IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2010

Wed 28 Apr 2010

Architects of Air - MirazozoCelebrating Milton Keynes’ unique architecture, the festival will take advantage of the landmarks, parks, boulevards, disused buildings and unusual locations of the city’s central area in an ambitious programme of performances and family-friendly events, both ticketed and free, which include new circus, theatre, dance, music, visual arts and sound installations. Locations currently include Station Square, Campbell Park, The Hub, The Point 
car park, the former Sainsbury’s superstore and the City Church.

Monica Ferguson, Festival Director:
“We’re extremely excited to announce the first elements of the ambitious programme for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival. We expect to attract in excess of 150,000 people across its ten days, presenting world class events and entertainment that will engage people in new ways and encourage them to see Milton Keynes in a different light.”

The Festival’s Creative Producer, Bill Gee:
“I was particularly interested by the vision of the city’s founders when Milton Keynes was built as a new town in the 1960s, a combination of engineered design and spiritual ethos, orientating the geometrically laid-out city around the lay-line on which the sun rises and sets each year on Midsummer’s day, giving Milton Keynes an incredible energy and unique landscape. IF: Milton Keynes presents an ambitious, innovative and unique programme inspired by the city and its origins.”

UK Premières will include the critically acclaimed InStallation – a Swiss collective of aerial and high wire artists, dancers, musicians and horses who will showcase this breathtaking theatrical performance in a Big Top in Campbell Park. Telling the story of a chance meeting of these extraordinary artists in a horse’s stable, a special universe unfolds both on the floor and in the air, with each scene heralding a new visual, artistic and musical world that comes together in a kaleidoscope of mesmerising artistry.

Architects of Air will unveil Mirazozo, a huge walk-in inflatable architectural structure (a luminarium) that immerses the visitor in sound, luminous light and vibrant colour. Located on Station Square, Mirazozo will create immediate impact for the visitor to Milton Keynes.

Producers of extraordinary live events Artichoke, in partnership with Sky Arts, will work their customary magic bringing a mysterious and fantastical new experience to the festival in another UK first.

With IF: Milton Keynes International Festival produced by The Stables (currently celebrating its 40th anniversary), there is a strong music and sound theme underpinning the festival. World acclaimed percussionist Evelyn Glennie will perform with New York-based guitarist Fred Frith in the UK première of Late Night Lounge, an improvised concert in the City Church. The late night concert will feature a light display projected onto the Church dome, so the audience are invited to enjoy the concert whilst lying down!

Sonic artist and this year’s artist-in-residence, Janek Schaefer, will create Asleep at the wheel . . ., his new commission for the festival. Constructed in the old Sainsbury’s superstore, this large-scale installation will feature several upended cars. Climbing into the cars, audiences will hear their radios mysteriously tuning in to Janek’s newly composed sound-work. Schaefer’s teenage years were spent in Milton Keynes and here he responds to the city and its connection to the car.

A Belgian mirrored Spiegeltent will be at the heart of Festival Central in Campbell Park and home to a live music, comedy and cabaret programme, with highlights including Karbido’s electrifying audio visual spectacle The Table, Adrian Edmondson and his folk-punk band The Bad Shepherds, festival favourites Bellowhead, and Perrier award-winning comedian Rich Hall.

The festival will open with The World Famous and Terrafolk’s Full Circle, taking family audiences on a journey through the seasons in a spectacular fusion of pyrotechnics, performance, music, lighting and projections and conclude with the World Picnic, a large-scale family picnic event in Campbell Park with free entertainment and performances.

Full programme details will be announced in May. For more information and updates visit the Festival website: www.ifmiltonkeynes.org.

IF: Milton Keynes is produced by The Stables in association with Milton Keynes Gallery and funded by Arts Council England. It is supported by Milton Keynes Council, Milton Keynes Partnership and Milton Keynes Economy and Learning Partnership in recognition of the role it will play in the future growth of the city. Sky Arts is the national media partner to the festival and will be filming a short documentary which will be available to watch on Sky Arts 1 / 2 HD and online at www.skyarts.co.uk during July and August.

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