Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

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Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Mandrake » Feb 17th, '18, 20:45



The ball is now rolling!! :D
I see from the registration form that this event has changed back from a Festival to a Convention.

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Mandrake » Apr 23rd, '18, 12:27

Earlier this month I received the invoice and I see that payment is now via PayPal.

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby moonbeam » Apr 23rd, '18, 19:29

Mandrake wrote:I see from the registration form that this event has changed back from a Festival to a Convention.


I'll ask before anyone else does - what's the difference??

QUESTION:
If we can sue McDonalds for making us fat and cigarette companies for giving us cancer; why can't we sue Smirnoff for all the ugly gits we've sh*gged ??
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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Mandrake » Apr 23rd, '18, 23:12

No idea!! :D

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby moonbeam » Apr 24th, '18, 07:47

Mandrake wrote:No idea!! :D


hmmm .... thanks for clearing that up lol :P

QUESTION:
If we can sue McDonalds for making us fat and cigarette companies for giving us cancer; why can't we sue Smirnoff for all the ugly gits we've sh*gged ??
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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Magic1Jim » Jan 11th, '19, 15:54

I got surprised for Christmas, i now have a gold ticket. Never been before but always wanted to go. I honestly cannot wait, i literally feel like a kid on Christmas eve

Jim

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Mandrake » Jan 11th, '19, 22:55

Nice one Jim! Get plenty of sleep beforehand, work out a budget for buying stuff and whatever the total just double it! :D

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Magic1Jim » Jan 14th, '19, 15:27

Sound advice there Mandrake haha

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Magic1Jim » Jan 22nd, '19, 17:37

So who's going to Blackpool from here?

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby moonbeam » Jan 25th, '19, 20:10

Magic1Jim wrote:So who's going to Blackpool from here?


I've only been once, back in 2009 when David Blaine was on.
I keep saying I'm going to go again (which I will do .... eventually) .... but no tickets bought for this year .... so maybe next year :P

QUESTION:
If we can sue McDonalds for making us fat and cigarette companies for giving us cancer; why can't we sue Smirnoff for all the ugly gits we've sh*gged ??
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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Mandrake » Feb 18th, '19, 02:02

So, did anyone else go?

I'll post my thoughts once I sober up, er, get home, but would welcome your honest and constructive opinions.

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby magikmax » Feb 20th, '19, 19:24

I've been to Blackpool, I think, 6 out of the last 9 conventions, with the odd year break in between a few of them. Has definitely been going in the right direction, and really enjoyed the slightly more diverse line up this year, including more talks, building on last year's fantastic Sooty talk with Richard Cadell.

I think using the Arena worked well as an additional lecture room, however seeing as they had dealers round the Horseshoe, they should have used the Spanish Hall for lectures and put the rest of the dealer tables in the Pavilion Theatre instead, to keep them all roughly together. I can't see the Pavilion Theatre having many more seats than the Spanish Hall, although I could be wrong. Video was better this year, however I would expect sound quality to be better than it is. It was loud and clear enough, but too many pops and hisses, signal loses etc for my liking.

Not sure if the line up overall was as good as previous years, however my own personal tastes were well catered for. I was disappointed with Marc Spelmann's lecture - it was basically an extended dealer dem for his (excellent) Gallery deck. Ditto Joshua Jay. Bill Abbott's lecture had plenty of practical material, however the 'special' bundle of his complete act in a pencil case for £200 was laughable, and the material didn't build on basic mentalism available in the likes of 13 Steps or Max Maven's Color series. It was unoriginal and basic, and not a patch on his earlier material. The busking in the central foyer was a mistake - it clogged up the path between the Arena/Pavilion and the rest of the convention areas, and seemed to start just before lectures finished, so it was sometimes difficult getting from A to B. Annoying for me, but I can imagine particularly so for older or disabled people.

The state of the Winter Gardens gents toilets this year was an absolute disgrace. I went in there as I arrived on Friday morning, and they already smelled like they hadn't been cleaned since last year's convention. Not the convention's fault, but not anywhere near good enough on the part of the Winter Gardens.

Final complaint, the queues to get in were the worst I've seen so far. While I understand the need for the added security, and I'm not going to pretend I know how to solve the problem, I heard a few complaints about the wait.

I love the new shorter format of the Gala Shows. Some of the gala shows in the past have been torturous, however these seem to fly along, and the quality of the performers was also top notch (although I can't quite work out if Derek Scott was drunk, or just rubbish, either way, didn't enjoy him at all). Eric Chien and Colin McCloud were excellent, Hans Klok impressive, and David Stone was an utter delight. Despite the above niggles, I very much enjoyed Blackpool this year, and am already looking forward to next year.

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Re: Blackpool Magic Convention February 15th to 17th 2019

Postby Mandrake » Feb 20th, '19, 23:25

Thanks for that Max, with one exception I’ve been to the BMC every year since 2004 and I agree that the ‘new’ format is working better than as under the old regime. The new, shorter gala shows are an improvement on the often marathon efforts of the past. The overlong presentation of cups, awards and prizes was very old hat and, although worthy in many respects just destroyed the mood and impetus of the shows. Also, it led to sore/numb bums!!!

As the Winter Gardens renovations are still ongoing some of the layout was different from last year or previous years. The Pavilion Theatre was still a theatre – thank goodness. The Arena which was formerly a Dealer Area was now a theatre and replaced the Spanish Hall which used to be a theatre but was now (half) a dealer hall. There were many moans from the dealers in the Spanish Hall and Bar outside about the lack of visitors to that place so their takings must have taken a hit. Sadly, the Arena acoustics were naff inasmuch as it was very echoey towards the stage area and it was only possible to hear the lectures from about halfway back. No doubt the techies will have fixed this for next year! The printed programme wasn’t much use and it looked like they were relying on folks downloading and using the App. Understandable I suppose but the programme could still be better. The queues to register were awful but they had at least eight people working behind the desk and going as fast as they could. In my case I showed then the printed email as requested but they couldn’t find any tickets for me. It took almost 20 minutes for someone to simply print out another ticket! However, during those 20 minutes at least a dozen other attendees were served and sorted. Strangely the form indicated that ID would be needed, nobody asked for mine, and some people were asked to sign the form but nobody asked me to sign. It’ll all be different next year as registration will be online from April 2nd 2019!

Just whisking through the things I attended:

The Thursday Auction – mostly a load of old tat being offloaded and the really interesting items were being sold at significantly high prices so it was more of an occasion to sit and watch folks spending oodles of money. Best sight afterwards was a Goth guy dressed mostly in black with a walking stick in one hand and a large head chopper in the other walking slowly up the road from the Winter gardens!

Friday
Rudy Coby lecture – disappointing as his props hadn’t arrived so it was postponed until Sunday. If that had been made more widely know earlier than I’d have gone elsewhere. Daniel Garcia Lecture – fabulous stuff from a true entertainer! Matt Wright Lecture – Arena acoustics meant I could see but not hear much. Others said it was a worthy lecture so there you go. Evening Show Morgan and West – always worth seeing and although some of their act was familiar from previous shows elsewhere, it was a treat to see these utterly spiffing chaps in action. Gala Show – Issy Simpson opened and led the tribute to Ken Dodd and Johnny Hart. Some found this to be a bit sickly sweet but they were both consummate entertainers so the tribute was appropriate. Issy’s act was good even if several in the audience near to me claimed they knew how things were done. Matt Edwards was a great compere and didn’t let his persona overshadow the acts. Charlie Frye – manic and talented! Patrick Lenhnen – the animated anglepoise lamp routine was excellent. Lee Thompson – I really don’t like pick pocket acts but had to feel sorry for Lee as the guy he picked was really difficult, nothing in his pockets except used tissues (!), his phone was in a case strapped to his belt and his wallet was secured on a chain! Michael Szanyiel’s act was weird but fun to watch – not too long either. Colin Cloud - perhaps a bit too long for my taste and one aspect just didn’t work so he dismissed the volunteer. I’ve seen him do better.

Saturday
Morgan and West Lecture – again, excellent value in terms of tips and secrets passed on as well and being entertaining. Wayne Dobson and Friends – I really can’t go to Blackpool and not see this. Rude, sometimes crude but always funny and entertaining. Josh Jay (Kay!) Lecture – only caught the end of this but it was most interesting. Miguel Munoz Lecture – He seemed to spend a lot of time appearing and disappearing white then red billiard balls in a hat but, as the Area sound was still awful, I may have missed the point of much of what he said. Linking Rings – an absolute gem! Paul Zenon’s show was excellent on so many levels. Gala Show – Sorry, but Derek Scott was so firmly rooted in the 1970’s when you could try to claim that making racial remarks was justified as comedy that he was just offensive in places – calling Romanians thieves isn’t comedy Mr. Scott. The kazoo section was good but over long and he’d done the same act a few years ago so it was less than entertaining as far as I’m concerned. David Stone and his dog – brilliant! Rudy Coby – same act as in previous years and somehow lacking. Rather disappointing as far as I’m concerned. Hector Mancha – I know he has large hands but where the hell does he store all those cards? A brilliant take on card manipulation indeed – and I really don’t like card manipulation acts! Eric Chein was superb and drew many gasps of admiration from the audience. Tom Noddy. Well, blowing bubbles used to be quite an entertaining act but I’m afraid the novelty has worn off for me. Mandy Muden – sadly I missed most of her act for reasons I won’t go into but the bits I did see were excellent.

Sunday

Wayne Dobson Lecture – understandably Wayne left a lot of the talking to others but when he did speak boy was it spot on and hilarious!! Bargain offer was the DVD and wallet for a tenner, well worth having IMHO. Hans Klok talk – fascinating stuff from a long standing professional. I could listen to his fund of stories in response to audience questions for hours. Prize for the most compelling question from the audience “OK Hans, what we all want to know is…. Which shampoo do you use!” Hector Mancha – it was too much to hope that he’d share his manipulations secrets but his lecture was full on interesting and useful tips. Bill Smith talk – I only caught the end but I wish I’d been there for all of it. Bill didn’t hold back in naming well known names who have either copied or had others copy his many effects and seemingly thought they could get away with it. Criss Angel is now definitely off my Christmas Card list! International Close Up – some truly funny stuff here, well worth seeing. Evening Show – Nick Defatte – a true hidden gem! Looking somewhere about 14 years of age but having the wit and confidence of someone much, much older (he's 23!) he presented a polished and truly entertaining show – I was sorry when he finished. Gala Show. This was the longest of the three as it had an extra act. Miguel Mundoz performed a graceful and clever act with water and appearing spheres. Hector Mancha then took the mickey with a skit on Miguel’s act but Miguel got the better of him - good comedy. Paul Zerdin showed why he’s the number one vent these days, funny and compelling. Fielding West – sadly another act from yesteryear which hasn’t kept up with the times. Probably better suited to cabaret rather than stage as a lot of the subtleties were missed. Kris Kremo presented an act which could also have come from the 1970s – who uses cigar boxes these days? To be honest, juggling with them isn’t all that difficult. The hat routines went on too long, sorry. Marc Spelman was good but I really couldn’t get into the swing of his presentation. Thank goodness for Hans Klok! He rounded off the show with a plethora of big box stuff, and took the mickey out of himself by saying, 'oh no, not another metamorphosis' and 'I’m getting too old for this'. As he’s 50 next year that just might be true! Sadly, if you want to see Hans & Co you’ll need to go to Las Vegas and he’s just been given a ten-year contract to appear there. Says it all really! Unless you include the remarks of one young lady attendant who said how fantastic Hans’ act was, she’d never seen anything like it. She also said she wanted his babies!

Overall the Blackpool Magician’s Club are to be congratulated on once again organising and presenting such a fine event. There are only a few involved in the event and they all work long and hard to set it up. Next year will be the 68th Convention and you don’t reach that level unless you’re doing something very right.

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