Everyone loves attending magic conventions. But which are the best magic conventions?
In this blog post I’m going to give you a complete rundown on the ULTIMATE best magic conventions, so you can decide which one is right for you.
Before we get started, what actually IS a ‘magic convention’?
Well, each magic convention is slightly different, but as a general rule most magic conventions share a few key things in common.
Loads of magicians (people like you and me) turn up at a designated location—like a hotel—and attend magic lectures, jam magic with fellow magicians, get sneak peeks at the newest magic releases and generally have a lot of fun! Often you might even bump into more than a few magic ‘celebrities’!
Now, let’s take a look at a few specific magic conventions. Here’s my list of the top 3 best magic conventions of all time…
Best Magic Conventions Pick No.3. Blackpool Magic Convention
American magicians, this one is a little harder to get to—but don’t worry, there’s plenty more on this list that will be perfect for you(for example, check out No.1!)
But if you’re already in the UK, the Blackpool Magic Convention is a great event to attend!
What usually happens?
The Blackpool Magic Convention is attended by both regular magicians and professional guest lecturers – in the past, this has included names such as Hans Klok, Greg Frewin, Rick Thomas, Jeff McBride, Aaron Crow and many more.
This event takes place in Blackpool, which is in the north of England. It’s very close to Manchester airport if you decide to fly in.
I personally live in the UK so like the sound of this convention, but I imagine that won’t be the case for most people. However, if you are fortunate enough to attend, you can expect a fun filled couple days of magic lectures, shows and even competitions. Plus, you might just get a chance to purchase new effects straight from dealers before they get released to the wider market.
If you’d rather stay in the US and give Blackpool a miss, check out these next two conventions (I think you’ll especially love No.1!)
I was fortunate enough to attend the Blackpool Magic Convention in 2020. Here’s my advice for magicians looking forward to Blackpool 2021…
1. According to the official site, the convention is taking place between 19th and 21st February 2021 (but i can’t guarantee that won’t change with all that’s going on!)
2. You can buy different ‘types’ of tickets. When I went, I bought a day pass because that’s all I needed. But I believe the full range of options are:
Gold Pass – gets you in for the full three days.
Day Pass WITH gala – gets you in for a day and allows you to watch the exclusive show.
Day Pass – gets you in for a day, but you can’t watch the exclusive show.
Gala Tickets – you get to watch the show, but you aren’t allowed into the rest of the convention.
There’s also a VIP ticket with all kinds of crazy benefits (although these are apparently all ‘sold out’)
3. In regard to ‘extra light’ I can shed on the convention, try this on for size:
Prepare to get REALLY sweaty. When I went, I made the mistake of wearing a coat to the dealer hall. As you can imagine, it’s kind of hard to appreciate someone’s Mercury Fold when your back is literally dripping with sweat.
(for those of you who haven’t been to Blackpool Convention, this is an indoor hall packed with dealer stalls and literally hundreds of other magicians. It gets pretty hot.)
So don’t do that.
Secondly, keep an eye out—you never know who you might bump into.
In fact, I happened to stumble upon Max Maven himself at one point. We had a pleasant little conversation, which was pretty nuts.
Third, acknowledge that—whatever you promised yourself before you entered the room—you’re GOING to spend money.
That’s just how it is.
I wasn’t planning on spending a penny, but I still ended up walking away with a magic-sized hole in my wallet.
So rather than not spending anything, focus on damage control. Ask yourself if you’d buy this if you were just looking at it online. Keep that wallet buried at the bottom of your
backpack to make it harder to whip out.
And above all…have fun!
That’s what the convention is about.
Best Magic Conventions Pick No.2. MagiFest
MagiFest is a huge magic convention. It’s great – but if anything, it’s a little TOO big, which is why it loses out on the No.1 spot (but more on that soon!)
MagiFest was originally organized in the 1930s (yes, that long ago!), but in recent years has become the responsibility of Vanishing Inc. It boasts an impressive array of guest lectures and attendees, and each year puts on a great event.
However, MagiFest lacks a certain personal touch – you’ll enjoy yourself, but you might not feel like YOU were catered to. That all changes at the No.1 position magic convention – which retains all the awesome features like celebrity guest lecturers, but presents it in an intimate and personal setting where YOU are the star of the weekend.
Plus, MagiFest charges you additional fees if you want to attend the ‘extra’ workshops with the REALLY big stars (people like Dani DaOrtiz). At the next convention on the list, you just pay a one-time flat fee and get access to everything.
Let’s get into it…
Best Magic Conventions Pick No.1. The CC Summit
If you’re looking for a magic convention that has loads of huge ‘names’ and famous magicians present, but is also super informal and personal…the CC Summit is the ultimate magic convention to attend!
The CC Summit stands for the ‘Conjuror Community Summit’, and takes place every year. It’s a more recent convention that long-running ones like MagiFest, but that’s the beauty of it. It is just as impressive in regard to the quality of guest lecturers (magicians like Jim Steinmeyer and Lee Asher), but there’s less overall guests so you get the complete attention of these ‘stars!’
What happens at the CC Summit?
The CC Summit is a combination of ‘chill out’ sessions with other magicians and special lecture events from experts. Over the course of a single weekend—you’ll make friends, discover cutting edge new magic and get invaluable advice that will shape the rest of your magic career.
Who organizes the event?
As you might be able to tell from the name of the event, Conjuror Community organize and fund this event. Conjuror Community is a new and fast-growing brand in magic created by magicians Aaron Fisher and Adam Grace. Since it’s a more recently started convention, it hasn’t become ‘saturated’ yet, and so for the next few years you’re bound to experience a few ‘gems’ that perfectly combine expert magic and one-on-one teaching.
How do you secure a spot at the Summit?
This year’s Summit has been postponed due to obvious reasons. However, once the event is BACK in 2021, you can grab your ticket at: conjurorcommunitysummit.com.
While you’re around, here’s an inside look at the 2019 line up for the CC Summit:
Jim Steinmeyer, consultant to magicians like David Copperfield and the genius behind some of the most impressive stage illusions ever created.
Lee Asher, creator of the astonishing ‘Asher Twist’ and esteemed magic lecturer (Lee’s lectures always sell out almost immediately).
Jonathan Levit, creator of one of 2019’s hottest tricks ‘The Stranger’
Nathan Kranzo, performer on America’s Got Talent and consultant to Penn and Teller.
Aaron Fisher and Adam Grace, founders of Conjuror Community.
Alexander Slemmer, underground magic legend.
Steve Barcellona, professional with over 30 years experience in creating powerful shows.
Jason Dean, a magician who has performed for some of the world’s biggest celebrities.
One final thing to think about…
So, with all this in mind, I definitely recommend the CC Summit as my No.1 choice. However, there are a few other factors to think about when deciding on the best magic conventions for you. Here they are:
As mentioned, there’s two major types of magic conventions—those that take place INSDIE the US, and those that take place OUTSIDE the US. If you live inside the US you’re better off going to some of the closer ones like the CC Summit, but if you live outside there’s no reason not to give some new conventions (like the Blackpool one) a try.
You also need to think carefully about what you want to GET from the experience. For example, if all you’re bothered about is scoring some cool magic products, you’re better suited to a convention like MagiFest. But if you want to push yourself and take your magic to the next level, you’ll enjoy the CC Summit a lot more. So the convention you go to is completely dependent on what you hope to get out of it!
And of course, we can’t forget THIS factor. Most of these conventions cost around the same, but there are a few things you should definitely be aware of…
- Save money by paying in advance. Some magic conventions, like the CC Summit, offer a HUGE discount if you book early (called an ‘early bird’ discount). So don’t wait until the last minute to book your ticket.
- Are you going to ‘extra’ sessions? Some magic conventions like MagiFest quote you one price—but if you want to have the ‘full’ experience, you need to pay a lot extra for additional fees. The CC Summit is just a single one-time payment.
- Have you thought about hotel costs? Buying a ticket grants you entry to the conventions listed, but you’ll also need to sort out accommodation and travel, which can sometimes be costly depending on where you’re coming from.
So to conclude, there are plenty of great magic conventions. But in order to answer the question of the ‘best’ magic conventions, you need to think carefully about what you want to get out of the convention, how far you’re willing to travel for it, and how much you want to pay!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post about the best magic conventions. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comment section down below and I will get back to you!