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Free spectacular to celebrate Milton Keynes’ city status

A free festival is being held in the heart of Milton Keynes this October, culminating in a spectacular public event on 8 October to celebrate Milton Keynes becoming a city.

The City of Codes & Light Festival has been organised by Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC) in partnership with local cultural institutions including Milton Keynes City Council, who has teamed up with MKIAC to present a memorable festival finale from 6pm on Saturday 8 October.

Everyone is invited to the city centre for a family-friendly evening of free live music, amazing performances, and a brilliant light display to mark Milton Keynes being named a city by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this year.

Kicking off on Tuesday 4 October, the wider festival promises to deliver a captivating blend of media, music and movement, with special light shows organised by award-winning visual projection companies at venues across MK including Bletchley Park.

The festival leads up to the grand finale, which includes:

  • Live music and performances on stage at Station Square – with a laser show providing the backdrop to thrilling music from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Ibiza Orchestra, and some further musical surprises yet to be announced.

  • A ‘digital light parade’ combining high-impact drumming with kaleidoscopic lighting design, where artists from two of the UK's most in-demand street theatre companies, Cirque Bijou and Worldbeaters, will lead spectators on a spellbinding parade starting at Church of Christ the Cornerstone (where people can first enjoy a projection by Limbic Cinema called ‘Radiance’) and ending at the Station Square main stage for the rest of the evening’s entertainment.

Anouar Kassim MBE, Founder and Director of MKIAC said, “Thanks to the Arts Council England and Milton Keynes Council, we can celebrate MK’s innovation and technological history as well as our newly acquired city status. This festival brings diverse communities together, so we are incredibly proud to have the responsibility of celebrating such a fantastic achievement. We cannot wait to welcome everyone to the multiple exciting events taking place throughout the first week of October and we would like to encourage all members of the community to join us. It promises to be a celebration like no other.”

Leader of Milton Keynes Council, Cllr Pete Marland, said, “In our bid for city status presented to Queen Elizabeth II, we described Milton Keynes as a ‘mosaic of communities united by a love of where we live’. This spectacular parade and light show will be an opportunity for everyone to unite in celebration of our becoming a city, and to enjoy a brilliant evening of free music and entertainment. The MKIAC have staged fantastic events in previous years, and we are working with them to create an even bigger festival finale as a special way to remember this historic year.”

In addition to cutting-edge 3D animation techniques on display throughout the week, showcasing the Islamic arabesque art form, other festival highlights include:

  • An environmental and wellbeing discussion at Milton Keynes College

  • An illuminating light projection at Bletchley Park

  • A concert at Church of Christ the Cornerstone by Aashiq Al-Rasul, a music ensemble delivering the fundamentals of tolerance and harmony through the universal language of rhythm and melody.

Read the full schedule for the City of Codes and Light Festival (4 - 8 October) at


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