Showman can have a variety of meanings, usually by context and depending on the country.



Travelling showmen are people who run amusement and side show equipment at regional shows, state capital shows, events and festivals throughout Australia. In the past, the term has also been used for the people who organized freak shows, sideshows, circuses, travelling theatre troupes and boxing tents.

In Australia, there are around 500 travelling show families, Australian travelling show families in the Eastern states have a travelling School that has approximately 90 children.


Family names associated with funfairs in Ireland include Fox-McFadden, Cassells, Cullen, McFadden, Murray, Bird, Perks and Bell. Turbetts, Hudsons, McCormacks, McGurk, Wilmots and Grahams are associated with coastal amusements, particularly in the west of the country.[1]


"Showman" ("şovmen" in Turkish) refers to a talk show host in Turkey.

United KingdomEdit

Robert Edwards, a seventh generation British showman, running his Ring and Blocks stall

In the United Kingdom, showmen are a community intrinsically linked to the businesses they operate, such as funfairs and circuses. The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain is the most dominant trade association, with a membership of around 4,700 and a total collective of 25,000 showmen and -women in the industry. The head of the family is the [2] For example, the Guild co-organizes St Giles' Fair in Oxford with Oxford City Council each September, alongside a number of other fairs and events across the UK. A large amount of major events in the UK have a fairground element incorporated, such as the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Leeds Festival and Edinburgh's Festive offering, to name a few.

Whilst the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain (SGGB) stands as the largest trade association, there are other, smaller industry bodies such as the Association of Independent Showmen (AIS) and Society of Independent Roundabout Proprietors (SIRPS).

United StatesEdit

Those of the traveling circus (traveling carnival)—Carnies are comparable to Showmen but in the United States, the term "Showman" primarily refers to male dancers (showgirls being the female equivalent); an example being Gene Kelly in the film Singin' in the Rain.

The term showman or show people, can also be meant as a superlative or complimentary term, sometimes as an accolade or quasi-title, such as in the documentary name Harry Saltzman: Showman.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Irish Arks and Waltzers Part 1 - 1990 to Present Day". The University of Sheffield – National Fairground Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-12-22. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  2. ^ Showmen's Guild of Great Britain Central Office.