Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

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CraigMitchell
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Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby CraigMitchell » September 2nd, 2008, 4:15 am

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... ntion.html

Collin Richardson and Geoff Pescud claim that The Blackpool Magicians Convention, which has been running for 56 years and attracts 3,500 magicians, has become old-fashioned.

So, the duo have announced the inauguration of a new Southern England Magic Convention which will finally bring a 21st-century feel to events of this nature.

The date has been set for January 31 next year at the Lakeside centre in Frimley Green, Surrey, just weeks before the Blackpool event at the Opera House and Winter Gardens on February 20.

The move has apparently caused organiser Derek Lever, 70, great annoyance. He has written a letter to regular exhibitors pointing out a barring clause which forbids dealers exhibiting at any other British convention in the five weeks before Blackpool.

If the rule is broken then the offending exhibitor will not be allowed a booth.

Mr Lever has also said that magicians who had already booked to go to another convention could send him their receipt for that event, and he would deduct the money from their Blackpool booking.

He added: Our dealer exhibition is the largest in the world and is a major attraction. Dealers who have just been seen at another convention are no longer an attraction.

To try and spoil what we have is pointless and silly. They decided to have a go and they are using any tactics they can at the moment as they are in panic mode.

Mr Richardson and Mr Pescud have now threatened Mr Lever with legal action and sent off files to the Board of Trade, Trading Standards-Competition Commission and European Commission for consideration.

Mr Richardson, 62, who specialises in close-up tricks, childrens shows and illusions, said: We are two small people who are doing what we felt was something good for magic.

We are 400 miles from Blackpool and we can only take 1,400 people. A lot of the people coming to ours would never go to Blackpool.

Now it seems there is a war of the wizards going on. As far as we are concerned, one man is terrifying the magic world. Dealers may well pull out of our convention because of the threats they have received from Blackpool.

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mrgoat
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby mrgoat » September 2nd, 2008, 6:27 am

I do hope this falls under restriction of trade laws and Lever can get sued for this cowardly behaviour.

Ken Northridge
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby Ken Northridge » September 2nd, 2008, 6:51 am

Competition is what motivates us to excel. It is sad to see when someone tries to shut out the competition instead of using their energy to strive for excellence.

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mrgoat
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby mrgoat » September 2nd, 2008, 7:38 am

Ken Northridge wrote:Competition is what motivates us to excel. It is sad to see when someone tries to shut out the competition instead of using their energy to strive for excellence.


I can see why Lever is running scared. Each year the stories about his convention are worse and worse. I believe people only come because of history and to see friends as opposed to it being a 'must attend' convention because of the content.

Obviously all the magicians that visit from overseas have no desire to have a long flight, then have to deal with a 6 or 7 hour train journey to a VERY grim town up North.

A convention in a suitable building (there's an idea), an hour from London, run by hungry enthusiasts sounds like it should win over a tired, jaded, badly located show.

I can understand why Lever is frightened, but don't think this is the way to deal with it.

Maybe he should think about improving his show instead of trying to shut down others.

Baph
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby Baph » September 2nd, 2008, 7:50 am

But will the Southern convention have "Flower Arranging" and "Jam & preserve making" for the ladies to attend whilst their husbands are attending lectures on magic stuff?

You must admit, Derek Lever does have the edge with that!

Jon

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby Q. Kumber » September 2nd, 2008, 9:31 am

Craig Mitchell wrote:Collin Richardson and Geoff Pescud claim that The Blackpool Magicians’ Convention, which has been running for 56 years and attracts 3,500 magicians, has become old-fashioned.


Seems odd to me that if you feel Blackpool is old-fashioned, why would you put on a convention and copy the Blackpool format of a multitude of dealers, a British Isles children's entertainer competition and a British Isles Stage Show Magical Entertainer competition?

As regards the notion of putting on a convention near London, and that thousands will flock to it, the British Ring convention is coming up shortly in Eastbourne, with perhaps the best line-up of any British convention in years, and they will be delighted if they reach 1,000 registrants.

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Magic Newswire
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby Magic Newswire » September 2nd, 2008, 12:39 pm

Yeah.. we blogged this story at MagicNewswire.com a few days ago and I've emailed to see if we get any more info or comments. I'll keep you posted.

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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby naquada » September 2nd, 2008, 1:36 pm

Member of The Magic Circle
www.magicconventionguide.com

BlackSwanPR
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby BlackSwanPR » September 4th, 2008, 10:49 am

Hi Guys,

My name is Edd, and I work for Black Swan PR, who are representing the SEMC.

Firstly, if anyone has any questions or comments about the SEMC, we would love to hear them, and will do our best to help.

For press enquires, I can be contacted on edd@blackswanpr.com

For all other comments and questions, please contact the convention organisers directly, who will be happy to help. More info can be found at http://www.semagicconvention.com/

Just a few notes, if I may, to clear up some misunderstandings.

Firstly, Collin and Geoff, have never claimed Blackpool was old fashioned. This was mis-interpreted from an article in a British newspaper, and seems to have done the rounds as a direct quote.

The SEMC is in no way attempting to copy Blackpool, but I can understand why it appears that way. There is a set way of running a magic convention that people are comfortable with, a tried and tested programme of lectures and dealers. The SEMC are sticking with this method, because it works. However, it is important to remember that a convention can have the same method, but a completly different style. This is what the SEMC is, a convention in a style we all know and love, but with updated performers, lecturers, and at a world class venue.

The location for the convention is the only centre outside of Las Vegas with 3 hotels on the site, a floating restraunt set on a beautiful lake, free car parking, and fantastic transport links. It is 30 minutes away from Heathrow Airport, and 7 minutes from a major motorway, the M3.

It really will be a 21st century convention, and, although the BMC is by no means 'old fashioned', you may soon think it is, if you attend the SEMC.

As I said, if anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Edd Withers
BlackSwanPR

Jon Allen
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby Jon Allen » September 4th, 2008, 1:36 pm

Who are the 'Big Names' being brought in for the SEMC?

BlackSwanPR
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Re: Blackpool vs Southern England Magic -- War of the Wizards

Postby BlackSwanPR » September 15th, 2008, 7:15 am

Hey!

Full details are available here - www.semagicconvention.com

But, here are a few names -

'Magic Babe' Ning
The Twins
J.C. Sum
James More
El Loco Presents : The Dentists Chair
Magic Singh
Mike Danata
Mel Mellers
Roy Charles
Isis
Sensual Magic
James Fortune
Paul Gordon


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