Embrace the adventure at the 2015 Edinburgh International Magic Festival

FREE PIC- Edinburgh Int Magic Fest Launch 05The sixth Edinburgh International Magic Festival transforms into a world of dreams – a hub for magic, illusion and wonder. Audiences are invited to embrace the adventure as some of the world’s most accomplished magicians take over Edinburgh’s Summerhall this summer from 26 June – 4 July 2015. 

MagicFest held at Summerhall for the first time, launching a brand new festival hub
Magic and Variety Gala Show moves to Festival Theatre, home of the Great Lafayette
New MagicFest Opening Night Party with live show tasters
New adult magic classes for first time this year
New late night ‘witching hour’ shows for adults only

This year Summerhall, Edinburgh’s ‘Art Laboratory’, is the new MagicFest hub creating an irresistible world of wonder and adventure with live shows, exhibitions, food, drink and doughnuts all at one magical campus.

Kevin McMahon, Artist Director of Edinburgh International Magic Festival, said: “We’ve dreamed of having MagicFest on one site since we started the festival back in 2010, so it’s incredibly exciting to takeover Summerhall for 8 days and pack it full of magic. Imagine entering a portal, and winding up somewhere where the normal rules don’t apply. It’s kinda like that but with drink and doughnuts.” for full listings and booking

Watching Over You with Karen Cargill

KAREN CARGILL PHOTO CREDIT K K DUNDASWatching Over You, the premiere of a new song cycle by Scottish composer Rory Boyle, setting a specially-written set of poems by Dilys Rose for Scottish Mezzo Soprano Karen Cargill and Red Note Ensemble. The seven songs tell, in honest first-person detail, of the joys and trials of early motherhood.

Based around the experience of first-time motherhood, it’s not intended as a through narrative but instead focuses on a series of different stages and situations, and their accompanying moods and emotions, that a new mother might experience at different points in her child’s development. These range from the realisation that your life is about to change irrevocably to post-natal blues, from the joy of holding a newborn baby in your arms to the crippling doubts and fears when nursing a sick child through the night, from singing a child to sleep to waving goodbye at the school gates.

19 – 20 May 7.30pm
Watching Over You with Karen Cargill
St Andrew’s in the Square, Glasgow and Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
Red Note Ensemble conducted by Jean-Claude Picard
Tickets £15 (£10 concession)

Box Office or call 0131 668 2019 or call 0141 559 5902

Photo credit KK Dundas


MagicFest on BBC Scotland’s On The Road with Fred MacAulay

The brand-new weekly magazine programme On The Road 2014 is a showcase of Scotland and looks at events and activities across the length and breadth of the country, reflecting what the nation is talking about in the year of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Homecoming Scotland.

VJP Media clients MagicFest featured on Monday’s show (23 June) on BBC One Scotland. Artistic Director Kevin McMahon spoke to the lovely Fred MacAulay about this year’s Edinburgh International Magic Festival and taught him a few tricks! 

If you missed it check out:

Value of Business Tourism in Scotland

SEFA-300x110Value of Business Tourism in Edinburgh and Scotland
Thursday 8 May, 6.00pm at EICC, Edinburgh, Lomond Suite.  

Business events and tourism make up about 80% of the Scottish events and festivals industry. Join us on 8 May to hear from John Donnelly, Chief Executive Marketing Edinburgh and Hans Rissman, Chief Executive EICC, on what constitutes a business event, why they are important, industry misconceptions and the value to the sector. 
Time: 18:00 registration. 18:30 start presentations followed by drinks reception, with around a 7.30 – 8.00pm finish. Free to the first 120 members to register, £10 for additional members and non-members. 
Members will be contacted directly by us to arrange ticketing on a first come first serve basis.

The link for paid tickets and event information –

sound Festival & Red Note commission set for first ever UK New Music Biennale

Red Note GCThe partnership between sound, Scotland’s leading New Music festival, Woodend Barn and the acclaimed Red Note Ensemble continues in a new commission from composer Stephen Montague, which is to be part of the UK’s first ever New Music Biennale.

Montague will write a new children’s work for 6 musicians and narrator based on tales sent in by children from different countries across the Commonwealth, which will be rewritten by award-winning playwright Zinnie Harris. The work will be premiered at Woodend Barn in Banchory (Aberdeenshire) in June 2014, followed by further performances at the South Bank Centre in London and in Glasgow as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations.

The work will also be broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and recorded by NMC Records. The children’s stories will be sourced through one of Scotland’s major development charities, SCIAF’s, international partners. The commission was one of twenty announced by the PRS for Music Foundation at London’s South Bank Centre.

Scotland’s events and festivals industry formally given a voice

SEFA-300x110A new trade organisation, the Scottish Events & Festivals Association (SEFA), formally launches on 16 May. 

Pledging to provide leadership and representation for the organisers, promoters and suppliers involved in the £5.6 billion* events and tourism industry in Scotland.

With the tourism and events industry identified as a core component of the Scottish Governments economic strategy, SEFA will act as an advocate for its members, ensuring that their views are heard on key issues and policy impacting the industry. A key aim of SEFA will be to facilitate the safe and successful delivery of events and to provide a sustainable platform for businesses.

For further information, and to register interest in joining SEFA, please visit

Catch the Magic

FREE PIC- Edinburgh Magic Fest 06As the fourth Edinburgh International Magic Festival casts its spell across the Capital, from 28 June – 5 July 2013, audiences are invited to immerse themselves in the surreal magical world between fact and fiction.

Breath-taking illusions and awe inspiring magic from performers across Europe and as far afield as Australia will once again take you to the fun fringes of reality. Classic meets close-up, mindreading defies illusion, cabaret clashes with comedy and levitation renders the impossible possible.

The Magic and Variety Gala Show transforms the beautiful Royal Lyceum Theatre into world of unreality where the finest award winning magicians from around the world are joined by a dragon, a dule of doves and the world’s first magic performing Chihuahua! The Great Lafayette Award makes its third appearance; this year’s recipient is anyone’s guess in what bodes to be a superb evening of contemporary, cutting edge magic.

For more information and to book your tickets visit

Red Note Ensemble Spring Programme

13 Feb New Music for Strings side-by-side with RCS MusicLab, 7:30pm Music by Part, Adams, McPherson, Munday and Le Lohé

14-16 Feb Red Note and JAM (1) Music for Choir, Organ and Brass in St Andrews, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, all 7:30pm Music by Britten, Rory Boyle, Philip Cooke, Kenneth Leighton and Julian Philips

19-20 Feb Red Note and JAM (2) Music for Voices, Organ and Strings in Glasgow and Edinburgh, all 8pm Music by Pergolesi and Judith Bingham.

25 Feb Noisy Night No. 21 in the Traverse Theatre, 8pm: music for Trumpet, Flute and ‘Cello

6-8 Mar Pictures at an Exhibition Workshops for Primary Schools in Association with Peacock Visual Arts in the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

9 Mar Noisy Night No. 22 in the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, 8pm: more music for Trumpet, Flute and ‘Cello!

All information on all of these is to be found on; composers should consult for the line-ups and deadlines for the two Noisy Nights (Aberdeen and Aberdeen-area composers are especially encouraged to submit for the Lemon Tree performance).

Four Scottish Premieres from Red Note and JAM

Red Note and JAM are collaborating to give four premieres across Scotland 14-20 February in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St. Andrews.

JAM’s Scottish choral performances feature the united throng of University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, St Andrews University Chapel Choir and Edinburgh University Chamber Choir accompanied by Red Note, Tom Wilkinson (organ) and feature Andrew Dickinson (tenor), conducted by Michael Bawtree.

JAM will give the world premiere of its choral commission from Phillip Cooke, who in January takes up residency at Aberdeen University.

The tour also features Scottish premieres of works by Judith Bingham and Julian Philips. The Hythe by Bingham, written for 11 strings, was commissioned by JAM this summer in celebration of her 60th birthday as a partner piece to her Jacob’s Ladder.

Leading light on the Scottish composition scene Rory Boyle’s stunning Tallis’s Light will also feature in the programme.

Tickets now available via or 0800 988 7984

End of the World (for one night only)

End of the World (for one night only) is one-off, site-specific music-and-theatre piece about the predicted apocalypse on 21 December, for an audience of only 100 people who will travel around the amazing spaces inside Summerhall.  

Featuring music by Gareth Williams, John Harris, Hanna Tuulikki, Colin Broom and Ludwig van Beethoven, writer Oliver Emmanuel has interwoven the stories of four everyday people living their lives in Edinburgh, on the last day of the world. There’s a man who remembers everything and wants to die, a silent PhD student who is in love with a librarian, a musician trying to finish his third symphony and a Golden Eagle who wants to be a human. 

Most productions about the end of the world tend to be grand and epic and set in New York. This is intimate and fluid and set in Edinburgh. Directed by Andy Arnold, four string players (Jackie Shave violin, Tom Hankey violin, Louise Williams viola and Robert Irvine cello) are joined by the eerie sound of the musical saw from Abi Vulliamy and the wonderful young soprano Marie Claire Breen (who sang in Red Note’s Tantallon! These Lands, This Wall spectacular in September).

The music, in all kinds of different styles, will express the things you can’t say about the world ending; lost loves, last words, hope, peace, despair, pride, loss and acceptance…