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Don’t be fooled by the grey winter weather. Magic is everywhere in Melbourne in July – even in the dark.

For the first time, members of the blindness and low vision community can participate fully in the Melbourne Magic Festival thanks to Chilean magician Juan Esteban Varela and his incredible show, Magic in the Dark.

The event is designed specifically for people who are blind or have low vision. It’s a sensory thrill ride that’s held in a darkened theatre, and those with sight are blindfolded throughout Varela’s performance.

Melbourne Magic Festival artistic director Tim Ellis says the show is unique.

“It’s the only magic show that takes place in complete darkness. It was created by Juan Esteban Varela, who is the Chilean magician of the year, as a way that people who have low vision or are totally blind can experience magic for the first time,” Ellis says.

“He felt that a lot of people miss out on the wonder of magic, and he was adamant that it wasn’t restricted to just about vision. There are so many other senses that are involved I n experiencing magic.”

Varela’s magical mystery tour leads the audience to seats in the dark theatre, Ellis says.

“A little black box is strapped to their waist so they don’t lose it, and for the next 75 minutes they follow his instructions. He is also blindfolded. They open the box, they get to take things out and they get to experience magic. It’s a totally unique experience.”

Magic in the Dark’s premiere Australian performance is part of the Melbourne Magic Festival’s efforts to make magic more accessible and inclusive, Ellis says.

“Even though there is a very long line of very famous magicians who want to come and perform at the magic festival, we think some things are more important,” he says.

“Juan is very well known in his own country but he is not known around the world, but what he’s doing is totally unique, and something we felt was really important to Melbourne as part of our festival so that we can open our festival to a whole new audience.”

Magic in the Dark will be held at The Dark, 35 Johnston Street Collingwood, at 7.15pm from Tuesday 3 July to Saturday 7 July.

Tickets: $36 for adults, $31 for concession, $32 each for groups of 10+, and $100 for a family of four. To book, phone 1800 710 499 ($8 transaction fee) or go to


For a chance to win a double pass to Magic in the Dark, visit our Facebook page and simply tag who you would take to the show*.

Entries close at 12pm Wednesday 27 June 2018. Winners announced via Facebook at 6:30pm Thursday 28 June 2018.

Terms and conditions below.

*Competition entrants must be Melbourne residents and over 18 years of age. Entrants may enter only once. Competition to be drawn by Vision Australia based on entry details. Entries close at 12pm Wednesday 27 June 2018. Winner will be contacted via Facebook and entrant will need to provide full name and email for arrangements to be made to collect tickets.

Solicitation is not permitted outside/around the building or inside/at the venue. Unauthorised re-sale for cash or duplication of Complimentary Tickets (or attempt) is prohibited and the winning tickets can only be scanned once, and are protected from duplication.

Double pass (x2 Single tickets): The tickets are valid for one showing of Magic in the Dark from 3 – 7 July at 7.15pm. Each ticket is valued at $36AUD (total value $72AUD). Total: 5 Double passes to give away.

Tickets are invalid after the event has finished. Onus is on the winner to claim tickets and attend. Tickets are not transferable for events or to other people. All decisions are final.