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Arts festival aims to ‘reflect on an extraordinary year and look forward with hope’

THE WORK of UK-based artists will be the focus of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, the city’s biennial arts festival.

Having had to cancel last year due to the pandemic, IF organisers have announced this year’s dates and extended the event from ten days to three weeks in July.

The festival returns to the city centre’s parks and green spaces, public squares and retail spaces, as well as online, with a programme of new commissions, outdoor, free and family events, site-specific performances and installations, pop-ups and digital work including a series of ‘virtually live’ concerts.

Monica Ferguson

Backing from Arts Council England, Milton Keynes Council and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport has enabled the organisers to plan a longer festival this year.

It will give audiences the opportunity to engage more deeply with the programme on offer, whether they are visiting events in person or experiencing the Festival online through talks, concerts, debates and behind-the-scenes sharings, said festival director Monica Ferguson.

She added: “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.”

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival is produced by The Stables and presented in association with centre:mk. Businesses, trusts, foundations and individuals are supporting the festival, including  MyMiltonKeynes Business Improvement District, The Parks Trust, Milton KeynesCommunity Foundation and The Open University. 

Find out more at ifmiltonkeynes.org.

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