Dear magical people
I’m writing this letter to get chatty about the dosh situation with Magical: the cash to the wonga to the dolla – it crops up everywhere! So, here’s the deal.
At the time of writing this letter, Magical Productions Limited is set up as a private limited company (you can check it out on Companies House, it’s all public info!). For those of you legal eagles, you’ll know that a private company limited by shares legally exists for the purpose of raising money for its shareholders. This isn’t appropriate for our Magical set up considering that’s not our objective. We’re not in it for the money.
Magical started by accident in 2016 as a private event run by myself, Yello, Yoshi, Adam & Hannah (as a 3-day double festival wedding, with the theme of the 500 attendees being their best, true selves). The feedback was so outstanding that we felt we had to do it again and open it up to the public, so we continued with the Magical launch in 2017 and then the first festival open to the public in 2018. Together, the five of us have invested £31,000 of our own money into the festival (ouch!). Festivals cost SO much money to produce. Magical is one big, inefficient, wonderful faff that’s cost us a lot of money! Hey ho.
Fast forward to 2019 and I’m pleased to say that the Magical team has expanded. We now have a core crew of around 15 people, and we hope this will continue to grow. We all have jobs where we earn our money and we organise Magical in our evenings and weekends. All of us work on Magical on a voluntary basis and take no fee.
So, why do we do it if there’s no money in it? (…a question I often ask myself when I’m sitting on a laptop at midnight, filling in one of the MANY spreadsheets of doom required to run the festival, and I have to get up for work the next day). As well as having a huge passion for music (and festivals!), I’m lucky enough to know my purpose in life. My purpose is to do with spreading positivity, and Magical gives me a channel to do that. The other members of team Magical, also have purposes that Magical gives an avenue to fulfil – to be creative, to teach, inspire, heal, encourage health and wellness. Having been to hundreds of festivals, we want others to experience the goodness that comes out of events like Magical – the community, the opportunity, human connection, learning, chatting with strangers, feeling joy when dancing to amazing music and inspiring children to take an interest in music and dream big from an early age… there are so many GOOD things that come out of Magical events and THAT’S why we do it.
Back to the finances. We’ve applied to convert Magical Productions Limited to Magical Productions Community Interest Company. This means we operate on a not-for-profit basis and we exist solely to benefit the community. It would be really nice if we get back our own personal money we invested one day, and to pay a fair fee to those that work their socks off for the festival so we can continue to produce it. However, any profits raised will be re-invested back into the festival to continue to run the festival and the other Magical community events (which are often free to attend).
In practice, this means that we ask people to be involved in the festival on the same basis that we are: for the love of it, for the opportunity to be part of something truly special, to join a community of people that want to spend time together and appreciate the magic in life, and not for a fee. If that’s not your thing and you need to take other opportunities that pay money then that’s totally cool and we 100% understand. I would however ask that you please don’t criticise us for offering the opportunity to you – simply say no if it’s not your thing! We rely on volunteers to run the festival with us, and for performers to show off their talents for free tickets plus 1s. For everyone that participates in Magical, we can’t thank you enough. Thank you for sharing our passion and joining in the madness!
We know we need to raise more cash in order for Magical to be sustainable and happen again. If we don’t break even, Magical 2019 will be the last festival we hold. We’re doing everything we can – we’ve applied for funding from PRS, The Arts Council and the National Lottery. We’re also looking to partner with other wellness brands that share a similar ethos. Ultimately, if we sell enough tickets – we can break even. So, please do spread the word and help us sell as many tickets as possible so we can continue to produce Magical events. If anyone has any other ideas about how to raise some wonga for Magical, or if you have any questions, please do get in touch.
Thanks for listening and your support. I hope this clarifies the situation about the cashola, and please do continue to help us make Magical events!
Love and sparkles from Zoë on behalf of Team Magical x
1 February 2019