MB 041: The Business of Fairs and Festivals with Kevin Heller


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The Magic Business

of Fairs and Festivals

with Kevin Heller

Opening up new markets for your magic by letting your mind get some fresh air and fresh ideas.


When you are talking about getting to know someone new you often hear it’s what’s on the inside that counts. If you want to take your magic into the festival and fairs market then it’s what’s on the outside that counts and by that we are talking about the weather.

Kevin Heller weather proofed his act and put his mind into all seasons thinking to create a business that capitalises on the fair and festival market for spring and summer and works equally as well when the weather turns him indoors.


In This Episode We Discuss:

  • Just what is the fair and festival market
  • What type of act works for the fair festival market
  • Flash is Cash … a truism for this market
  • The value of creating an outdoor act
  • What a fair/festival audience looks like
  • The types of stages you can expect to perform on
  • How to turn your $300 kids show into a $1000 festival show
  • How to take your and ‘tailor make’ show for this market
  • Who books the acts for fairs and festivals?
  • What is the importance of building long standing relationships in this industry?
  • How many festival/fairs are there in your area? You might be surprised.
  • What are Fair Festival Associations and Fair Manager Associations?
  • How to stand out at your trade show booth while pitching to Festival Bookers
  • How improve your VALUE in the eyes of festival bookers.
  • What extra services you can offer to make yourself more attractive to festival bookers
  • Understanding hoe fair managers think
  • How to move away from ‘pitching’ merchandise to ‘performing’ merchandise
  • The psychology of pitching merchandise
  • Recognizing outdoor opportunities
  • Outdoor Audience Management
  • Mega-merchandising – “The Pitch” Selling the Experience!
  • Adjusting and modifying your props and clothing to endure the unpredictable
  • Preparing for “natures great heckler” – the weather!
  • The Marketing – how do you get into this market


Links and resources discussed in this episode:

Kevin Heller Magic Shop

Kevin Heller’s performing site

Kevin Heller books and lecture notes mentioned in the podcast



Thank you for listening

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Thanks again, Ken and Julian

Meet the Author

Julian Mather

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Wonderful podcast! Kevin sounds very down to earth and sincere in his wanting to help this community. This is one venue that I’ve kept away from but maybe there’s an opportunity there that I’ve been overlooking. Thank you Kevin for sharing your experience & thank you Julian & Ken for once again producing a great podcast!

    • Got a bit of time to chat with Kevin. There’s a big heart under all those sparkles.

  • steve wick

    Thanks for sharing some really valuable information Kevin. Festival season has just started here in Melbourne Australia and I did 2 festival shows last weekend. The money is actually about the same as what I would get for my usual kids party, but the promotional value is massive. Everytime I do a festival show I get bookings from it, but until today I hadn’t thought even thought about selling merchandise.
    I have done some searching online and there doesnt seem to be an Australian Festival Association as such.,I’d be very interested to hear from anybody who might know of any resources that could help track down more festivals statet by state in Austarlia.

    • I accidentally got hold of a good list of show organisers (someone did a CC instead of a BCC). It was a list of all the regional shows, rural shows, royal shows etc. have you tried ‘show associations’. If you were to start with contacting the PR dept of the Royal Melbourne show (so they have one?) and just get chatty and ask for help. I always find asking for help works.