The Edinburgh International Festival of Magic is back for a fabulous 14th year – with international star Kevin Quantum topping the bill.

Today sees the programme launch for the ever-popular and long-running event – (generally known as MagicFest) which runs from 20-31 December and will be a dazzling showcase of new and established magical talent.

There are new collaborations with Edinburgh Castle’s “The Castle of Light” and Wonder and Co (the capital’s new magic shop) as well as The Joker and the Thief, plus the welcome return of Future Magicians, and family shows at The Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Kevin Quantum’s Christmas Special, taking place at Church Hill Theatre, is a full evening show of magic, variety and heaps of audience participation featuring Kevin and special guests – international illusionist Oliver Tabor and local award-winning magician Fraser Stokes.

He said: “It’s pretty special to be back for our 14th year. Magic offers a level of engagement wholly different to any other artform. It absolutely depends on the audience. Without them there’s nothing. 

“So, we are inviting you to share the magic, to get closer than ever before, to peek behind the curtain, peer inside the top hat and even see what I have up my sleeve – and then share your theories with your friends and family .

“If you want to marvel at some of the most perplexing tricks on the planet, and have lots of fun, then MagicFest is for you.”

This year’s programme

The only event of its kind in the UK, MagicFest offers:

Kevin Quantum’s Christmas Special: Straight from sell-out shows in Edinburgh and Australia, Kevin returns with a high-energy, wonder-packed family show at the Church Hill Theatre. Join the Edinburgh-based international star and special guest, the contemporary conjuror Oliver Tabor, for a magical night out, with big laughs, amazement and adventure. Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Future Magicians: A welcome return for this very special MagicFest initiative where you get to see tomorrow’s magicians today. We take a group of would-be young magicians and pair them with professional tutors to prepare a special 10-minute magic act – which they then present on stage for you. Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Vincent Gambini: This is not a magic show: What makes magic magic? Is there really a Magic Circle Emergency Hotline for magicians in distress? A critically acclaimed performance of and about sleight-of-hand magic, its invisible mechanics, clichés, and what it tells us about live theatre and make-believe. Vincent Gambini presents astonishing close-up magic that invites us to question how enchantment and wonder are made within a theatrical situation. Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Cameron Gibson and Friends: Edinburgh magician Cameron Gibson presents a fast-paced magic and variety show that will knock your proverbial socks off. From classic sleight of hand to mind-reading and comedy, it has something for everyone. Every show features special guests from the world of magic and variety – so you never quite know what wonders await… Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Richard Wiseman: Mind Magic: Enter the strange world of illusion, magic, and mystery. How do magicians produce objects from thin air and defy gravity? Does the paranormal exist? Join psychologist, best-selling author, and member of the Inner Magic Circle Professor Richard Wiseman as he explores the limits of the human mind. A fun hour for all the family. Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Elliot Bibby: The Best of Bibby: After a complete sell out at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival with the Insane Magic boys, Elliot is back with a solo hour of magic. Bringing the best he has to offer from 10 years of professional shows in this comedy magic extravaganza. Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Tricky Ricky: Festive Funtime: After sell-out performances last year, the Trickster returns with more festive fun and lots of his puns in a show starring Jingles the Reindeer and his mischievous rabbit Sonny the Bunny. Be amused and amazed in this fast paced and chaotic magic show. It’s cabaret for kids and grown-ups. Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Gary James: Wonderland: A fast-paced family-friendly show with jaw-dropping magic inspired by childhood memories and a career in entertainment. Gary captures the excitement and mystery from childhood visits to the legendary Lothian Road store “Wonderland”. Venue: Wonder & Co.

Gary Dunn: Jokes & Tricks: One of Scotland’s favourite family entertainers returns to MagicFest for another show filled with mad magic and silly jokes. Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Kevin Quantum: Edinburgh Magic: Unlock hidden Edinburgh and enjoy magic that’s fooled the greatest minds associated with the city, from Houdini to King Charles. Amazing moments tied to the secret stories hidden in the cobbles and closes of the capital. Objects float before your eyes, money multiplies, time stands still… Venue: Waldorf Astoria: The Caledonian.

Vincent Gambini: Out of Thin Air: Stories about magicians at magic conventions, an attempt at presenting a show in which nothing happens, and magic poems about you, the spectator. Deft sleight of hand, strange poetry, and low-key spectacle. Venue: Wonder & Co.

Richard Wiseman: The World’s Greatest Card Trick and Other Mysteries: The world’s greatest card trick was invented in 1942. It has been performed by many famous magicians, amazed and astounded millions, and made Winston Churchill late for Parliament. A small group of people join magician Professor Richard Wiseman as he reveals the unknown genius behind the trick, demonstrates other jaw dropping mysteries from the mind of this master magician, and celebrates the invention of the impossible. Venue: Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Cameron Gibson: Street Magic Masterclass:  Spend a morning with professional magician Cameron Gibson to gain hands-on experience in simple yet mind-blowing magic that you can do. You will master tricks with everyday objects that you can use to entertain and amaze your friends and family. Venue: Wonder & Co.

Close-Up Magic at The Joker & The Thief: Astonishing close-up magic at The Joker & The Thief pub with resident magician Tim Licata, one of Scotland’s most entertaining sleight-of-hand artists. Venue: The Joker & The Thief.

Castle of Light: MagicFest is partnering with Castle of Light, which transforms Edinburgh Castle with magical installations and illuminations. Watch out for some of our astounding tricks and interactive illusions. Venue: Edinburgh Castle.

  • Tickets now on sale – full line up and times 


Notes for editors 

MagicFest 2023

MagicFest bookings

  • Online:
  • 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, please 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 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 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 in innovative and exciting way.

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

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