Edinburgh MagicFest, the biggest event of its kind in Europe, begins this Saturday with a fabulous line-up of Scottish and international performers who will leave audiences delighted, astounded and amazed.

New for this year is Future Magicians, introducing five teenage sorcerers mentored by professional performers in readiness for a very special show of their own.

The talented youngsters are aiming to be the next generation of stage magicians, so this could be the chance for audiences to see the next David Blaine or Harry Houdini. 

MagicFest (The Edinburgh International Magic Festival) takes place from 17-31 December. Topping the bill will be Kevin Quantum, Edinburgh’s own international star of stage magic, and World Champion of Magic, Héctor Mancha, from Spain.

Others such as Lewis Barlow, Tricky Ricky, Billy Reid and Magic Gareth will bring joy, laughter, gasps and wonder with shows for children, families and adults (see below). As ever MagicFest, which has been running since 2010, will be packed with illusions, mind reading, sleight of hand and comedy – plus some great workshops too.

Kevin Quantum, magician and festival organiser, said: “We can promise big laughs and big gasps with mind-blowing magic from a multitude of magicians. Our aim is to offer great live entertainment at accessible prices and to add some extra sparkle to the festive season.

“We are also proud to be introducing the next generation of performers, who have been getting ready to take the stage by storm through our Future Magicians mentorship initiative.”

The mentors (Tricky Ricky, Dan Bastianelli, Lewis Barlow, Elliot Bibby, Adam and Ian Black) have been working with Lady Vermillion, Jack Moodie, Logan Ford, Jamie Leonard and Andrew Manson to help them each perfect an 8-minute performance.

Their big moment comes on 29 December when they will gather at the Scottish Storytelling Centre for the Future Magicians show.

It will be a challenging moment – appearing, perhaps for the first time, in front of a paying audience as part of an international festival of magic. 

One of the young magicians is Lady Vermillion (Iola Wallace, aged 16, who attends Leith Academy), who specialises in card magic.

What started as a hobby three years ago is now a serious commitment and she would love to become one of the few female magicians in what is currently an overwhelmingly male profession.

She said: “When you think of a magician, you automatically think of someone male. And it is mostly men. But I’m not too worried about it – I hope it will give me an advantage because it sets me out as different from everyone else.”

For Lady Vermillion, Future Magicians is a welcome opportunity. She said: “Getting the advice, experience and a bit of publicity as well is great for someone like me who is only just starting off.

“I’m really looking forward to the show. But it’s also quite nerve wracking because there will be other magicians there as well as the public, and they will know what I’m doing – so I’ll have to get it exactly right.”

Some of the youngsters started doing magic due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Manson, aged 14 from Glasgow, said: “I began magic during lockdown. I would watch YouTube videos and perform to family and friends over Zoom. 

“I do card magic and I am taking part in the Future Magicians because I like magic and performing, so I’m really looking forward to the show.”

Jack Moodie, aged 16 from the Grassmarket, has been doing magic for three years and already has his own company (That Magic Jack). He said: I queued in the rain for a ticket to see Kevin’s shows at the 2021 Fringe. I loved what he did as it was fun, fast-moving and a real performance on top of the science based flawless magic. 

During Fringe 2022 I tried my skills on a real audience by doing some busking in the Grassmarket with cups and balls and card tricks.

“And now I’m learning so much on the Future Magicians programme. It’s a great opportunity. My mentor Ian Black, and his son Adam, have been so generous with their time and support

“I am interested in being a magician as my career, which I think would be good for me as I am dyslexic.”

The mentors are also enjoying the project. Tricky Ricky (Ricky McLeod), who is based in Edinburgh where he is a well-known corporate, children’s and family entertainer, sees it as a welcome chance to pass on his own love of magic.

He said: “Becoming a magician was the best thing I ever did. I love it – particularly seeing the look of wonder on children’s faces when you perform a trick.

“I caught the bug from my dad Bill McLeod. He had scarlet fever as a child and my grandad took him a book of magic tricks as something to do in hospital. He ended up becoming a semi-professional performer, and was still doing tricks for other residents in his nursing home before he died last year at the age of 90.

“So I’m really enjoying being part of Future Magicians and having the chance to pass on that love of magic and performing to another generation.” 

Top shows at MagicFest 2022 include

  • Kevin Quantum’s Christmas Special: Straight from ★★★★★ sell-out shows at the Fringe, Kevin Quantum presents some of his most amazing illusions in a riotously fun family Christmas show. Kevin is joined by one of Scotland’s top up-and-coming talents Adam Black – The Magic Circle Young Magician of the Year. Each performance features a special guest.
  • Hogmanay House: Discover Scotland’s Hogmanay traditions in a joyous theatre show with live music, storytelling, magic and comedy. Hogmanay House makes merry with black buns, lumps of coal, first footing, tall dark strangers and a very strange dance with a herring.Featuring singer/songwriter Ainsley Hamill, mind-reader Drew McAdam, storyteller Andy Cannon, magician Lewis Barlow and composer/musician Ron Jappy. 
  • Héctor Mancha, This is not Magic: World Champion of Magic and Spain’s national champion entertains with card magic, comedy, manipulation, parlour magic, hand shadows and storytelling. And it’s the only show where all the tricks are explained.
  • Lewis Barlow, The Way of the Magician: Shrouded in secrecy and mystery, the Way of the Magician is solitary yet fascinating. This internationally-acclaimed magician will take you on a journey to the essence of the accomplished conjurer.
  • Billy Reid, Watch Closely: A spellbinding evening of sleight-of-hand magic and storytelling. Cards transform into a rainbow, sweets appear from thin air. The ★★★★★ show concludes with Reid’s signature Caledonia routine – the most beautiful card trick in the world.
  • Magic Gareth, Magic Eye: Kick-ass, eye-bending magic and a whole load of nonsense – plus balloons. Magic Gareth’s brand new rip-roaring family show features games, gifts and a whole load of silliness.
  • Tricky Ricky, Me, My Elf and I: The Trickster returns with a new festive fun show starring Eddie Knox The Elf In The Box. Mischievous rabbit Sonny the Bunny adds madness and mayhem. Tricky Ricky will have you laughing your Christmas Socks off.
  • Hector Mancha, The Magician is Here – You: Join World Champion of Magic, Hector Mancha, this time for a family-friendly show where the audience does the magic.
  • Once Upon a Raindrop: Jump on a parachute with kangaroos in Australia, join in a snowball battle with penguins in Antarctica. A funny, cheerful walk-through performance for wee ones and their grown-ups with sensory games and magic. Developed in partnership with Deaf Action, performances are accessible to d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.

Festival workshops include:

  • Magic School: Great Christmas gift for sorcerers aged 7-10. Learn to perform magic and create your own, then join a 2.5-hour workshop with magician and Magic School headmaster Gary James. In partnership Deaf Action and the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
  • Balloon Twisting Workshop with Magic Gareth: A fun and interactive session learning to bend, twist and create amazing balloon models with Gareth White (Magic Gareth). 


Notes for editors 

MagicFest 2022

  • The festival is supported by The City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland and Kiran’s Trust.
  • Virtual Magic School is supported by Baillie Gifford, Kiran’s Trust and through Creative Scotland as part of the Creative Digital Initiative, funded by the Scottish Government. 
  • For full festival details see www.magicfest.co.uk.


  • Online: www.magicfest.co.uk
  • Phone: 0131 226 0006
  • In person: The Fringe Box Office 180 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QS. Monday-Friday 10.30am-5.30pm.
  • Booking lines are open till 20 December, Monday-Friday 10am-6pm. During the holiday, email [email protected]
  • Tickets can be purchased on the day from the festival venues, subject to availability.
  • A booking fee of £1.50 per transaction is applied to all online and phone bookings. 

Concessions are available for full-time students, senior citizens (65 and over), under 16s (unless a child ticket is available), disabled patrons (companions go free).
If you require a wheelchair access or a complimentary companion ticket, please call our box office to book over the phone on 0131 226 0006. Group discounts are available for groups of over 10 people. Please phone 0131 226 0006 for more information.

About Edinburgh International Magic 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 70,000 visitors and is 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 in innovative and exciting way.

Twitter: @MagicFest  

Facebook: @edmagicfest 

Instagram: @edmagicfest

About Creative Scotland

  • Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland.

About Kiran’s Trust

Kiran Martin died at the age of 18 from a brain tumour in 2008. Kiran was one of these very creative, fun loving and magical people you meet every now and then, and she will never be forgotten. Kiran’s Trust was founded on her birthday, 9th October, in 2009, as way of giving thanks for her life and celebrating the creative arts and sports, which she held dear. The Trust recognises this passion in other young people and provides support to help them advance in further education and participation in these areas. www.kiranstrust.org

For media information contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or at [email protected]