IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2014 – The Introduction

This wonderful festival takes place in Milton Keynes every two years. It started in 2010, so it’s not been running for a huge amount of time, and yet it is achieving spectacular results! I was fortunate enough to be involved in 2012 when I stumbled across the volunteer shout out and thought what the heck? I might as well give it a go.

Best. Decision. Ever.

The catch line is 10 Amazing Days and I can tell you they spoke the truth. I was lucky enough to be a steward on several different projects, performances and installations. The one I spent the most time on was The Boat Project, part of the 2012 cultural olympiad. This was a boat, named Collective Spirit, built of of memories. People from across the country, including Milton Keynes, have donated wooden objects and every piece had been used in some way in the boat. It was incredible and the crew and the stories they told were inspirational. I had caught the festival bug and I wasn’t letting go.

Fast forward 2 years and I was suddenly working on the festival having joined The Stables, who produce the festival, as their Marketing Intern.

Milton Keynes International Festival just keeps going from strength to strength, and the range of events on offer this year was incredibly special. From the beautiful dance sequence of Under The Vaulted Sky, to the eerie beds of The Lock Shift Songs, to the wonderful acts livening up the evenings in the Spiegeltent, everything seemed to buzz with energy.

I was very fortunate in that I was able to see so many of the artists and projects throughout the 10 days, and now that the summer is over and my internship is creeping closer to it’s end, I’d like to reflect on the festival and share some of my favourite moments with you guys. So that’s what I’m going to go. Over the next 2 or 3 days (depending on how much I rant and rave about things) I hope I can share with you some of the magic of the festival.

From volunteering on the festival 2 years ago, to working on it this time, I have learnt so much and been so inspired. I would urge everyone to take an hour or so out of their schedules and research your local areas for arts events going on and get involved. It can be so rewarding and you never know what will crop up or what it will lead to. You won’t regret it.


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