Six Alternative Performance Venues For Magicians

Approx. 7 min. Read | Written by Lee Asher
Discover how performers transform ordinary spaces into magic.

Transforming Spaces Into Magic

"Necessity is the mother of invention" - The Greek Philosopher Plato by way of Benjamin Jowett

Unparalleled Innovation

In the ever-evolving landscape of magic, performers have defied the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by exploring extraordinary venues and astonishing audiences in innovative ways. A world of ingenuity unfolds beyond the confines of virtual magic in Zoom rooms. For example, Disney leads with visionary hotel room experiences, while drive-in magic shows takes center stage in open-air cinemas. Parking lots transform into stages for the biweekly Magic Asphalt drive-in comedy series at the historic Magic Castle in Hollywood. From Arthur Fratelli's doorstep magic that transcends doorways to mesmerizing performances on serene lakes and ingenious vertical spectacles—artists are reshaping the entertainment landscape with unparalleled innovation.

In no particular order:

#1 - Disney's Immersive Hotel Room Experience: A Dream Within Any Room

An image from Disney's patented concept of transforming any room into a show environment.
In 2021, Disney Enterprises, Inc. patented an idea titled Multimedia System for Transforming Any Room Into a Show Environment

Disney, synonymous with magical entertainment, is poised to revolutionize hotel stays with a patent filed in February 2021. This groundbreaking technology transforms hotel rooms into multimedia shows, transcending the confines of traditional in-room entertainment. Imagine predefined or real-time media content weaving tales, magically transforming your space into a multidimensional spectacle. While the implementation in Disney resorts is pending, the prospect of a uniquely magical stay is on the horizon, promising an astonishing escape in your hotel room's comfort. As a magician, how do you transform a room or space into your show environment?

#2 - Drive-In Magic Extravaganzas: Nostalgia Meets Innovation

Drive-in Performance Venues
Magicians can easily convert drive-ins into a wonderful performance venue.

In a smart response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, magicians such as Luis Dematos, Matthew Laslow, and Michael Carbonaro showcased their ingenuity by taking their magic shows to drive-in venues. This adaptation is not merely a practical solution; it's a clever nod to the golden era of entertainment—the 1950s drive-in theaters. By merging modern magic with this nostalgic setting, these performers offer audiences a unique and safe escape during these challenging times. The drive-in experience, with its open-air setting and a touch of vintage charm, transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, creating a magical journey that transcends the limitations of traditional performance spaces. It's a testament to the magicians' creativity, providing a captivating show and a trip back in time, reinforcing the timeless love of magic in the audience's hearts.

#3 - Parking Lots: Magic Under The Stars

Parking Lots: The Magic Castle's answer to alternative venues.
Hollywood's famous Magic Castle transformed their parking lot into an alternative performance venue.

The historic Magic Castle in Hollywood transformed its parking lot into the stage for a biweekly Magic Asphalt drive-in comedy series. Comedy giants graced the outdoor stage while audiences reveled in laughter from the safety of their cars. This unique format eliminates common club distractions, providing a safe and unforgettable comedy experience. Magic Asphalt brought laughter and preserved the connection to Hollywood's entertainment hub, proving that joy and creativity persist even in challenging times. Magicians, take a cue from the Castle's playbook and use this alternative performance venue to deliver your brand of magic to the masses.

#4 - Door Step Performances: Magic At Your Threshold

Magician Arthur Fratelli's Door Step Magic
An AI rendering of magician Arthur Fratelli performing magic at the threshold of a family's home.

Magician Arthur Fratelli faced event cancellations head-on, creating the idea of a Door Step Magician—a clever concept offering contact-free entertainment. Transforming the front door threshold into a magical stage, Fratelli skillfully utilized this gateway as the perfect frame for his performances. Beyond traditional magic shows, Fratelli provided singing telegrams and performances by a dancing giant chicken, bringing unique celebrations to doorsteps- precisely what was needed! Fratelli's stroke of genius aimed to spread joy during uncertain times, showcasing resilience and creativity within the magic community.

#5 - Magic On The Water: Floating Into Astonishment

Experience the magic of live performances with the beauty of nature.
Experience the beauty of nature with the magic of live performances.

Driven by performance artists, Toronto introduced a one-of-a-kind live concert experience with Music on the River, a floating concert series on the Humber River. Attendees embark on a scenic 1.5-hour paddle leading to a stage dock where a 45-minute concert featuring local artists unfolds. With various boat rentals available, this beginner-friendly, socially distant concert experience harmonizes the beauty of nature with the magic of live performances, providing a unique blend for attendees seeking an unforgettable entertainment experience. Magicians can and should certainly take advantage of this type of venue.

#6 - Vertical Performances: Elevating The Magic Experience

Magicians, vertical performance venues are waiting for your creativity!
Vertical concerts transform the traditional performance venue experience into something entirely novel.

Embracing a trend as ingenious as it is captivating, Ukraine wholeheartedly adopted the concept of vertical concerts. Picture this: performers taking to rooftops and the audience delighting in the show from the cozy confines of their hotel balconies. Before the Russo-Ukrainian War, the Bratislava Hotel in Kyiv was a hotspot for several of these vertical concerts, creating an atmosphere that's not just socially distant but uniquely magical.

The Vertical Performance concept is clever because it blends safety, innovation, and an intimate live performance experience. Attendees check-in, receive their room keys and become part of an extraordinary musical or magical journey from the comfort of their private balconies. The vertical setting adheres to social distancing guidelines and transforms the traditional performance venue experience into something entirely novel.

The innovative approach goes beyond the constraints of conventional performance spaces, offering a breath of fresh air and a sense of exclusivity to the audience. It's not just about watching a performance; it's about being immersed in it, surrounded by the skyline of the city and the enchantment of live music. The concept of vertical concerts is more than a response to the challenges of the times; it's a glimpse into the future of performance experiences—an evolution that fuses creativity, safety, and a touch of magic in the air. Magicians, be the first in your city to leverage this concept to your advantage.

The Mother of Invention

Make no mistake, the world of magic continues to captivate and innovate, transforming ordinary spaces into magic. From Disney's imaginative hotel rooms to the laughter-filled Magic Asphalt, doorstep magic, serene lake performances, and breathtaking vertical performances, magicians have the ability to showcase their talents in the most unexpected places.

As the world navigates challenges, these magical transformations testify to the unwavering spirit of creativity and resilience within the performance community.

What Do You Think?

I'm eager to hear from you as we explore these alternative venues. What's your take on all this? Do you have a favorite alternative venue?