Ed Fringe 2020 with Magic Gareth

In what has to be one of the strangest years any of us has experienced the Edinburgh Fringe has understandably been cancelled. While appreciating this had to be done for obvious reasons it does leave a gap in August that a lot of people look forward to throughout the year. There is a definitely going to be a completely different feel to Edinburgh for the rest of the summer with the usual buzz and excitement missing and we will miss all the inspirational live shows that are usually on tap. We also feel for the performers in the entertainment industry who have seen there livelihoods put on hold with not much light at the end of the tunnel. Or so we thought until we heard from friend of the shop Magic Gareth…

With a nearly sold out run at last year’s festival Gareth has adapted his shows to provide online magic shows. When we heard about this we had to find out more;

It seemed the entertainment industry was completely dead. How did the idea of doing online shows come about, you have done so many people must be enjoying them?

When lockdown started I tried to remain positive and proactive by doing Facebook Lives for my fans. After the second Live show, I had an enquiry to do a kids birthday party over Zoom. That was the first I had ever heard of then Zoom platform but now it is engrained in the whole world as the unofficial sponsor of COVID-19.

I said, ‘give me a could of days to figure it all out and I’ll be in touch’. Long story short, the ball rolled fast and I picked up a lot of bookings via referral (from all around the world – Facebook is an amazing thing).
I even wrote a book for other performers to get online and the tips and tricks I use to get the business off the ground, called ‘On Stage, Online’.
I’ve now performed over 300 virtual shows in lockdown and proved that this is a viable form of entertainment – especially during lockdown.

 

I guess there are challenges with doing magic online, have you found any benefits or positives you wouldn’t have anticipated?

This is the future.

For magicians: By working online, you are automatically creating a ’socially distanced’ show for the future, when we get back to the real world. This is the main worry of other magicians at the moment because there is a lot of hand to hand offering and ’signing of cards’ etc. You will not be able to do this when we get back out there. The answer is to have effects that you don’t need to have anybody touch anything of be too close to you.
For the world: I have now performed all over the world from the comfort of my own office – Australia, India, Canada, Florida, California, Spain, France, New Zealand, England, Wales and Ireland. It has been and whirlwind for me and I didn’t spend a penny doing it!

Have you spoken with any other performers doing something ‘Fringe’ related or do you think you are the only one?

I have put the idea into other magicians heads recently so I think there may be a surge of them coming up! However I did notice that the FREE FRINGE is still trying to go ahead online. All the best to them in keeping the art alive.

I have gone down the route of a solo show off the back of all the shows I have done over the past few months. I really believe in the online magic format – especially for a kids audience.
A lot of people are sceptical but I am fully invested!

 

Who will enjoy your latest show and what can people expect from Live in Your Living Room? 

My show is recommend for ages 5+ but its for everyone, really! Its going to have a few twists and turns along the way and will be super interactive! Im planning something very interesting for the end – fingers crossed it all works out the way to is in my head!

If you would like to book tickets for Live in Your Living Room (and we really recommend you do) you can find those here.
Magic Gareth’s Instagram is here.
On Stage, Online the book full of advice for performers doing virtual shows can be found here.

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