MagicFest will cast its spell over Edinburgh this weekend as the festival returns with its biggest ever week-long programme of events and shows, from 30th June – 8th July.

MagicFest opens with the return of MagicFair at Summerhall after a sell-out launch last year. Best described as a three-day ‘Magic Theme Park’, 30th June – 2nd July, one ticket gives festivalgoers access to over 80 live magic shows and 20 of the world’s greatest illusionists across Family Morning (kids), Alchemy Afternoon (all ages) and Lates (adults) sessions plus drop-in events, Magic Quests, street food, pop-up bars, the Ribbon Maze and spontaneous entertainment in the courtyard.

The opening weekend also sees the UK debut of ‘From the Dark’ by Juan Esteban Varela, Sunday 8th July  – the only illusion show in the world performed in complete darkness. Originally designed for the blind after 10 years of research, From the Dark has been carefully adapted so both sighted and non-sighted MagicFest visitors can experience magic in an innovative and fun way. The audience will experience illusions without actually seeing them; instead their other senses and imagination will be stimulated to create ‘illusions in their mind’. Organisers are billing the show as magic as never ‘seen’ before.

The magic festivities then continue with ‘The Secret Room’, 3rd – 7th July. Part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, MagicFest has partnered with Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, Edinburgh Museums & Galleries and Edinburgh World Heritage to expand sell-out show from four to twenty shows. Secret-seekers can discover the hidden passageways and clandestine chambers of Lauriston Castle, Riddles Court and The Writers’ Museum as magicians animate their dark history and unsolved mysteries with captivating magic-filled tours.

MagicFest comes to its ‘spectacular grand finale’ with the ‘Levitations’ themed MagicFest Gala Show at Festival Theatre Edinburgh on Saturday 8th July. The greatest illusionists and circus acts from around the world will come together to perform a 2.5 hour visually stunning flight of fancy as they defy the laws of gravity and float, fly and soar through the air.