'World class' 21-day festival is announced for Milton Keynes this summer
MK's grand International Festival will go ahead in July and has extended its dates to 21 days.
The festival, known as IF, is organised every two years and had to be cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
It is produced by The Stables, who describe it as "a world-class, multi-arts programme" which includes large-scale and family activities, both indoors and outdoors, as well as concerts, theatre, dance and music events.
This year IF, which is presented in association with centre:mk, has extended its run from 10 to 21 days, starting on July 10 and finishing on July 30.
The festival will take place in locations across Milton Keynes including parks, public squares, commercial and retail spaces.
Creating unique and memorable experiences, it is designed to encourage residents and visitors to see a different side to Milton Keynes.
It is supported by Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council, and also raises funds through trusts and foundations and partnerships with individuals and businesses.
This year there will be with a focus on work by UK-based artists. There will be outdoor, free and family events, site-specific performances and installations, pop-ups and digital work - including a series of ‘virtually live’ concerts.
Organisers say the longer festival gives audiences the opportunity to "engage more deeply" with the programme on offer, whether they are visiting events in-person or experiencing the IF online through talks, concerts, debates and behind-the-scenes sharings.
Monica Ferguson, festival director said: “After the disappointment of cancelling the 2020 Festival, we are grateful for the support from Arts Council England, Milton Keynes Council, and the Department for Culture Media & Sport which has enabled us to plan a special edition of the Festival this year.
"We are taking the opportunity to shine a spotlight on exceptional British artists, and to highlight the unique Milton Keynes urban landscape, architecture and parklands. The extension of the Festival over 21 days for 2021 will give everyone more time and space to explore the programme, reflect on an extraordinary year and look forward with hope.
"None of this would have been possible without all the many businesses, trusts, foundations and individuals who have helped along the way including centre:mk, My Milton Keynes, The Parks Trust, MK Community Foundation and The Open University.”