More details released for 'Feast of Fire' celebration
IF: Milton Keynes International Festival has announced Feast of Fire, the official free event for MK50, the year-long 50th birthday celebrations for Milton Keynes, one of the UK’s most iconic locations. On Saturday 21 October, the city streets will be lit up by fire, pyrotechnics and fireworks with specially commissioned fire sculptures, live music, performances and The People’s Procession.
Commissioned by City Club and produced by IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, Feast of Fire is being created especially for the city by outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank, working in close collaboration with participating artists and the people of Milton Keynes.
Feast of Fire opens with Walk the Plank’s Spellbound, a beautiful large-scale family show which tells the story of Rama and Sita through shadow play punctuated by fire and special effects to mark Diwali, the festival of lights. Carrying flaming torches in The People’s Procession, 250 citizens of all ages and backgrounds from Milton Keynes’ diverse communities will then lead audiences through a traffic-free Midsummer Boulevard (East) where fire sculptures and performances will light up the cityscape. Milton Keynes’ iconic black porte cochère street structures will be transformed by artists including French sculptor Denis Tricot and sonic artist Dan Fox.
The evening ends with a joyous party in The Point Car Park where live band Mr Wilson’s Second Liners play infectious dance tunes in a New Orleans jazz style on a fiery stage followed by a DJ performing against a backdrop of fire drawings created by young people. The flaming finale and fireworks brings the event to a spectacular close - leaving Milton Keynes, its residents and visitors looking forward to the next 50 years.
Liz Pugh, Co-Director of Walk the Plank said: “Walk the Plank is delighted to be creating Feast of Fire. Inspired by Milton Keynes’ planner and architect Derek Walker’s original idea to ‘lose the city in a recreated forest’, we’ve chosen to 'grow’ fiery artworks out of the very fabric of the city - its boulevards, carparks and underpasses. Our creative team and pyrotechnic wizards have joined together with international and locally-based artists, young people and volunteers to animate and transform the very heart of Milton Keynes.”
Anthony Spira, Director of MK Gallery and City Club said: “City Club is an inspiring programme of new art, performances, family activities, happenings and talks inspired by the original vision for Milton Keynes. The development of Milton Keynes in the ‘60s and ‘70s was characterised by wonderful creative collaborations and we are proud to continue this legacy of partnership through Feast of Fire, working with the International Festival and Walk the Plank to deliver this celebratory and ambitious finale for MK50.”
Monica Ferguson, Director of the International Festival said: “Feast of Fire is designed to be a fabulous free party to celebrate Milton Keynes at 50. We are pleased to be able to play our part in bringing people together to mark this occasion and are grateful to the many organisations, sponsors, trusts and foundations who are supporting the event.”
Feast of Fire is sponsored by Gallagher Estates, IDI Gazeley, centre:mk and intu Milton Keynes, and supported by Arts Council England, Milton Keynes Council, Rothschild Foundation, MK Community Foundation, Performing Right Society for Music Foundation and MK Dons Sports & Education Trust.
Feast of Fire has been created for MK50 and City Club by Walk the Plank working with IF: Milton Keynes International Festival and The Stables.
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