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The Edinburgh International Magic Festival is delighted to announce it will return this summer following the great success of the inaugural five-day Festival last July.

MagicFest, which will run from 1st to 8th July, is a new addition to the programme of Edinburgh Festivals and is the first public-facing magic event of its kind in the UK and one of only a few around the world. The MagicFest brand represents high quality performance and continues to set the benchmark for a new generation of live magic events by attracting and programming the very best of British and international magicians.

MagicFest Artistic Director, and full-time magician, Kevin McMahon said: “Building on the successful start, this year’s MagicFest has grown from 5 to 8 days full of live magic and will now host 80 shows instead of last year’s 50. We intend to craft more unique magic events and formats in order to entertain and inspire all generations of magic lovers. This year we are delighted to launch an annual award, The Great Lafayette Award, which will recognise professional magicians and their contribution to live magic and cement our intention to grow and develop the Festival into a world renowned event.”

This year’s MagicFest begins with a Magic & Variety Gala Opening at the Royal Lyceum theatre and promises to be a breathtaking spectacle of the finest acts in the Magic World. The main festival programme will feature magic shows from different genres, suitable for children and adults of all ages. Ahead of the full programme launch (7th May) organisers can reveal the world’s foremost authority on con-artistry and casino scams, R Paul Wilson from the BBC’s ‘The Real Hustle’, will return alongside first time MagicFest performer Romany, one of the world’s only female magicians.

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of The Great Lafayette, a master illusionist who met his untimely end in a fire whilst on stage on 9 May 1911 at the old Empire Theatre – now the Festival Theatre. MagicFest has created a worldwide award in honour of the Great Lafayette and will annually nominate a respected, professional magician in recognition of their contribution to live magic. The Great Lafayette Award will be presented at the Gala Show each year.

Here is some footage from last year’s show…..

Returning to MagicFest this year is the “War of the Wizards”, offering up and coming talent the chance to perform in two prestigious slight of hand competitions (under 18 and over 18). The winner from each category will walk away with the title of Edinburgh International Magic Festival Magician of the Year. Last year’s under 18 winner Liam Black (15) from Lochgelly in Fife, charmed the judges with his style and unique sense of humour to win the opportunity of being mentored for a year by the Festival director Kevin McMahon. This year Liam will return to MagicFest as a part of performance showcasing young up and coming magical talent from across Scotland.

Immerse yourself in the extraordinary world of mystery and illusion from the 1st to the 8th July and watch Edinburgh come alive with magic.