IF: Milton Keynes International Festival is back! - Destination Milton Keynes
IF: Milton Keynes International Festival is back!

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival is back!

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival has announced the first events in its 2023 programme. For ten days from 21 to 30 July, audiences will be treated to live music, large-scale outdoor events, circus shows, comedy, cabaret, installations and free family activities.

A major highlight of this year’s Festival is the world premiere of a new work for voice and chamber ensemble with music by the renowned composer Roderick Williams and text by celebrated poet Rommi Smith. A contemporary response to the globally renowned hymn Amazing Grace, Forever? is commissioned by the Cowper & Newton Museum, Olney with The Stables, and is part of Amazing Grace 250, a year-long programme of activity led by the Museum to mark 250 years since the hymn was written by John Newton in the nearby market town of Olney. The premiere will be performed by the Chineke! Chamber Ensemble, part of Europe’s first majority-Black and ethnically diverse orchestra, on 22 July at The Stables.

The beautiful Spiegeltent in Campbell Park is, as ever, a focal point of the Festival and the perfect setting for live music, comedy, contemporary circus and late-night cabaret.

First up in the tent this year is Barely Methodical Troupe’s award-winning show Bromance from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 July. Audacious, touching and exhilarating, this is a show about trust, intimacy and male friendships with jaw-dropping acrobatics, eye-watering feats of hand-to-hand balancing and a breathtaking Cyr wheel routine, all set to a cool soundtrack of original and found sounds.

Nick Cope has been writing and performing his beautiful and unique songs for children and their families to sell-out audiences all over the country for more than 10 years. The Nick Cope Family Concert makes its Festival debut on Saturday 22 July.

On Tuesday 25 July comes the latest show from comedian Suzi Ruffell. Snappy is all about settling down, becoming a mother – and worrying about everything.

Turin Brakes’ Festival performance on Thursday 27 July is part of a nationwide tour marking the release of the band’s ninth studio album, Wide-Eyed Nowhere.

Music legends (and husband and wife) Toyah Willcox and Robert Fripp are performing a joyful and upbeat set of hits and much-loved rock classics with a full band on Friday 28 July.

Festival favourite La Voix aka Britain’s Funniest Redhead is swinging into town on Saturday 29 July with her most ambitious show yet. Expect huge vocals, a live band and side-splitting comedy.

The nightclub-influenced Monster Ceilidh Band push the boundaries of contemporary folk in all the right directions. They will be unleashing their infectious blend of folk and drum & bass to provide the soundtrack for a Festival Wrap Party on Sunday 30 July.

Large-scale outdoor night-time spectaculars are a trademark of the Festival. On Friday 28 July in central Milton Keynes, there will be a rare opportunity to experience the magical Place des Anges created and performed by leading French theatre company Gratte Ciel. This exceptional show has only been seen twice before in the UK, at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and Hull UK Capital of Culture in 2016.

As night falls across the city, angels begin to appear, high up in the sky. They move through the air, magically suspended above the crowd below. The angels start to glide down into the audience, releasing white feathers which float across the sky. Each angel has their own unique character and style and as their aerial antics become more boisterous, the clouds of feathers thicken, creating a sense of awe and wonder.

Book tickets on the IF: Milton Keynes International Festival website.