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Topic: Fairs and Festivals in the UK?
Message: Posted by: cstreet_1986 (Aug 20, 2004 01:57PM)
I just want to start by thanking BroDavid for PM me and showing me how to create these new posts.

How do you find out about local fairs and festivals in the UK? If you know how to do it anywhere else in the world, your advice would be great too.

Just to let you know, there are no posters put up around where I live for this sort of thing - they just turn up! so any ideas on how to find fairs and festivals?
Message: Posted by: eddieloughran (Aug 21, 2004 05:21AM)

The easiest way to learn of these fairs and things is to keep an eye on the local newspapers, the free ones carry lots of whats-on guides.

The bad news.
If the local council is involved or it takes place on land they control they will want insurance and a police check certificate.
If it's a private fair, they won't let you just walk on and start performing. They will have their own performers.

The only time I've worked this kind of thing was through an agent, and they won't book you without experience.

All you can do really is to write and phone all the local people who might help and keep trying. Sometimes busker sites have notices.

Message: Posted by: cstreet_1986 (Aug 21, 2004 07:10AM)
If you are from the UK, what are the 'free papers' you talk of? Cheers,

Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 21, 2004 03:28PM)
I have never been asked for police check certificate and I have done lots of work for UK Councils. I think it is a good idea, should be introduced to all fields of work.

The best advise I have come across about Festivals and would apply to Fairs is in a book called "The Secret Art of Magic" By Eric Evans & Nowlin Craver. I particularly liked the Idea of gay crashing a Festival then pleading a lack of knowledge and compliance may even open the door. (While I am hear sir, do you mind if I provide you with free entertainment, so on so forth). This will get you seen at least.
At the very big music festivals you may just get away with it while making a mint.

'Free Papers' are often posted to you it is a Local paper that makes its money through adverts. They can be community, student, fashion Themed a local news paper will often have fairs advertised. From my experience they are not the best to busk at, unlike a good festival, great if you are grafting but not busking (grafting= selling)
Message: Posted by: cstreet_1986 (Aug 21, 2004 07:24PM)
Am I right to say you perform in Wales, Mario? I am from the Rhondda Valleys. Cheers for the advice. I have purchased the Secret Art of Street Magic just a few days ago, as it happens! What are the chances?!? I purchased it, as I have heard that this is the ultimate street magician's book with secrets from a Chinese war master.

Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 22, 2004 06:47AM)
Yes I do perform in Wales but I prefer to cross over into England and busk, as they tend to have more money there. Just find your self a good town.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 22, 2004 02:36PM)
Try the Showmans Directory (Lance Publications) If you can`t get work every weekend from this annual book then I think you had better give up all together. The Pembroke Show (Three days midweek) Was on last week, where were you !! Then there is Swansea` Xmas Market, Abergaveny Steam Fair, Monmouth Kite Festival, Buith Wells has four Shows yearly etc etc.No you don`t work for free either OK.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 22, 2004 09:02PM)
Eric Evans & Nowlin Craver are referring to busking at festivels as opposed to a paid gig, no one works for free in that sense, you pass the hat.
I do the odd festivels but I prefer busking Citys when every other Idiot is at a festavel. For example I was in Covent Garden and the Big Eye during Glastonbuary festavel, you can work it all day.
Thanks for the tip on the book!
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 23, 2004 04:59AM)
If you can talk to people and pursuade (Street entertainers should have this gift) You can get paid (As an added attraction) As well as passing the hat, or at the very least have your expenses covered.
My entire pro life was based on this: Work for a small fee or expenses while you are there at the gig/festival/market place, whatever, promote, push your paid highly pro gotta book this, cabaret, outside entertainment etc., etc.(This is the same act with maybe just a few changes!) Promote, romote give it some welly (Aim all this at the people with the pull) I'm going to give no more clues here, it works, yes and I still busk just like you but on my terms, when and where I want to. I can`t believe that I have given this info away for free! Just a thought. I applied (Was turned down, for reasons I will not go into here,pm me if interested)To the Baltimore Ren Fair. I applied a certain aspect of that written above. This Sept I have three small gigs, one in Manhattan, one in Annapolis and another in Severnna Park (Think that's south of Baltimore) Not a lot of loot maybe, but my Hotel expenses are covered up till October 14th. Bet I get more jobs while I'm out there!
Oh yes, Festivals, they pay as well, of course they will love to have you free of charge, many entertainers work for free because they love the festival atmosphere etc, nothing wrong with this at all. I have done two so far this season, for free my choice, also did the Richmond Fest for a good fee (Booked again for next year). Try asking, after your self promotion spiel, they can only say no.Bet if you do the business right that you will get paid gaffs out of it.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 23, 2004 06:10AM)
Very Interesting Kondini
I like the way you think, your advise is very sound. Do you adverise any where?
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 23, 2004 11:15AM)
I used to use Yellow Pages (600 per year) Very little response to this, the website of course which is geared more towards the escapology and fakir acts (Which have both been worked on the street) My best return has been from flyers sent out by the hundreds to Councils and market organisers also a pitch at the Showmans Show (Held at Newbury Showground each October, midweek) Where prospective bookers go to see what`s on offer for the following season.although the pitch fee is quite high the response ongoing makes this really worth while. Most of the work now comes from repeats or recommendations but I still promote. If they don`t know or hear about you, then they can`t book you!

Posted: Aug 25, 2004 8:20am
This may be of interest.
Circus Festival, three days 28th-30th March 2005 Blackpool Globe Theatre. Stuff to win etc, I'm too old to enter grrrrrrrrrrrr.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 27, 2004 05:59AM)
Hi Kondini
Thanks for the information, I did a search but I could not find any thing!
By the way I am looking for a motor-home to tour in. US rv or something similar I have 10,000 for one, so do let me know if you know or see something dissent on your travels.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 30, 2004 03:37PM)
That's a whole load of dosh, I went for an LV35 and fitted it myself, had an Avalon Motor Home (Brand new). It lasted me one season, too flimsey, sleeping with head out of one window and your feet out of the opposite one, had shower and all mod cons, when you showered you could use the toilet at the same time! When you put the central heating on, it lasted a couple of hours then blew cold. When the fridge was working, it averaged a 4;5kl bottle of gas every two days. The posh locker doors only stayed shut in transit if held with blue tack. It cost me 18500, the van, mid high roof with med wheel base, Merc engine 12 months old, showroom model 6500, its great, maybe not so posh, but at least functional. Try Meesham Auctions for the best van deals.
Re your search :: get the Worlds Fair each week for all the latest info. Or Showmans Show details, Lance Publications, 01730266624 or Fax 01730260117 or http://www.showmans-directory.co.uk The Show is 20th-21st October, Newbury Showground, J 13 on the M4, OK.
Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Aug 30, 2004 06:16PM)
Thanks for the info, your a mind of information.