Magicians wanted for first ever Merlin Magic Contest

Organisers of the first ever Merlin Festival Magic Contest, set to be held in Carmarthen in March, are looking for talented magicians to take part.

The prestigious Merlin Festival, first held in 2003, is being re-launched this year to celebrate 2017 being named as the Year of The Legend, one of a series of themed years being spearheaded by Visit Wales to promote our country as a visitor destination.

The festival will feature street entertainment, magic, a local produce market and a community/schools sculpture trail, and aims to celebrate the town’s links with Merlin the Magician.

This year, organisers want to host the first Merlin Magic Contestinviting magicians to the town to compete in public for the coveted title of Merlin Magician of the Year, sponsored by Merlin’s Walk Shopping Centre, Carmarthen. It is hoped that the contest will become an annual event, putting Carmarthen and the winning magician firmly in the public eye.

Conjurors will be performing so-called street magic of the kind popularised by magicians such as Dynamo and David Blaine at a number of venues around the town centre. Members of the public will be invited to vote for the most entertaining performer who will become the Merlin Magician of the Year.

Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “Carmarthen’s links with Merlin and Arthurian legend are well known. Originally named Caerfyrddin, which means Merlin’s Fort in Welsh, the town boasts many tales and strong evidence of the wizard having been associated with the area.”

“With magic becoming an increasingly popular art form, we hope that we can create a unique event in the town that becomes nationally and perhaps internationally famous. As far as we are aware, there are no other such events taking place in Wales that feature and promote magic in this way.”

The Merlin Magic Contestwill take place on March 25. Shortlisting will be carried out by a team of judges, helped by a social media campaign where the videos will be posted and the highest number of ‘likes’ will be counted.

A set of rules and eligibility criteria has been drawn up as follows;

  • The competition is open to both professional and amateur magicians residing in the UK.
  • Magicians will be required to perform five 15 minute sets at designated locations around the town of Carmarthen at times allocated by the competition organisers on Saturday March 25 during the Merlin Festival.
  • Performers wishing to take part must submit a five minute video demonstrating their skills as a street magician no later than Tuesday February 28. There will be five magicians shortlisted. Videos should be sent to theDiscover Carmarthenshire Facebook page,either as a private message or you can post to the Merlin Festival event page Alternatively, upload to You Tube or Vimeo and send us the link on Messenger.

(Videos will be vetted before going public).

  • These videos may be exhibited for promotional purposes on-line or on social media.
  • Those performers invited to take part will each receive £250 as expenses and as a fee for performance.
  • The winner of the competition will receive the Merlin Trophy and a cash prize of £250.
  • Performers invited to take part in the competition are expected to consent to taking part in any reasonable publicity or promotional activities connected with the Merlin Festival.
  • The decision of the judges in relation to the awarding of the Merlin Award will be final and no appeals will be accepted.

 Charles Barratt, Merlin’s Walk centre manager said: “We have been associated with the Merlin Festival for many years and indeed our shopping centre rebranded to reflect the town’s association with the famous wizard.”

 “Merlin’s Walk is delighted to see the Festival return as a key feature in the town’s calendar and to be sponsoring the Merlin Magic Contest. We look forward to seeing the event attract visitors from far and wide.”

If you have the gift of magic and would like to take part, then be one of the first to do so! For more information, contact Sian Williams at Carmarthenshire County Council 01267 224894.

The Merlin Festival has been funded by the Welsh Government’s Regional Tourism Engagement Fund which aims to improve the visitor experience and create stronger destinations by working together.

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