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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Festival "Crashing" (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mortimer Graves
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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.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
ed rhodes
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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.


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?"
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Mortimer Graves
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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 be 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.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
Paddy
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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.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
ed rhodes
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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.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Magician Shaun
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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.
inhumaninferno
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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...
Mario Morris
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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.
MagiCol
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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.
The presentation makes the magic.
ed rhodes
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How come everybody else had to pay to attend, even the stallholder, but somehow, simply because YOU asked, you get to go in free?
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Mario Morris
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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.
inhumaninferno
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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.
Mario Morris
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Oh wow, thank you. Its good to hear all points of views and together we can hope to grow and learn.
ed rhodes
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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.


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'.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
Paddy
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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.
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
Mortimer Graves
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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 ambience, 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.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
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