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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Fairs and festival circuit (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magicguyforyou
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Fairs. Stage shows. The fair circuit.
Are you doing them
Pros and cons.
I have the show. Just curious how you do it.
Shows per day.
Length
Number of days.
Approx fees to charge.
Any good books on the subject.
General questions
MeetMagicMike
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Gainesville Fl
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I've done a staqge juggling show at the Medieval Faire in my town for years. the fair runs two weekiends. The pay works out to about the same as two good weekends doing parties. But the fair is many many hours more. We stay in costume all day and and interact with guest between shows and walk in two processions.

Tremendous fun when we were young and we gained a lot of valuable experience performing.

I think the performers who get the most out of a fair circuit are young people who want to travel and get a lot of experience performing and to make great life long friends.

A lot of the performers who follow the Fair from city to city live in trailers, RVs and cars.
Magic Mike

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danfreed
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West Chester PA
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Http://www.kpmagicproducts.com/Festival_Magic.html . A long time ago I tried to get into doing fair gigs. I did some here and there. I got a booth at a state convention for Fair organizers. It didn't go well, they gave me a crappy area for a booth, and I learned it's a specialized type of thing, I don't know how to do it, but you have to know how to go about it. Certain agents are in good with the fair circuit, and so if you can find them that might help. I remember doing one where the stage was a flatbed trailer and on the second day when I arrived I discovered that someone left a big pile of cow dung on the stage. It took a while to get someone to clean that off, I sure wasn't going to do it. Then the mud made the stage all crooked, so it's not glamorous.
Russo
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So.California / Centl.Florida / retired Florida
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We've done a few - 30 minute - mini Illusion-Shows at County Fairs, Paid by Organizations/Conventions - such as AAA - AARP - GOOD SAM -UAW - Shriners Elks - Your (?) Church (those at special prices) etc.Platforms were pretty good. And it was a good Idea to do an effect using/producing the Groups Name. Also easier if you belonged to a group, or two - sending them Your Brochure. Age 84 in Magic 70 years,it's been a was a few years ago. As for Fee's - Today I went to 'Google" and asked for cost/prices for a Magician for a ???. Like I said, was getting $250.-- now $400, up. Just a thought. ROUSSEAU (Russo)
Mindpro
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Eternal Order
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You pose some very good questions, however the responses you are getting are different than what you are seeking. Most that have responded have done a few fair or festival bookings. This is quite a bit different than actually working the fair market.

This question would be better served by posting it in the Tricky Business forum here on the Café. This area is for the business aspects of promoting, marketing, to different performance markets, getting bookings, and the performance/business related issues of such markets.

The fair and festival markets often get lumped together but are actually two different markets. Then there are local, regional, and national fair markets as well as Dan was referencing with his experience on a state level.

Unfortunately, many magicians feel that being booked at an area fair is the same as working the fair market it's not. It would be the same as booking a couple of company holiday parties and somehow thinking you are "working the corporate market."

There is much information on this and related topics in Tricky Business and many with the information and experience you are seeking. Best of luck!
MeetMagicMike
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Gainesville Fl
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Here is what the OP asked:

Quote:
Fairs. Stage shows. The fair circuit.
Are you doing them
Pros and cons... I have the show but...


I and the other posters made our experience with fairs perfectly clear and didn't claim to be "working the circuit".
Magic Mike

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Mindpro
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The OP asked about the fair circuit. I simply pointed put to the OP if unfamiliar that there is a difference between doing a few local fairs and working the market or circuit.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Recently, I made a post about the 2021 KIDabra Virtual Conference. For the bonus day (KIDabra ShowSkills), we had a performer named Lee Andrews who talked about this very subject. He had a personal situation come up on the day of the ShowSkills, so he delivered his talk a few days later. Via video, he showed his 5th Wheel which he drives onto the grounds at Fairs, and then he showed his show set up on the grounds. He also talked about how he gets shows and the fees he charges (number of shows per day / fees per day / minimum number of dates in a run vs. what region he's working in the USA), how he plots his tours, what the customer expects, working with specific agents vs. booking directly, etc. His talk was called "Conquering the Midway". It was fantastic insider information from a real pro. And I have access to video replays for a full year. This is why attending KIDabra is so worthwhile, in my opinion. (Out of respect, the information that he shared is not mine to re-share. But if you registered for that event, but haven't watched that video yet, go watch it now!!)

This is way different than the local festivals and community fairs that I do shows at. My fees are different, my minimum number of shows / days are different, what I bring / what I expect the customer to provide is different, etc. So, I get the point that Mindpro is making.

For example, I performed at a one-day community event a week ago. I provided 2 magic shows and an hour of balloon twisting. My fee for the day was less than $1000 CAN. I have another similar community event coming up in a couple of weeks.

For me, this is extra summer work beyond my other shows such as birthday parties and summer day camps.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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