got his panties in a twit because I had the audacity to suggest that crashing was unprofessional. Of course he went of a Constitutional rant.

Whether you give a **** or not is of no concern. Opinions were asked for, I gave mine and sadly had to defend it against the ACLU.

My mistake straight through. I should know better than to give an opinion contrary to Chance's.

That said - crashing festivals - enjoy. Knock yourselves out. Please.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jun 30, 2009 03:46AM)
You must have a very odd way of presenting Festivals in the US !!! No way would any of these attitudes survive over here.

For a factual method of crashing !!! Ask Mario to put his thoughts forward.

Why ? Cos he "crashed" a Festival that I was working only a few weeks ago (Cambridge) I think his method was the correct and proffessional way to handle this and even ended up with the bosses asking me for his details. This puts him in a win-win situation.

Ken.
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (Jun 30, 2009 08:24PM)
My problem is: I'm new to town. I see a festival in the Thursday night paper for the upcoming weekend. There is no time to get booked or ask permission. I'll just take my chances and show up. The worst they can do is ask me to leave. I just won't return to their little closed minded fair next year.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jul 1, 2009 04:32AM)
TheGiz, I can see your problem in getting booked or asking permission. Personally, if I got turned down I reckon I would get their contact details ready for a next time. However, the person to contact may change from one year to the next, leaving the same problem.
If a person was unhappy about crashing a festival, it might work out that s/he could station themselves, say, 50 feet from the entrance-way and perform there. Presenting a kind of publicity for what's going on inside.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 16, 2013 02:35PM)
[quote]
On 2009-06-29 15:43, RobertBloor wrote:
...Serious competition? haha What do you make on a good hat pass? $100 $150? If you were serious competition you'd be making $7,000.00 - $10,000.00 or more to work a fair rather than passing the hat for penance...

Robert
[/quote]
You are correct about making $100 on a hat pass. What you forget is I do 4 to 6 shows an hour and get $75 to $150 each show Which is between $2400 (assuming all small hats) to $14,400 (all maximum hats) a DAY.

that's the difference between having the balls to be a busker where if I do not entertain I don't eat so every show has to be the best.

Paddy
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Dec 16, 2013 06:42PM)
$14,400/$150= 96 shows.
Assuming 6 shows per hour, that's 16 hours.
Paddy, not only are you completely delusional, but you can't even do math!
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 17, 2013 01:06AM)
A case of fat fingers, sorry. it is 4800 a day for 150/show, 4shows/hour, 8 hours/day. I should have proofread before I hit the send button and we can't make edits once we send. I can do the math just can't type worth a crap
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Dec 17, 2013 09:32AM)
Paddy, don't insult my intelligence; I know the difference between fat fingers and a long nose.
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Dec 17, 2013 11:22AM)
TheNightBringer89

I have crashed festival and been paid to perform at festivals. In my opinion its better to be hired to be there but do what you must to live.

Paddy

Your post is DANGEROUS and let me explain why.

1. Impressible people may believe your $ numbers and quit there job or school to crash festivals so they can make $4800 a day.

2. Performers who have paid their dues to develop a show that can be booked at festival will be battling performers who have not developed a show that will be good for audience and the event.

3. Performers who are starting out will believe your DISNEY LAND MONEY numbers and will get discouraged and give up performing because they believe they are not good enough.

Thanks Shel
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 17, 2013 06:15PM)
Thanks FP

I don't approve of crashing. If that's what you need to do to survive, you need to reconsider your choices.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Dec 17, 2013 09:19PM)
Great points shel!!!

Here is an old essay I wrote, it's my method to crashing street festivals... If anyone's interested

Crashing Street Festivals (Or Any Event For That Matter)

One way that street-performers make a living is by showing up to festivals, uninvited, and doing their show with hopes of not getting kicked out. A lot of performers like to “fly under the radar”, and mosey throughout the festival, doing short, inconspicuous shows, trying to go undetected by the festival’s staff.

Not me. I will set up in the middle of a prime area, and do as big of a presentation as the venue can hold. My attitude is as if I am supposed to be there. When I show up to an event, uninvited, I am actually trying to get the attention of the staff (without looking like I am trying to get their attention), because I will most likely get booked for the next year (and for any other events they may have coming up). If I don’t get booked, and I don’t get kicked out, I just crash the festival year after year.

If you have a quality product (your show), you are valuable to the event planners, plain and simple. Why would the organizers get mad that you are making their patrons laugh, cheer, smile, and have a good time (especially when it hasn’t cost them anything)? If anybody should be mad, it should be the performers who are already at the event, and paid to be there.

When you have a huge crowd around you, and they are all having a good time, 95% of the time you are not going to get shut down (At least, not until after the show is over). Most people are afraid of crowds, and nobody wants to be the guy who ruins everybody’s fun. Let’s assume that you get kicked out after your show is over and your crowd has left. If you have just done a “big show”, and made a “big hat”, than that means you haven’t wasted your time. You can do a short, sidewalk show, and make a lot of little hats if you’d like. But in reality, each time you do one of these shows, you are taking the same amount of risk as doing a bigger show.

Out of the times that you do get kicked out, I’ve found that 90% of the time they are not mean or bitter about it. They just have procedures that they have to follow (insurance, etc.). Most of the time they will say “If you would like to perform here next year, so and so books the entertainment” – bam, you have a lead. A lot of times, I will still get booked after getting kicked out of an event because they WANT me there, they just “CAN’T take the risk of having me there without following the proper procedures”… I do not argue with them. The idea here is that I’m going in with my “guns blazin’”, and I am getting paid (passing the hat) to market myself to the event planners, and generate leads.

I was working all over Florida with a very good friend, Brian Bloodworth, a phenomenal, world traveling, world class sleight of hand artist. We were looking for festivals to crash and found a beautiful pitch. Brian said to me, “Let’s not mess this up, George! You work that end, I’ll work over here! Do short sidewalk shows, and move!” ----- I then said “Brian, relax. If I get kicked out after a short, $10 sidewalk show, when I can just make a big hat right now, I am going to be ****ed… I’m doing the big show”. I set up right in the center of this huge plaza where the event was taking place. I built a crowd, and did a 30 minute show. Sure enough, I made close to $250 in the hat for that performance. Afterwards, a guy came up to me with a restaurant uniform on and said “Who are you? How did you hear about this, what are you doing here”? I told him I was sorry and explained to him that I was a traveling performer. He then said that he was just curious and wanted to know how he can book me. He was the entertainment director for the restaurant that was throwing the festival (they do it every month). Not only did we end up getting paid to be there, but we got to work all night, indoors and out, pass the hat, plus a bar tab. This was (and still is) a sweet gig which we would have never have gotten if we didn’t go out there with our “guns blazin’”. They had never seen anything like us. Again, this festival happens once a month, and there are many like it, all around the country… You just have to find them! Happy hunting… I compiled a list of some of them in my "Antics of George GIlbert" notes, along with some busker friendly pitches.. But they are completely gone, I only printed 100 copies.

When crashing a festival, never ask anybody if it’s okay that you set up. This defeats the whole purpose of crashing. 99.9% of the time the answer is going to be “no” anyway. It’s always better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Most of the time, the people, and the event planners have not really seen what it is that you do as a street-performer. In their minds, they still associate street-performers with beggars or riff-raff. The idea of it will turn them off. They actually have to see it before they will understand. Not to mention, the event planners are VERY BUSY, especially on the day of the event. They do not have time to think about what you are pitching to them. Just go for it. You will find that the less you make event planners think and work, the more welcoming they are to you.

If for some reason you do end up having to talk to somebody; never tell them that you will be “passing the hat”, or “soliciting donations”, or “giving a money speech”. Again, they haven’t seen it, so the idea of this turns them off. Instead, and only if they ask, just say “I’ll just do a show and leave a hat out for tips”; and don’t make a big deal out of it. Of course, when you actually do your show, do it properly (with the hat-lines, soliciting, etc.)

If you are told that you cannot perform in the festival, and NEED to perform to make extra cash, now is the time to do “under the radar” style sidewalk shows. Keep it short and sweet, and move around after each set. Keep your crowds small, and keep your material close-up.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 17, 2013 11:13PM)
Shel, I have experience so that's why I put those numbers in. Also that was ONE FEST that I crashed, because I had just got out of the hospital a few weeks before and was really in need at the time. Most fests I work pay me a daily rate. Again if you are making hats in that range the money can be made, if you average $25 to $50 hats, that's what you'll still get. I did not intend to imply that is a standard.
Message: Posted by: writeall (Dec 19, 2013 12:06AM)
"It's always better to ask for forgiveness than permission" - sounds like the kind of advice that will get you brought up on rape charges.
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 19, 2013 10:22AM)
RiffRaff something that I would like to point out, I can tell you Paddy works and works hard, I can guarantee you this if most here had to deal with the health issues he has they wouldn't leave the door and maybe not the bed, he does what he has to do to be productive. Paddy does not need to lie because he has no problem putting his actions and thoughts out there.
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Dec 19, 2013 04:44PM)
Tboehnlein:
Are you saying that you actually SAW Paddy do a $4800 day?
You are present when he does 4 shows/hour for 8 hours and makes $150 hats?
Do you have any film or pictures that show his crowds?
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”
Can anybody here provide any proof that Paddy does what he claims to do?
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 19, 2013 06:14PM)
RiffRaff, I work when I can as hard as I can, I do not take pictures of myself because I am to dam busy working the crowds to be egotistically trying to impress anybody but the people in front of me
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 19, 2013 10:03PM)
"RiffRaff something that I would like to point out, I can tell you Paddy works and works hard, I can guarantee you this if most here had to deal with the health issues he has they wouldn't leave the door and maybe not the bed, he does what he has to do to be productive. Paddy does not need to lie because he has no problem putting his actions and thoughts out there." Hmm is the # 4800 any where in that statement...I think not, for rudimentary reading lessons you may need to go back to Sesame Street.
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Dec 19, 2013 10:48PM)
Tboehnlein:
The #4800 is not in your statement, but your statement references Paddy's claim.
Your statement that Paddy "does not need to lie..." Implies that the number $4800 is accurate.
If that's not what you meant, then perhaps you should learn how to write clearly.
Furthermore, your insult regarding Sesame Street was not necessary, since I clearly posed my inability to comprehend your poorly punctuated post as a series of questions.
Now can you please go back and answer my questions, rather than toss insults?

Paddy:
I'm not looking for a selfie. Just some evidence of your prowess.
Audience members are constantly taking pictures and videos of street performers.
Surely a performer who performs as often as you claim, and who makes the hats that you claim to make must have had at least ONE audience member capture it for posterity. Do a Google search for "street performer" and you'll find hundreds of pictures and videos. Where's yours???!!!
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 19, 2013 11:44PM)
Riff you are the only one requesting proof, but since you asked no I was not present, but I know Paddy personally and I have no reason to doubt him. Your request for a pic or video as proof is nonsense.
"Now can you please go back and answer my questions, rather than toss insults? "
but it is ok for you to insinuate someone is lying, without evidence of your own. Funny thing is he never stated he made 4800 in one day he gave a range for the potential to make based on average range of hats.
Message: Posted by: writeall (Dec 20, 2013 02:26AM)
Even 5 grand in a week gets you to a quarter-million dollars a year. Nice money. If I was drawing that kind of scratch, I wouldn't sweat paying a festival fee. In fact, I'd feel bad not paying it.
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Dec 20, 2013 08:14AM)
Paddy and tboehnlein

My hat is off to any type of full-time performer I am doing it now and it is TOUGH. To give false information is harmful to any new performers.

If you are doing street shows (100's) and audience like you enough to put money in your hat some of those audiences are going to film you and put you on you-tube like all the below street performing clips FACT!

Gazzo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAGm6987xTE

Todd Various http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2riVLA_OGo

Jimmy Talksalot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOHU0gZswqA

Eric Evans http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3JWA2et8bo

Bobby Maverick http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZuGedw4lGI

George Gilbert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ln78hLU3U8

Seth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itLjTXMV6LM

Owen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40_3Tj0_67o

Dwayne http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENlQpzMoM-c

Michael http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdcuHGh2zpY

Rafael http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWKtPeyooCg

Shel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg0VNG4tJxQ

Ray http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUHIfZ_4p_A

Kris http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGJqb0DYPw8

I am friends with shared a pitch,been student or co-student with all the above performers. I meet Paddy back when he was doing cups and balls.

I HAVE NEVER SEEN OR HEARD OF ANY PERFORMER DOING 4 SHOWS AN HOUR FOR 8 HOURS (32 SHOWS PLUS ALL SHOWS ARE $150) IN A DAY. I BELIEVE IT IS DANGEROUS TO ALLOW BEGINNERS TO THINK SO!!!
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 20, 2013 10:33AM)
The reason I pushed myself is that I had gotten out of the hospital after my last heart attack and NOBODY was happy with me, especially the hospital which wanted their money YESTERDAY. I felt ok and looked thin and frankly not my best but I HAD to bust *** to get some money. Crashed a fest and just lucked out with big hats all day. I'll admit that I thought I was going to pass out a few times during the day but kept going anyway. We do what we must to feed our families and pay bills. I once worked a 6 week period after the dentist pulled my teeth until he got my dentures. Yep he was old school and waited for my gums to heel before fitting the dentures. I will say that I didn't mean to mislead anyone. Not all hats were $150 some were less than $100 but I made dam good money that fest. Won't do that again.
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Dec 20, 2013 01:45PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-20 00:44, tboehnlein wrote:
Your request for a pic or video as proof is nonsense.
[/quote]
Why is it nonsense?

[quote]
On 2013-12-20 00:44, tboehnlein wrote:
but it is ok for you to insinuate someone is lying, without evidence of your own.
[/quote]
You're partially correct. I don't have hard evidence (which is what I'm trying to obtain), but I do have enough experience to know when someone is being deceitful.

[quote]
On 2013-12-20 00:44, tboehnlein wrote:
Funny thing is he never stated he made 4800 in one day he gave a range for the potential to make based on average range of hats.
[/quote]
He DID state that he made $4800 in a day. (He also stated $14,800 - but he retracted, so I let that one go.)

tboehnlein: I know you think that I'm the bad guy; but I'm the one that's warning you not to drink the Kool-Aid.
Message: Posted by: tboehnlein (Dec 20, 2013 06:14PM)
Trust me, I am drinking no kool aid I appreciate the warning and that is why I still work in corporate america
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Dec 20, 2013 06:17PM)
Two kinds of street performers:
1) the street performer that only performs when he is booked.
2) the street performer that is going through the world and enjoys his freedom and performs where ever he lays his hat.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Dec 20, 2013 07:13PM)
The only person who has ever made $4,800 or more a day street performing was Groovy Guy Collins.

Last summer, in ONE day he made something around $10,500 .. I'm pretty sure he holds the record for the largest "hat", "tip", or money made performing for one day...

Keep in mind this is only because Penn tipped him ten grand.

Posted: Dec 20, 2013 08:20 pm
Newcomers should not expect to make anything on the street, the money is a bad reason to perform, especially on the street.

One of the best street hustlers / buskers I've ever seen is Birdie McClaien, as he would build a crowd with spray paint, and give his spray painting away to the highest tipper after his show -- brilliant. He made serious $ , but I doubt it was close to 4 grand a day !!!

My biggest day just in tips ever was probably only around 1500 , and that's at a massive annual festival, literally killing myself, pumping out shows, being a workhorse ... If there is a busker out there making double that or more, just in the hat per day, I would drop everything, and fly to anywhere he is in the world, just to observe his "hustle"
Message: Posted by: writeall (Dec 20, 2013 08:18PM)
It's so unusual to hear people talking actual dollar amounts, I have to ask...

So what's reasonable? If a grand or more is exceptional and rare, what's enough to keep doing it? I hear everything from "nothing, do it for the love" up to "I make a nice living" - so what's a nice living and what does it take?
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Dec 20, 2013 09:22PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-20 19:17, ROBERT BLAKE wrote:
Two kinds of street performers:
1) the street performer that only performs when he is booked.
2) the street performer that is going through the world and enjoys his freedom and performs where ever he lays his hat.
[/quote]

You forgot one:
3) the street performer that only exists on "the side walk shuffle."
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Dec 20, 2013 09:46PM)
Nice riffraff


WriteAll,
To answer your question based on my experiences.. Nobody should get into busking for money, because it's so inconsistent. plus it makes us look bad.. Why? because the people who get into busking just for the money usually suck. They suck because they have no passion for what they do.. To be good at busking, you have to be absolutely in love with your art, and the art of busking - You have to breathe it.. Performing is no longer a choice.. it becomes as much of an option as your genetic make-up... At this point, busking becomes easy, like taking candy from a baby, because it's WHAT YOU DO. But the people who go out there, and are only partially into it SUCK at busking.

What's a "nice living" busking?
Again, it's inconsistent , and it's more about the romantic lifestyle of it... One week I am being put in the guest house of a mansion for a week while I am in town by somebody who has seen my show.. The next I am sleeping in my van, looking for a new pitch... Then maybe I'm hired to do a festival gig , and being put up in a 5 star hotel ... Then when it's over, I'm back in my van. Maybe I'm tired of sleeping in my van, and I go on couchsurfing and explain that I'm a traveling busker, and meet some awesome people who put me up in their small apartment for a day... Then I'm back in my van .. You just never know.... One weekend, I am making $1,000 a day at a festival for 3 days.. When the fest is over, I'm back at a pitch making $100 a day if I'm lucky... And it keeps going... and going..
Message: Posted by: Nate The Magician (Dec 20, 2013 11:43PM)
Hi there-
On the matter of Festival Crashing, I'd say that the most important thing is to be quiet. I've crashed my fair share of events and I've found that most festivals don't care what you're doing so long as you're not getting in their way.
Do: Be respectful, have business cards, dress like the people at the festival will, have a hat constantly in front of the table for trickle tips, be polite, be good at what you do.
Don't: bring the amp, shout, bang on things, insult people, generally act like Gazzo.

People at festivals want to have fun and are much more likely to tip big. People who run festivals don't mind having another entertainer- especially one that costs them nothing- as long as said entertainer is not distracting/annoying their guests from what their guests are going to the festival for.
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Dec 21, 2013 10:09AM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-20 22:22, RiffRaff wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-12-20 19:17, ROBERT BLAKE wrote:
Two kinds of street performers:
1) the street performer that only performs when he is booked.
2) the street performer that is going through the world and enjoys his freedom and performs where ever he lays his hat.
[/quote]
You forgot one:
3) the street performer that only exists on "the side walk shuffle."
[/quote]
good point.
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (Dec 22, 2013 10:58AM)
:) this is funny...

There's ALOT of bad advice in this thread...
Message: Posted by: Devious (Dec 23, 2013 12:01PM)
Although, I've not posted in this thread, what I find funny is that [i]Bobby Maverick[/i] comes
here to mock everyone and show contempt instead of offering his "Sage" advice? Tsk, Tsk...
Message: Posted by: Magician Shaun (Dec 24, 2013 02:05PM)
I know that where I live and busk most festivals are well organized. They have off duty cops (in uniform with guns) strolling about. If you crash one of these big events at the least you will be asked to leave and the worst arrested for trespassing. I have seen it happen.

To add to that, I have busked the biggest, busiest, festivals that Atlanta has to offer. All I did was email the festival director, tell them I wanted to busk and they said sure. They give me a badge so the cops don't bother me, they give me a meal ticket just like the paid vendors get, and sometimes they even advertise me on their website.

Some say it's better to ask forgiveness than permission. My experience has shown me that in Atlanta no festival is going to say no to free entertainment. I know one festival organizer that lets a couple of musicians come to busk and sell CDs without charging them a vendor fee. I don't know why anyone would want to "CRASH" a festival like this and possibly lose the opportunity to ever work these great events with permission.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 24, 2013 10:46PM)
Well phrased, mature response Magician Shaun.
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Dec 25, 2013 12:14AM)
I've advocated crashing festivals many times, but only when traveling and then as a serendipitous opportunity (see Sieze the Opportunity to Lead a Goat Astray).

I wouldn't make a habit out of it as it would make for a dismal career otherwise.

Best to charge a healthy fee up front. That way everybody gets what they deserve.


Still, I am curious as to what advice given here is bad in bobby's eyes.
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Dec 25, 2013 04:11AM)
Performing on the street is great fun and it gives you an opportunity to learn how to do magic and entertain people. it seams that crashing a festival is a dirty word here. I don't know the background of everybody but for me streetshows means freedom. do what you want when you want it. when I started out in 1990 it was all what I had. go out and have fun, learn magic, learn how to deal with audiences. I have learned more from my streetshows than from any magician I know. that is what I like the freedom.

from those experiences I got engagements and moved on to the more payed festivals. which gives peace, not to have to do it. but those beginning years are, and where, important. nowadays the novice says how do I get the money? and does not what to pay his dues in learning the crafsmanship. this is what makes crashing a festival so interesting. you get the possibility to learn and deal with the situations. if you have the best show possible and you are having fun and are free you make the money nessecary.

street magic is freedom.
Message: Posted by: G.Gilbert (Dec 25, 2013 06:59AM)
I agree Robert...

How can you be a "street magician" if you feel guilty about crashing a festival?

This place is a joke.

Posted: Dec 25, 2013 07:59 am
Feliz navidad
Message: Posted by: Magician Shaun (Dec 25, 2013 11:29AM)
People's sense of entitlement is mind boggling to me. Your freedom shouldn't infringe on anyone else's. When you exercise your freedom by crashing a festival you are disrupting someone's hard work and saying that you are more important than they are.

The festival spent money advertising, organizing things, and time planning. The fact that you want to crash it isn't you exercising freedom. It's you stealing from the people that are there legitimately. By that logic Walmart has stuff I need. Is it exercising my freedom to load up a buggy and leave without paying for it?

Do you people even hear yourselves finding ways to justify your actions? This is why so many places are trying to regulate buskers.
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Dec 25, 2013 05:06PM)
Nobody here is talking about infringing on anybody's rights that I can see. Like your post about nails and cuticles, you're citing straw men Shaun.

Most of the festivals I've crashed were elated that I was there. And those that weren't, I quickly made my exit, happily shaking the dust from my feet as I left.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 26, 2013 01:32PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-22 11:58, Bobby Maverick wrote:
:) this is funny...

There's ALOT of bad advice in this thread...
[/quote]

I think if you're going to make a statement like this, you should clarify exactly what the bad advice was.
Message: Posted by: Magician Shaun (Dec 26, 2013 08:34PM)
If the festival organizers are happy with your presence at a festival then I would say there is no problem. Eric remember that not everyone is a great performer and some shows are just 20 minutes of hat lines with aggressive hatting bordering on strong arm robbery. Those guys cause trouble for everyone and they do exist.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 29, 2013 01:36PM)
..and when festivals run into one, it makes it difficult for everyone else as they assume the NEXT person showing up will be the same.
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Dec 29, 2013 10:04PM)
I suspect that if I began a thread about the benefits of starting a logging industry on Mars, all of the space cadets would jump out of the wood-work (so to speak) and proclaim their expertise on the matter.
Message: Posted by: NYCTwister (Dec 29, 2013 10:11PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-29 23:04, RiffRaff wrote:
I suspect that if I began a thread about the benefits of starting a logging industry on Mars, all of the space cadets would jump out of the wood-work (so to speak) and proclaim their expertise on the matter.
[/quote]

Pretty much
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Dec 30, 2013 10:02AM)
Riff Raff

Let me tell you about my logging experience.

I made 4 million dollars in one day logging the Sahara Forrest. Now before anyone with less logging experience questions my GREAT logging experience and points out its the Sahara Desert not Sahara Forrest. Let me say IT IS NOW!!!
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 30, 2013 02:05PM)
See, it's people like you who are ruining the world through your indescriminate logging.

8]
Message: Posted by: Bobby Maverick (Dec 31, 2013 09:50AM)
You're right Eric, I should have elaborated.



Peter is full of it.


Nuff said?
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 20, 2014 12:47PM)
Festival Crashing to be or not to be seems to be the debate hear.
I have had some great times crashing festivals, but I am reading some misconceptions hear. I don't think you should chuck the baby out with the bath warter.
Their are countless of Festivals through out the world and every one of them have a different Ethos to another just like people
In short we need to ask first of what kind of festival and what kind of busker.

A lot of Festivals have a long history and many grew from a gathering of traders and traveling show folk buskers.
For example in Spain their are over 3500 festivals each year.
They are called Ferries they can range from small villages to huge city events. To get permission to work this well good luck. I mean good luck trying to find out who is in charge. This is clear rock up and role out your shows and if the hats are good and the Police leave you alone keep working it. This is the way it is. To make some kind of rule out of and say no festival crashing is short sighted. At events like this your not stepping on any ones toes. Festivals that are free public events community events if their any good will have buskers rocking up to them. A major example of this will be the Edinburgh fringe or just Fringe festivals. On the other hand you have festivals you have to pay to get in, this to me is another bag. You see at some festivals it could be even considered the norm.

Now what kind of busker would this appeal to. In my mind we are talking the real deal traveling old school kind of busker. One who wont be caring what others think. Main objective to seek fame and fortune, the kind of busker who will go where no busker has gone before. The kind who loves the challenge to discover new pitches. They will go from place to place, city to city and some cases festival to festival. This kind of busker you can learn from.
Hope that helps
Mario
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jan 25, 2014 11:18PM)
I will never forget the first time I crashed a festival. I brought less props than average because I wanted to start small from being noticed by the wrong people. I had someone from the audience take pictures of my show for me.

I was lucky the two police officers watching me for a moment did not interrupt me. They were partners. I am glad they were young. I bet they were inexperienced. It is hard to see one of them. Look at the girl on the left in the pink dress up front. Behind her, you will see a man in a grey striped shirt. On the right, behind that man you will see part of the police officer. His partner is not in view of the picture.

[img]http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e150/Dynamikex/Street%20Busking/HartPlaza102.jpg[/img]

The girl's father gave me a $20 tip because I used her in the show as a volunteer at the beginning, and kept her attention the whole time.

[img]http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e150/Dynamikex/Street%20Busking/HartPlaza093.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e150/Dynamikex/Street%20Busking/HartPlaza099.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jan 26, 2014 06:34AM)
Great pix and Good crowd!!!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 21, 2014 02:09AM)
[quote]On Dec 20, 2013, fireperformer911 wrote:
Paddy and tboehnlein

To give false information is harmful to any new performers.

[/quote]
I agree fireperformer911. It is also harmful to the performer to give a false statement on their website to have one of their past clients as President George W. Bush. Paddy has that near the bottom of his website on the home page.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 21, 2014 10:25AM)
A when Pres Bush was in Cincinnati he and his secret service agents stopped and watched my show, as he left he said "good job." So I have performed for him. As for money made while crashing fests I make a LOT more doing balloons than magic so I do balloons and pull in up to $75/hr Spend 10 hours a day for 3 days and figure how much you can make. Hey it's the real world, if you're not multi talented you suck. I now do magic, balloons and keyboard :applause:
I'm not like Mike that crashes a fest and then claims it a street show. Big difference between busking and crashing, we have to stop they crowd and get them to stay because of our talent. Crashers go to the crowds that want to be entertained. Also Mike I see you're so busy that you have one of the highest post counts some of us do while others talk about doing.

Posted: Dec 21, 2014 02:08 pm
OH yes, as an addendum to my last post. A certain member, who will remain nameless but his initials are DYNAMIKE, did a sidewalk show at the White House Easter Egg roll then claimed he worked the White House. A little hypocritical to call me down for busking and having the President stop and comment that it was a good show. Mike, I don't know why you don't like me, perhaps it is anti-Semitism on your part, but let's knock it off.
Message: Posted by: Stperformer (Dec 21, 2014 02:40PM)
I once performed for the Queen of England......well, that's who he said he was.

Ok, actually what he said was, "If your a magician I'm the Queen of England..."

Joking aside, Happy Christmas lads :-)
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 22, 2014 01:01PM)
Paddy, a lot of us heard you do not have much time to live. You should get a life and travel around enjoying things instead of crashing people threads with lies. You are just making it worst for yourself you know.
Message: Posted by: imgic (Dec 22, 2014 11:47PM)
Hey. If we wanted bickering and pointless allegations, we could go to the "Not Very Magical but Still" section.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 23, 2014 07:49AM)
I have NEVER lied on this, or any other, forum. From now on I will ignore Mike. Yes, like every one of us, I am dieing, so are you who read these words. :angelbear:
Message: Posted by: fireperformer911 (Dec 23, 2014 12:08PM)
Paddy

So you did make $4800 a day for 150/show, 4shows/hour, 8 hours/day?
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 24, 2014 02:27AM)
No I made $4800 doing balloons for 10 hours a day, for 3 days just standing there and cranking them out for tips. I was luck that there no mooches at that fest so everybody who got a balloon paid something. Antbody can do it you just have to work, this crap of working 2 hours and taking a break doesn't cut it. As long as there are people there I am working. I follow the simple rules, make a couple of BIG hats for a couple of kids and do it for free if you have to When they walk around you have free advertizing. Also clean out the tip cup often, always leave some in but if people see the tip cup full they figure you don't need any more, also I always salt my cup with a $5 and two $1 bills. Also it was a German Fest and I put myself near the beer tents so when dad had a beer and kiddie wanted a balloon he was more generous
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 24, 2014 03:21AM)
Your false statement averages $160 an hour. :lol:
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Dec 24, 2014 04:24AM)
If the question is, is it possible to make real god money with balloons on the street?
The the answer is yes you can, in fact you can make a small fortune ballon busking but it won't be consistent all year around.
I have seen ballon buskers make more money than a magic show does.
Not many know this but for a time, two seasons I did ballon busking in the early nineties I also did a my fair stretch of pitching. that is why I was able teach and get Lady Vee started. This was good money but nothing like Paddy is talking about.
On the other hand going to one or two events I made money with balloons that was of the scale and breaking into three figures an hour busking but this is rare and only at a very good event.
Making average money is possible with balloons but It is not easy and you will rub necks with street traders more than you will street performers.
The Police may be less sympathetic as you claim to be a busker and not a trader.
I will also add to maintain this high level of turn at an event over for a prolonged time I could never do due to extreme boredom that would kick in and that's why I went back to my day job of doing steet shows.
The chances are if you getting into balloon busking will never experience this level of turn over, unless your very fortunate or taking to armed robbery between making little latex doggies. (this I would not recommend)
:clownonball:
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 24, 2014 04:46AM)
[quote]On Dec 21, 2014, Paddy wrote:
A certain member, who will remain nameless but his initials are DYNAMIKE, did a sidewalk show at the White House Easter Egg roll then claimed he worked the White House. [/quote]
Quit lieing Paddy. I admitted it was the White House Easter Egg Roll. I never claimed I worked the White House. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=551166&forum=32
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Dec 24, 2014 04:55AM)
Nice photos Mike.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 24, 2014 05:00AM)
Thanks Mario.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Dec 24, 2014 10:06AM)
Mario, you're right about balloons being very seasonal. Haven't been out for about2 1/2 monthes and looks like it will be April or May before I hit the streets again :heckno:
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 27, 2014 11:34PM)
I've crashed festivals, farmer's markets, even street parties and other semi-private events.

At smaller events, they usually end up thanking me for being there, because I add to the fun. Then they tell me when the next one is, and ask me to come. I've even been offered payment for it.

I've also used Cellini's advice before, and explained to people in charge that I was offering them something that wouldn't cost them a dime, and all I ask is that I be allowed to pass my hat after the show. This usually sounds great to them, because free is always in their budget. And 20-30 shows later, I've got what I came for, so hey, everyone's happy.

It also helps if any vendors near you hear you telling everyone to be sure to visit the vendor's booths and support local business. If they know you're not out to take it all for yourself, and are freely advertising them, they usually relax a bit. I'll even take a break from performing and buy things now and then from them, just to let them know I think they're cool and want to support them in what they do. Psychology does the rest, thank you, Dale Carnegie!

In my experience, it all comes down to whether they like you or not.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 8, 2015 08:36AM)
Well, I'm happy for you Mort. I'm glad it worked for you. I still think it's bad form.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jan 8, 2015 05:08PM)
Ed that's your WalMart mentality showing. A busker lives with the adage that "it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission." I've set up a couple of times at farmers markets and been told they didn't want me until I explained that my being there would attract families for the entertainment.
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Jan 13, 2015 12:46PM)
The best rewards come to those who take risks. Live free, do what you want and harm no one (unless you have to). If you're worth your salt, crash away if you need the work. Better to book and get paid as others have said, but don't rule out crashing.
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Jan 17, 2015 05:28AM)
I'm glad I don't need the approval of anyone else to do what I do. If I did, I'd never have supported myself through this life as a busker.

Everyone's guilty of bad form in one way or another. But if everyone likes me and what I do, save for a handful of people on the internet, is it really bad form? Should I even care?

Meh. The people who pay my bills like me. That's all that matters to me when it comes to performing for a living.

Helen Keller said a life without risk and danger wasn't worth living. She was deaf, blind, and mute. If I'm not willing to listen to a lady like that, then I should just kill myself and get it over with, I reckon.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 17, 2015 07:50AM)
[quote]On Jan 8, 2015, Paddy wrote:
Ed that's your WalMart mentality showing. A busker lives with the adage that "it's better to beg forgiveness than ask permission." I've set up a couple of times at farmers markets and been told they didn't want me until I explained that my being there would attract families for the entertainment. [/quote]

No, that's my consideration for other people showing. I had that long before I worked at Wally World.

If you can convince people you can do a good job for them, fine. Otherwise, I (personally) disapprove of crashing someone else's function and saying; "See what a good job I'm doing for you?"
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Jan 17, 2015 09:07AM)
I can see where you're coming from with that, Ed. If I ever felt unwanted after showing up at such an event/venue, I'd do them the courtesy of leaving. I can't perform anywhere if it feels wrong to do so, or if I'm obviously not welcome by the time I've gotten a few short sets off.

Fortunately, I've always been pretty much welcome anywhere I've shown up and performed. It's not that difficult to [i]be[/i] welcome, but you have to be very polite, and professional about it. They have to know you're one of the good guys, and aren't just out for yourself, but for everyone around you, you know?

If the people around you like you, there's actually a good chance of being invited to attend the next one. The feedback the vendors (and other paying/paid participants) give concerning you can make or break that, even if you had permission from the get-go.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jan 17, 2015 01:15PM)
Ed, what about your consideration of yourself and your family. Why are you putting them and you, last in line. You are right about crashing someone else's gig, but as long as there are no buskers or magicians, then it's time to take names and kick ***, and make money. Sometimes the way to convince people that you can do a job is to just do it,first and show them the advantage you provide.

BTW, I applied and got a job as a door greeter for wally world, Great, I use the stool that is supplied for the greeters and this lady comes out and tells my I can't sit and go to personnel. Turns out you need a doctor's request to use the stool they provide for door greeters to use. Yea, doesn't make sense to me either as I need a cane to walk around but wasn't allowed to use a stool.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 18, 2015 05:57AM)
It's because I put my family first that I get up every morning and go off to work to bring home a steady paycheck. It's probably not as much as you make, but I wouldn't be making what you make even if I went full time busking. I don't feel I'm as good at it as you.

It just feels wrong to me to walk into someone else's function and start working their crowd. I was raised that you ask permission before you do something. It has nothing to do with a "Wal Mart" mentality, it has to do with how I was raised.
Message: Posted by: Magician Shaun (Jan 18, 2015 07:21AM)
My experience with local festivals are that if you start busking without permission on occasion there won't be problems but more often than not I have seen "Festival Crashers" escorted out with similar determination to those SELLING without permits or booths.....On the other hand, I have found that if you show up early, ask to speak to the person in charge, tell them what you do, that you would like to perform at the event, you don't want any payment but ask that you be allowed to pass the hat (in most places festivals are private events so the standard busking/panhandling/begging laws don't apply.

They say it's easier to ask for forgiveness but when there is no forgiveness to ask for it is better to get permission first. If you are good enough you may be invited back for future, paid, events.

This post is 100% my opinion but it is based on actual real life experience.
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Jan 19, 2015 07:22AM)
A very practical "nothing ventured, nothing gained" real life point of view from Shaun.

Do what you have to do to make it happen. Or, politely wait on the sidelines while time and opportunity slip by...
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 19, 2015 10:38AM)
Some of these threads have just been kicked around for way to long.
That being said I will add to it, lol.

It depends a lot - festival crashing in some cases can be festival saving.
The very thing they need is your show, they have no buskers because they don’t have a budget and would welcome you with open arms.
Thing is you would never know until you turned up. I haven’t crashed a festival for some time now due to not needing it. At one time I did a lot of it
Today I still work for some of their festivals who now pay me.

When I did them, the big festivals are different and I weigh up on their commercial outlook. Are they community based or corporate?
If they are a huge corporate festival then often they wont give a ***.
You may well be lost in a sea of street traders and the odd busker who has rocked up and this is part of the collective of the festival. I know a few festivals that run just like this, If you never took the time to go and find out well you would be missing out, cutting of your own nose to spite your own face sort of thing.

Then you have other festivals - especially in Europe and the UK that just grew arms and legs from peaceful hippy gatherings. Like Glastonbury I remembered attending in 1985 just before I went of travelling. I was in a hippy truck that crashed the festival - I was just one of thousands and I am not exaggerating. Even back then it was considered the biggest rock festival in Europe attracting close to 80,000 punters and more than 10,000 of those did not pay. This is the point - they made the festival. It was in fact their gig it was unspoken role that this huge site had an open perimeter where the travellers and hippies could just drive in. While organisers looked the other way which swelled the festival and they got free workers,who made festivals awesome.

These tribes built a city based on rock and roll.
(The unspoken role) If you wanted to be a punter at the front gate paying to get in then fine but one thing for sure is you where paying to see us on the inside.

This first festival happened the day after Jimi Hendrix passed on in 1970. It cost £1 if you had it or you offered in some way to help if you didn’t. Just over a 1000 gathered.

Today it is the biggest music festival in Europe. Over 125000 go to it now under lock and key security and very commercial with tickets costing way over £140 +
At least that is what it was some years back.
Nope you can no longer crash this event but one should never forget the good old days. I have not been for some ten years now.
Mind you I still go to the town Glastonbury where I lived for while often.

Stuff like this you have to bare in mind when your talking about festival crashing. I have not even touched on free festivals but It does really depends, depends, depends!
It not black and white, and in some cases it is the very bases of how a festival started in the first place.

If you want to be one of the guys paying on the front door sure carry on it needs punters. If you want to contribute your art or craft check it out it may have an open back door that it is not advertised. If your not going either way face it your not contributing in any way that fine too.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jan 19, 2015 01:01PM)
Mario, I appreciate those thoughts of yours.

I recently agreed to be present at an event, where all people entering the gate - whether stallholders or coming along as 'ordinary' people - pay the gate fee. The stallholders are paying to be there. I thought I would ask that I be given free entry, so wrote back suggesting that. And so I am going to be given a pass into the event.

I also requested that in their advertising of events I be mentioned not just as a 'Magician', but as "Colin Schwamm Magician and Balloon Animals". And that has appeared in a newspaper advert - the event is still several weeks away.

If I hadn't asked, I believe I wouldn't have received.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 20, 2015 08:28PM)
How come everybody else had to pay to attend, even the stallholder, but somehow, simply because YOU asked, you get to go in free?
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 21, 2015 10:11AM)
Ed you seem not understand how this works which is fine. He is providing entertainment he is an entertainer not a stall holder. Infact they should pay him at the very lease his expenses. Often festival's claim not to have a budget and in some cases they need help and support to get or keep going. This is not a moral issue of right and wrong. Its about building bridges, meeting and working with people where they are at, Looking to net-work and provide a service of entertainment.

Congratulations MagiCol I hope this grows bigger and brings in work for years to come.
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Jan 21, 2015 10:22AM)
Thank you, Mario. Your point of view and the info that you supply shows others how they can advance and overcome. Those who are their own worst enemy could have their eyes opened and lives changed by acting on your example.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Jan 22, 2015 06:33AM)
Oh wow, thank you. Its good to hear all points of views and together we can hope to grow and learn.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 22, 2015 07:52PM)
[quote]On Jan 21, 2015, Mario Morris wrote:
Ed you seem not understand how this works which is fine. He is providing entertainment he is an entertainer not a stall holder. Infact they should pay him at the very lease his expenses. Often festival's claim not to have a budget and in some cases they need help and support to get or keep going. This is not a moral issue of right and wrong. Its about building bridges, meeting and working with people where they are at, Looking to net-work and provide a service of entertainment.

Congratulations MagiCol I hope this grows bigger and brings in work for years to come. [/quote]

Fair enough. I notice he says he "agreed to be present," was he there as an entertainer? Was he the only one? Were the other entertainers (if there were any) also allowed to come in without paying? Jus' askin'.
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jan 24, 2015 12:36PM)
Ed, WHO CARES if there were other entertainers or if they got in free. The point is that his entertainment was appreciated by the crowds where the others weren't. If the other entertainers had to pay and he got in free that means he was a better salesman than they were. Hey if I can talk my way in when others have to pay, that's their problem not mine. Remember as a busker you don't stock shelves, you SELL your act to every son of a gun walking by.
Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Jan 25, 2015 06:47AM)
My first regular gig at a farmer's market was the first time I had my name in lights. I got the gig by offering to perform at no expense to the market organizers. How did it all begin? I simply showed up, did a few sets, and asked around to find out who the organizers were. Next thing I know, they're offering me a permanent spot. Even a few of the vendors recommended they give me a spot.

I was the only one making money there who didn't have to pay for the privilege. And they put my name up on the big light-up sign, too. They probably thought they were taking advantage of me, but it was mutual benefit. The whole time I worked that market, my name was in lights. XD They used me to advertise themselves, and nobody even knew who I was! All they knew was that I was the Amazing what's his name, and entertainment would be had. By the time I quit (I moved to another city), everyone in town knew me by name and I was regularly booked for parties and even stage shows at the local community theater.

Entertainment is a big draw. It gives people something to do besides buy things and eat. It makes it less of a shopping trip and more of an event for the family. In my case, it gave a lot of people a break from the kids for a while. I'd send the kids to tell their parents that if they gave the kids money to bring me, I'd keep them occupied. It worked. And then the grownups would stop by to see how we were all doing and see the show, and realize I was better than just a "kidshow" guy, and pay me more.

Being something different is a major advantage of what we do. We're not vendors, we're [i]ambience[/i], we're an attraction, and something special. Once the organizers find out they don't even have to pay us, it's awesome how well we can do with it. All it takes is a little nerve, a friendly smile, and the knowledge that we're a real attraction, worthy of being seen.

And it's true that a lot of events become real events when people like us show up. Organizers often simply don't have the budget to do more than hire a band for an hour or two, and people who will work all day for "free" are a godsend to them.

I can't even count how many times I've walked into a place, set up, hoped I didn't get thrown out, and ended up being thanked by the organizers for gracing them with my presence, and being asked to come back for the next one. It's one of the best feelings in the world.