Magicians, musicians, singers and a mindreader have been putting the final touches to a delightful “First Foot” adventure in the sumptuous surroundings of the historic Lauriston Castle.

All are taking part in Hogmanay House, a new event that celebrates Scotland’s Hogmanay traditions and entertains audiences with superb contemporary magic.

Running from 2 to 5 January, it is a highlight of the 10th annual Edinburgh International Magic Festival (MagicFest), which is bringing magical events of all kinds to the city over Christmas and the New Year.

Among the performers are singer/songwriter Ainsley Hamill, award-winning musician Ron Jappy, mindreader Drew McAdam, silver-tongued storyteller Jock Ferguson and world-class card magician Lewis Barlow.

Audiences will explore the castle’s opulent rooms, secret passages and hidden chambers as they discover more about Hogmanay, its past and present. They may even find themselves cutting holes in cheese, burning juniper leaves or parading round with a fish above their heads. 

Organisers, Svetlana McMahon and her magician husband Kevin Quantum, along with all the performers have just completed their final rehearsals before opening the castle doors.

Svetlana said: “Scotland has some wonderful Hogmanay traditions, and this is a time of year that is closely associated with the mystical and magical.

“Hogmanay House is a fun way to welcome in the new year with a celebration of Scottish culture, plus entertainment by some wonderful performers, who will entertain audiences with magic, mind-reading, music, stories and song.

“We very much look forward to welcoming people into this beautiful and historic building for a real first footing adventure.”

Hogmanay House event has received support through Scotland’s Winter Festivals and also supported by The City of Edinburgh Council, Hope Scott Trust and Museums & Galleries Edinburgh. 

Councillor Donald Wilson, Edinburgh’s Culture and Communities Convener, said: “The City of Edinburgh Council recognises the potential of the Hogmanay House event to fulfil a different niche by showcasing a unique Hogmanay offering complimenting traditional end-of-the-year events in the city of Edinburgh. It fits well with the Council’s commitment to encourage and support increased access to previously unfunded events and festivals across the city”.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, added: “We are delighted to be supporting MagicFest deliver Hogmanay House through Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme.  The exciting and innovative programme of activity provides a wonderful opportunity for all the family to attend a magical experience within a spectacular setting at Lauriston Castle, and further reinforces Scotland as the perfect stage for events.”

– ENDS –

This year Edinburgh International Magic Festival is moving from its usual summer dates to winter due to the tremendous popularity of the MagicFest Christmas Show which they have run for the past three years. New dates provided a perfect platform for developing a brand new exciting event concept Hogmanay House supported by The City of Edinburgh Council, EventScotland as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme and Hope Scott Trust. 

Hogmanay House listings details:

  • Venue: Lauriston Castle
  • Dates: Thurs 2nd to Sunday 5th January
  • Times: 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm
  • Prices: £20, £18 concessions, £15 children, £50 family
  • Duration: 75 mins
  • Ages: 7+

All MagicFest bookings: Online: Phone: 0131 226 0006In person: The Fringe Box Office 180 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QS. Monday to Friday 10.30am – 5.30pm.

Other MagicFest events include:

  • The Opening Night Christmas Gala: An eclectic mix of the weird and the wonderful including Harthill-local-cum-Vegas-headliner Colin Cloud and Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year Adam Black. Enjoy a multitude of breath-taking illusions from top magicians and the most talented newcomers. 
  • You Are Magic: Huge fun for children and families. A magic show conjured up from thin air where the audience become the stars – do you have the skill to saw someone in half and put them back together again? Packed with thrilling illusions, spooky mind reading, stunning sleight of hand, and death-defying escapes. Presented by the Magic Gareth and Michelle Ferguson and written by YouTube star Professor Richard Wiseman.
  • Kevin Quantum “Anti-Gravity”: Enter a space where the rules of gravity are bent and broken. Impossible illusions and levitations in a ★★★★★ show mixing science, comedy and magic, brought to you by Scotland’s own magician-scientist hybrid Kevin Quantum. Winner of the “Best Magic” award at the Adelaide Fringe 2018.
  • Comedy Magic Club: Have your mind blown and laugh yourself silly with the funniest, scariest, and freakiest, conjured for your delight in our magic comedy club for ages 16+. Featuring Elliot Bibby, Luke Eaton, Cammy Young, Cammy Gibson, Dan Bastianelli and special guests.
  • Magic School: Now enrolling young sorcerers aged 7-10 can to learn magic tricks from professional magicians then astound your family and friends. Join a one-off sessions or a four-day course with a show for parents as the grand finale. Led by magician and Magic School headmaster Gary James. Magic School is presented in partnership with Kiran’s Trust and the Power of Perspective exhibition is kindly supported by Jessops, Kiran’s Trust, Scotmid Coop and University of Hertfordshire.
  • Tricky Ricky “Christmas Madness”: Four-times winner of Scottish ‘Children’s Entertainer of the Year’ Tricky Ricky takes you on a magical festive journey. Prepare to be amused and amazed in a fast-paced, nutty, comedic and chaotic magic show for kids aged from 1 to 101! 

About the festival

  • The festival is a not-for-profit organisation founded and managed by event producer Svetlana McMahon and magician Kevin Quantum.
  • The festival promotes magic as an art form and celebrates the limitless possibilities of human imagination.
  • Since conception in 2010 MagicFest has welcomed over 60,000 visitors and has grown into Europe’s biggest festival of its kind.
  • MagicFest is leading the charge in the newly developing market of magic festivals appearing around the world, and aims to be the world leader in programming and producing innovative and cutting edge magic. 
  • The programme is balanced to reflect the best and most exciting magic from around the world alongside the very best in home grown work, aiming to amaze, inspire, provoke and entertain.
  • The Festival is also producing new work which celebrates Edinburgh’s unique historic environment and cultural heritage.

Website: Twitter: @MagicFest  Facebook: @edmagicfest Instagram: @edmagicfest

About Scotland’s Winter Festivals: Scotland’s Winter Festivals (SWF) aims to mobilise the people of Scotland and those with an affinity to Scotland to join in the St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns celebrations, boosting our key tourism and events sectors and the wider economy, enhancing community engagement and raising Scotland’s international profile.  SWF is a Scottish Government initiative, delivered in collaboration with VisitScotland and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, BEMIS Scotland, the Fair Saturday Foundation, the English Speaking Union Scotland and a range of other partners. SWF will welcome thousands of people to funded events celebrating St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns right across Scotland; significantly boosting the economy and engaging our diverse communities during the winter months whilst showcasing our unique world class tourism assets to a global audience.

Hope Scott Trust
The Hope Scott Trust was set up by the late Mrs Hope Scott to help promote Music and the Visual Arts in Scotland. The Trust allocates a proportion of its resources to help musicians with commissions or grants for musical events and it also helps artists and sculptors (with a particular focus on emerging artists) with grants for exhibitions, catalogues and travel etc. Preference is given to applicants who are Scottish by birth or live permanently in Scotland.

For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Org.