Hello Summer – IF: Milton Keynes International Festival

Posted 26th June 2023

The biennial IF: Milton Keynes International Festival returns this July, with 10 days of colourful, unusual and exceptional events and performances.

Free events include The Place Between, which will explore the connection we have to our Earth, to each other, and our contribution to the cycle of life.

Artist Rebecca Louise Law creates immersive installations with natural materials, with preserved flowers frequently featured in her work. This installation – which can be viewed in Middleton Hall in centre:mk – also has soundscapes by Jason Singh.

Mechanical sandwriter Blom will draw on the streets, transforming bland pavements with
picture outlines – from a flowery carpet to a flock of little hearts. Small buckets filled with coloured sand will be placed close by, ready for you to add your own touch to the art work.

Get involved: July 21 – City Square, July 22 – Midsummer Place, July 23 – outside Door 18, centre:mk.

The fairground will reveal itself at Festival Central in Campbell Park (July 21-July 23) courtesy of Belgian theatre company De Machienerie present Carnivale, an interactive
‘fairground village’ with installations, curiosities, mechanical animals all fashioned from recycled materials – and you will operate it!

Disabled-led company Daryl & Co and Mimbre will present performances of Look Mum, No Hands! at the Milton Keynes Rose (July 29 12.30pm & 4pm and July 30 at 11am & 3pm).

The coming-of-age story about two friends testing their own boundaries is visually stunning with acrobatic shapes and unexpected choreography guaranteed to keep you gripped.

Belgian company Captain Bloomer will take you to a world of pastoral bliss when they take up residence at Fred Roche Gardens (July 21 & 22, 11am- 7pm), and July 23 at 10.30am – 5.30pm).

Pasture With Cows features real bovines and references the new city’s famous concrete moo-vers. The beautiful beasts will graze within an outsized gilt picture frame, inspired by Old Master paintings of livestock.

The Stables Spiegeltent in campbell park will be bustling with good things over the
course of the Festival, with plenty of the action tailored towards little folks; Comedy Club 4 Kids (July 29 at 2pm) will deliver some of the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the circuit who will play for an audience age six and up and their families. The only thing missing will be the rude bits, but the humour will be firmly intact! Organisers say ‘the show is family friendly, but without any patronising idiocy.’

On July 30, the Spiegeltent will welcome the family rave sensation Big Fish Little Fish who are tasking DJ Raks with the job of delivering an old skool drum and bass and jungle set
before the assembled.

Suitable for ages two and above, youngsters who need to break from the dancing can get
involved in the free craft activity and homemade play dough table while they store up some more energy.

If they are in the zone though, they can throw some shapes on the family-only multi-sensory dance floor which will be bursting with bubbles, balloons, snow foam and smoke rings. Fun for all and a sizzling soundtrack to boot.

Other IF goodies to get involved with include the Barely Methodical Troupe with Bromance, a five-star circus about camaraderie and affection (July 21-23), Ireland’s improvising musical comedian Abandoman (July 21) and the world-premiere of Forever?
which is a partnership between The Stables and Olney’s Cowper & Newton Museum.

The new work responds to the 250th anniversary of the famous hymn, Amazing Grace (July 22).

An Evening Without Kate Bush will be performed by Sarah-Louise Young (July 23) and Paul Young returns with Los Pacaminos (July 24) delivering the sounds of the Southwest.

More music comes from Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan (July 26), Turin Brakes (July
27) and Toyah Willcox & Robert Fripp (July 28) and the end of the festival party will be in
safe hands (July 30) with the Monster Ceilidh Band taking care of business.

Ten days, but with enough produce to fill a month! For the complete Festival listings visit