How much does it cost to hire a close up magician in the UK?

Looking for the quickest answer? I recommend you budget at least £450 for a close up magician for your event. Read on to find out why.

Many of my clients have never hired a magician before, and they are not sure what the associated costs are. They enquire with me simply to see if it's something they can afford or not. That's understandable and I'm always happy to answer any questions about hiring a close up magician. However, in this short article, I'll also run through some of the factors that go into setting a price, and why you might receive a range of prices if you enquire with multiple magicians.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF HIRING A CLOSE UP MAGICIAN?

As you might expect, the details of the event, change the price, so to keep things clear, I've made some assumptions. The prices given here reflect the majority of events I perform at:

  • the event is within my normal performing area (about an hour's drive from my home).
  • the event is on a Friday night, or during the weekend.
  • the event doesn't finish past 11pm.
  • there are about 50 - 100 guests - for that I would suggest a performance of two hours of close up magic.

Based on that criteria, I would recommend that you budget at least £450 to hire a professional close up magician for your event.

How did I get to this price? I asked some magician friends of mine at different stages of their career how much they charged. The cheapest was £390 and the most expensive was £700, so if you set aside £450 you should be able to find someone of a good standard. At the time of writing my price for the event criteria given would fall around the £550 mark.

PRICE RANGE FOR 2 HOURS CLOSE UP MAGIC (2022) £390 - £700

close up magician
Perfoming as a close up table magician at an event.

You could of course spend a little more to add on extras such as a performance to the whole group, or customised magic. It's not uncommon for some of my clients to spend between £800 - £1000. Or you could spend a lot more, by hiring a celebrity magician from Britain's Got Talent or even hire Dynamo himself!

Again, it's worth noting that these prices are accurate for summer 2022, and may have changed by the time you are reading this.

WHICH FACTORS AFFECT THE PRICE?

I've hinted at this in the previous answer, but asking how much does a magician cost, is a bit like asking, how long is a piece of string? The answer often comes back to you with more questions. That's not the magician being difficult to deal with, but rather by asking just a few more questions they can give you an accurate price that they can stick to.

I've had occasions where people have emailed me or called me to ask the price, but they have not given any details about the event. In those situations, I can only provide something very generic such as it's between £450 and £1500. Not very helpful at all!

So if you're enquiring with a few close up magicians, here's some things to consider:

  • date: when is the event? Friday nights and weekends are the busiest times for close up magicians, so you might get a discount if you are having a midweek event. Likewise, an event during December, especially on key dates such as New Year's Eve might be more expensive.
  • time: what is the timing of the event? It will often cost more if you want the magician perform late into the night, or early morning.
  • venue: where is the event? An event where the magician has to travel for several hours, or stay overnight will increase the cost.
  • what sort of entertainment are you looking for? In this article I'm talking about close up magicians, sometimes also known as table magicians, close magic or close hand magic. A stage show, which is performed to the whole group at once, would usually be more expensive as it is a specialist skill that fewer magicians have.
close up magician for hire
Walkaround entertainment as a close up magician.

THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIENCE

Just like when people get a pay rise at work, close up magicians with more experience charge more than those who are just starting out. This makes sense as they have the experience to know how to get the best from your guests, and how to make sure your event is a success. Not only that, but anything that could go wrong, has probably already been seen and dealt with, whereas for a beginner it might fluster them. I call this the invisible difference, and it's the reason why I don't price match against lower priced close up magicians.

SHOULD I HIRE A CHEAP MAGICIAN?

In researching this article, I read some advice suggesting that if you only had £50 - £100 you should hire a cheap magician. Perhaps someone who is just starting out and wants to practice their magic on a new audience? I would not recommend that. We've all heard the saying, "you get what you pay for" but the truth is there is a point where it becomes a false economy. A cheap magician might turn up (or they might not!) but will they entertain your guests?

Read more: Why is there such a range of prices between magicians?

I've been performing magic since I was in high school, and in that time, I've learnt that one of the most important factors in giving a good performance is confidence. Simply put, a nervous performer makes everyone feel uncomfortable. Instead of having a great time, they feel embarrassed. Rather than just being a cheap way to get entertainment, they might actually be detrimental to your event.

If your event is important to you, maybe it's a wedding, a gala dinner or a milestone birthday, do the right thing and hire a professional magician. You can find out more about me here, or get in touch on 07792 129 828 or see below to send me a message.

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YOUR INCREDIBLE EVENT IS
JUST A FEW STEPS AWAY

1. CONNECT

It's easy to get in touch with me, either:

2. DISCUSS

During a short phone or video call, we'll talk about your event and your initial ideas. Don't worry, if you're not sure. I've helped to plan many events so I can advise on the best use of magic and other events entertainment.

3. AGREE

Once all the details are agreed, I'll send you a booking confirmation and ask you to make the first payment which confirms your date in my calendar. Then it's time to start looking forward to your big event.

4. ENJOY

I'll check in with you in the week before your event, and on the day of the event. All you need to do now is enjoy the magic, mind reading and comedy.