Blackpool Magic Convention Guide
Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th February, 2013
The worlds largest magic convention happens in the northwest of England on the last weekend of February every year. The convention is held in the Winter Gardens, Grand theatre and Opera House.
Number of Attendees
The worlds largest magic convention! Approximately 3,600 magicians attend the weekend.
powered by Frixo Road Traffic
See our Parking list further down if your hotel doesn’t have parking available
The place to be in the evening is the convention hotel called The Ruskin (www.ruskinhotel.com) which is 3 minute walk from the Winter Gardens. Get there as quick as possible after the last show if you want to get a seat as it gets very, very cramped.
Wifi and Internet
Many cafes in the town centre and around the winter gardens area and even in the town centre itself have wireless Blackpool wifi which is a free wifi service, all you need is a free wifi voucher from a participating cafe or bar.
The convention hotel, The Ruskin sells out months in advance of the Blackpool weekend but it is worth checking just to be sure. Its great to know you only need to get in the lift to get to your room rather than stagger down the street especially when you’ll only be getting a few hours sleep. If you stay at the Ruskin you also may get a sneak peek at the stars of the convention first thing in the morning. Avoid the Ruskin if you plan on getting an early night, which in Blackpool means before 2.00 am because the it is very, very noisy.
Accommodation on a budget – If you can’t afford The Ruskin (approximately £35 a night) or cannot get a room there then don’t fret. Blackpool has hundreds of guest houses and hotels. You can check out the Hotel Reviews section of the site for recommendations from others. On the plus side you won’t be staying in your room much and will be lucky to get a few hours sleep! You can find lots of places at around the £15 per night mark and even some at £10. All you want is cleanliness, decent shower and a plentiful breakfast to set you up for the day.
Also check out our list of Hotels and partner sites for booking hotels for Blackpool
Adelaide House Hotel, Blackpool
A warm and friendly welcome awaits you at this popular well positioned hotel, where we offer our guests the best of both worlds. We are a good size hotel with entertainment and choice menu, but we still retain the comfort and hospitality of a family run establishment.
“A Home From Home Feeling” as frequently described by returning guests.
This popular hotel has been owned and managed by the Dickson family for 40 years, and it is now managed by Derek and Caryn Dickson, with Steven Dickson as Head Chef, providing a varied and delicious choice of home cooked food.
We are ideally situated in the Town Centre. Adjacent to the Winter Gardens and only minutes away from the Tower, main shopping centre, the beach and theatres.
Please note that we do not accept Stag or Hen party bookings, as we are a family and couples oriented hotel, dealing mostly in the over 55′s age group. The Hotel offers:
Special rates for over 55′s
All rooms non smoking
Own tables in dining room
Special diets catered for
Wide choice of menu
Hairdryers in all rooms
Lift to all floors
Tea & Coffee making facilities in rooms
Ironing facilities available
Late keys available
Christmas & New Year Programme’s
An Ideal location for all your holiday needs
Flat Screen TV’s with Freeview in all Rooms
KINGSCLIFF Hotel Blackpool
John & Pauline welcome you to The Kingscliff Hotel. Your comfort and well being is our prime concern and we therefore want to make your stay with us as enjoyable as possible. The hotel has been completely refurbished and offers a high quality of accommodation
We are located in the heart of Blackpool, within easy walking distance of the promenade, winter gardens, The Tower, theatres and Houndshill Shopping Centre. Also the Pleasure Beach and the Sandcastle complex are a short tram ride away
Prices range from £20:00 to £35:00 per person per night depending on time of year and length of stay (Please note that we do not accept stag or hen party bookings, we are a family and couples orientated hotel)
Free Parking – Full Central heating – Colour TV in all rooms En-suite rooms – Deluxe rooms available – Own Keys – Tea/Coffee Facilities – We are a none smoking hotel – safes, hair dryers in all rooms – ironing boards in all rooms and irons are available on request
Four Star English Tourism Council – We have been awarded 4 Stars from the English Tourism Council. This award reflects the level of service we provide for our customers. We pride ourselves on the high quality we try to acheive for our guests
Interactive Map and Places to Eat and Essential Supplies
Blackpool is pretty cheap compared to some other places in the UK and because it is on the seaside be sure to try some fresh fish and chips. There are also some top curry houses. Where ever you eat you don’t want to be wasting your non- magic time queuing so fast food is a good option. We also suggest stopping at the local Marks and Spencer (see on the map below) each morning on your way to the Winter Gardens to stop up on the days Sandwiches, water, and supplies. It will save you darting out at the same time as everyone else for food mid morning.
Below you will find an interactive map of the Blackpool Convention area. You’ll see the Winter Gardens (where all the events take place) on the map marked by our logo. You’ll also find a host of local drinking and eating locations, parking locations, some pharmacy’s, cash points, parking locations and other things you may need. Hopefully the icons are obvious.
Please note that we’ve not visited all these locations, and as far as we know they are correct, but please check before making any plans, it’s meant as a guide. If you know of any particular places we really should add (or delete!) please let us know at email@example.com.
Vouchers and Discount Coupons
Blackpool is quite cheap to eat, but we know you’ll want to spend every penny at the dealers. We’ll update below any special offers, deals, or vouchers that you can use around the town to get cheaper food, or deals. We’ll keep adding vouchers as we spot them, so keep checking back in the run up to the convention. Most vouchers should hopefully appear the week before Blackpool starts.
vouchers will be updated nearer to the event
Again our normal disclaimer, double check the voucher is accepted before you start eating, and this is purely to help you out and make your convention easier..
If you are a business in Blackpool and you want potentially a few of the 3,000 plus hungry magicians eating at your place, drop us a line and cut us a deal..
Blackpool tends to be the place a lot of dealers release their new and exciting releases. You can check out the new releases that we’ve been told about by the dealers by clicking here. If your a dealer and have something exciting coming up for Blackpool, just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org (we’re also happy to help you with any competitions you might want to run alongside us!)
Blackpool off street car parking, that we can find listed is below, again please check the payment prices, and times, and let us know if any are out of service/not worth parking in etc. We’ll try and add these to the map above, or a new one..
|CAR PARK||TYPE||ACCESS FROM||TYPE||SPACES|
|Hounds Hill||Multi-Storey||Coronation St||Pay & Display||750|
|Albert Rd||Multi-Storey||Coronation St||Pay & Display||170|
|Talbot Rd||Multi-Storey||Deansgate||Pay & Display||740|
|West Street||Multi-Storey||West Street||Pay & Display||241|
|Chapel Street||Multi-Storey||Chapel Street||Pay & Display||390|
|Wilkinson||Multi-Storey||Dickson Road||Pay on Exit||500|
|Central||Surface||Central Dr/Seaside Way||Pay & Display||825|
|East Topping Street||Surface||East Topping Street||Pay & Display||101|
|Bank St||Surface||Bank St||Pay & Display||300|
|Sheppard St||NCP Surface||Sheppard St||Pay on Exit||160|
|Queen St||Surface||Queen St||Pay & Display||40|
|Bonny St||Surface||Queen St||Pay & Display||141|
|Seed St||Surface||Seed St / Talbot Rd||Pay & Display||210|
|Swainson St||Surface||Swainson St / Talbot Rd||Pay & Display||141|
mark waddington, has let us know some prices on the carparks:
Hounds Hill – £20 for 96 Hours, pay on exit, notes accepted.
The main outdoor carpark (by Corel Island) is also £20 for 96 hours, but needs paying for in advance and only coins are accepted
Possible star attendees who aren’t booked
Many big names in magic attend Blackpool (even if they aren’t lecturing or performing), as its the biggest convention there is currently. You’ll be sure to see quite a few names, and even non magic stars wandering around. We’d name some but we’re sure to miss someone out, so its best to watch our reviews and see who we spot on the way round..
Tips and suggestions
- If you can’t stay at The Ruskin try and stay half way between the convention centre and the Ruskin as it cuts down on walking.
- If it’s a lecture you really want to see then skip the break and get to your seat early. Some people leave coats/bags but this is frowned on.
- Turn your mobile off in lectures, the shame is horrendous if it goes off and is insulting to the lecturer!
- Eat during the built in breaks in the day.
- Take some vitamin pills as you will be eating junk probably for the few days and you need to keep your strength up.
- Try and get your days supplies first thing in the morning, we stop at Marks and Spencers just down from the Winter Gardens and get sandwiches, drinks, fruit, and some sharing sweets!
- Don’t spend all your money in the dealer hall on Friday night, try and pace yourself. Some bargains can be had if you wait till Sunday.
- If you want a quiet wander around the dealer hall then go whilst one of the main event lectures is on.
- If you are a Blackpool convention virgin don’t be shy about chatting to other magicians, the vast majority are friendly and accommodating.
- Bring a bag for all the lecture notes and goodies you will be buying and put a notepad and pen in.
- Blackpool now has WiFi access in and around the winter gardens with Wireless Blackpool, be sure to get a free WiFi voucher code from participating Cafes and Bars (see wifi and internet above).
This is the winter gardens floor plan from previous years (so some locations like the VIP room may have changed for this year), but it will give you an idea on where things are for advance planning of where to meet up. The ‘Beat The Wand’ event is held in the Galleon Bar opposite the cafe. There is also normally a copy on the back of your program for the weekend.
Many thanks to Matt Parro for the snap.