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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » How do you get into a farmers market? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Gary T.
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So I was looking around for places to set up this year when it gets warm, because I don't live in the city it's a little bit harder to find a good pitch, I'm come across a couple of farmers markets, and one of them really catches my eye, I think there's definitely some money to be made there, but around here there pretty much are no buskers, so in order to get in I'm probably gonna have to explain the whole concept to them, they're pretty tough on their vendors, charging a $60 membership fee as well as $5 a day to set up or 60 upfront to be allowed a spot all season. I'm certainly not paying any of that, if they won't let me set up for free I'll go somewhere else for sure. but does anybody have experience with this kind of stuff? how do you present yourself to the people to ensure you get in?
Nick W
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But the vendors are selling goods. youd be asking for donations. therefore you should not have to pay to play. you are an attraction, a draw for their merket. but its really very hard for people to understand this.
Gary T.
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Yeah, that's the problem though, getting them to understand it haha. they apparently have one person who just keeps everything in order and collects money and gives out places, I'm wondering how much luck I would have just walking in and finding them, then performing a few close up tricks and explaining what I do.
Paddy
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Hey for a $60 fee, and a good busker should make that his first hour, That's a bargain. But when they see the crowds you are drawing they may very well refund the fee or even pay you to be there.
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ed rhodes
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I had that problem at the playground/carousel in the Park. The people in charge wanted me to move on because I wasn't paying a vendors fee the way the "other" vendors were... one of the vendors actually went to bat for me and pointed out that I wasn't selling anything. I haven't had any problems with them since.

We have a farmer's market on Kennedy Plaza (as well as other places on other days.) I just went up to the main desk and asked the lady if I could perform. They said "no problem." I had trouble getting people to stop though, for some reason, they seemed more interested in the food. Smile
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
howlinhobbit
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Quote:
On 2013-01-05 12:13, ed rhodes wrote:
I just went up to the main desk and asked the lady if I could perform.

we have a variety of farmers markets in the Seattle area, most of them seasonal but Pike Place Market, the University District Market, Ballard Sunday Market, and the West Seattle Market are year round. also the Fremont one but it's less a farmers market than a crafts fair slash flea market type situation.

what Ed did is what I did last summer when I decided to get away from Pike Place a bit. worst they can do is say no. they're not going to take away your birthday or something just for asking.

at the risk of sounding like a sneaker company... just do it!
MagiCol
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Sell them on the idea that you're an entertainer and expect to help their market go well. You do not PAY to entertain. But you do expect to be able to be rewarded with tips/donations that are yours [not split with the market]. I find that I can make as much money on the street as being at a small market, so instead of paying to be at the market I just go onto the street [away from the market itself].
The presentation makes the magic.
Gary T.
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Thanks everybody, guess that's gonna be on top of my list of places to try when it gets back open. maybe I'll buy something from them first to make it seem like I care haha, kind of like eating at a restaurant before you try to get hired.

anyway a few specific responses

Paddy: due to a late start last year I've only done this stuff 3 or 4 times and they were festivals, they didn't go bad in my opinion but I made all day just a little over what you say I should make in an hour, guess I've got some learning to do.

MagiCol: nobody walks around out here though, most stuff is too spaced out, plus there's not enough traffic to make walking faster, so everybody drives everywhere.
Nick W
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I wouldnt ask permission. just go and do a show. if you make a nice bir crowd while also controlling them, keepnig them in formation and not just having a mass of people spread around blocking carts, it will look good. I mean doing a nice show, control your audience and the guy whos the boss will see what your bringing. make the show like your gonna be there a while. own it.
MagiCol
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Gary T. Yes, I think the modern car shopping centes where shops/stores are spread out and driven to instead of being compactly on streets is having a big affect of busking. That, and the shift by so many people to using credit cards and doing online shopping meaning they don't have much cash on them. All the more reason why we should get out and busk when and where we can.
The presentation makes the magic.
Michael_MacDonald
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Washington
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When I give a sales pitch to a promoter I explain the benefits to having me.
they want to know whats in it for them. why having you there helps make the event better.
will you bring back repeat clients?
will you draw a crowd to a specific location?
will you retain the crowd so that when your done they will stay longer?
will you increase the word of mouth advertisement for the event?

if you can make your self out to be a asset they will go for it.
if they don't then so what? others will. talk to a vendor and have them sponsor you to be there to draw to their booth like a trade show magician....

just some thoughts.

good luck brother
Magic Rik
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Just started working one of the local Farmer's Markets where I live - and loving it!

[IMG]http://rikhall.com/magic/MagicRik.jpg[IMG]
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Life itself is magic - I just want to help a bit!


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Brent McLeod
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Quote:
On 2013-01-05 05:16, Paddy wrote:
Hey for a $60 fee, and a good busker should make that his first hour, That's a bargain. But when they see the crowds you are drawing they may very well refund the fee or even pay you to be there.


Great points...

I worked farmers markets for about 4 years-I paid $15 for a great spot in amongst the main walkways of
the vendors etc-We had in 5 hrs over 12,000 people through so was really busy.

The main problem I had was the crowds watching my small table and audience Interaction of magic etc
blocked the walkways so I was always keeping that free if possible-The money was great but the musicians etc not selling cds
of there music made less money than those selling etc..-I was Pitching & selling Magic also so the income was generated here.

Scariest moment was selling a trick deck to Gang Members who later set it up wrong & returned looking for a refund,
unless I could perform it, I sorted it ok but all the vendors & public were watching these big tough dudes but when they cracked up laughing at the end of my demo and left happily, I took a deep breath or 2 ....I miss the markets..

Cheers
MagiCol
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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I recently went to a Market and found the organiser and asked if I could busk. "Yes, we'll be glad to have you". So I entertained with magic and balloon models. Later the money collector for the sites turned up together with the organiser and told me it was $15. [I had thought the site fee was $25, I think it was a reduced fee for me]. Since I'd made more than that I just paid up. But it did make me realize I should have sold myself better as being an entertainer there to help the show go well at no charge to the Show itself. [see Michael's post a couple above mine for his suggestions].

Sometimes the site fee is so low compared to the money you make by being there that it's not worth contesting, I reckon.
The presentation makes the magic.
Brent McLeod
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Farmers markets are a great experience to try out material in a busy enviornment....
Just Sean
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Eastern Market in Detroit has 5 busker stations that rotate on the hour. Some markets are hip to the value of buskers. Eastern Market only charges a one time fee of $5 for your ID holder, unless you lose it, then it's another $5.
ed rhodes
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Nobody asked me for any fee at the Providence Farmer's Market. I wouldn't have stayed if they did since I know I'm not good enough to guarantee making it back. [For that matter, I didn't make anything since only a couple of people stopped and neither of them tipped.]
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
MagiCol
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Ed, it sounds like the problem was lack of people at the Market. Some just aren't worthwhile to be.
When I look at markets I take a look to see how many children - youngsters and older kids including teens - are around. To me, that is a good guide as to how well I expect to do. I guess that's because I attract them more easily than I do the adults.
The presentation makes the magic.
imgic
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The culture of the Market has an impact. Madison Wisconsin have huge farmer's market that is very social. Folks go just to drink coffee and walk the square. Lots of busking going on and people willing to stop (though they've been cracking down on "Agressive Panhandling" so no overt demands for money...grrr) Have been to many others that the vibe is folks are there to get produce, cheese, etc...perhaps try some food, then be off. Not same social environment and less likely to support busking...
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
ed rhodes
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MagiCol - imgic, thanks. I was hoping it wasn't me.
This market is more of a straight line affair along the sidewalk outside a small park at Kennedy Plaza, the local bus station.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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