Yes, I attended the weekday festival and the weekend convention and found it exhausting but very worthwhile.
Spanish magicians Woody Aragon and Juan Tamariz dominated proceedings with their highly entertaining lectures and mystifying evening shows.
Americans Rick Merrill and Steve Bargatze produced classic moments of comedy - their psychic blindfold routine was hilarious.
Michael Vine, Derren Brown's eccentric manager, won me over with his rambling confessional anecdotes.
Rob James evening show was cleverly constructed, but he hit a sticky spot while performing Mark Elsdon's Inevitable.
In the original routine, the coincidence effect is supposed to be 15 million to one against! Robs chosen spectator happened to be a statistician who could instantly see through these dubious probabilities. (Ha, I wonder what the odds are of choosing a statistician as a spectator?)
While on the subject of coincidences, Will Houstons final trick was quite stunning. Despite half the deck being shuffled by the spectator, the two halves ended up with matching cards. Or so it seemed!
Will also showed us how the Charlier cut was originally used as a deceptive pass.
French performer Vincent Hedan demonstrated an impossible card trick. He turns his back. The spectator removes any of 52 different cards from a shuffled deck that has been ribbon spread face down. He hides it in the ungimmicked card case, then closes the spread and cuts the deck. Despite these constraints,
Vincent quickly identifies the random selection.
Arthur Benjamin's rapid calculation math magic might seem corny and daft, but even a jaded cynic like me found it impressive. He looked like John Denver though which unnerved me.
Joe Atmore gave a very confident presentation of Dunninger's radio show. A bonus was the presence of Sophie Alderton who played 'Ace' in Doctor Who - the coolest of his time travelling companions.
Eric Mead seemed a bit frustrated with his audience. Maybe his approach was too cerebral? Nevertheless, I liked his thoughts on manipulating the spectator into finding the four aces.
Jeff McBride also excelled in various guises - his baby gag was the funniest stunt of the week!
I must mention the exceptional late night performance by the gifted psychic Ian D Montfort who conversed with the dead, the undead and the 'about to be dead'.
Randi, that tight-fisted skeptic, might as well pay up his $1m now, as it was clear evidence that the afterlife exists. And that psychic powers are real and relevant.
Ians paradigmatic work defies easy classification, but manages to combine the abilities of a shaman, a pathfinder, and an occult master.
Ian exemplifies that great line of Bob Dylan from Infidels: Ive made shoes for everyone, even you, while I still go barefoot.
And, finally, Bergatze (or was it Merrill?) did a cruel impersonation of Whitney Houston which was very funny. I had to clear my throat afterwards, such was the emotion.