City of Light

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The 'City of Light' festival in Milton Keynes was a free festival which was a celebration of Milton Keynes's rich technology and communications heritage, the city's diverse and engaged community and unique artistic cultural activities inspired by geometric patterns from the Islamic world.

Over 6,000 people enjoyed workshops, seminars and unique cultural performances across the weekend featuring a combination of art, science and technology. The festival's main event wowed the audience with an impressive parade of light that included live music and performances by Dundu and Worldbeaters and Seb Lee-Delisle's Laser Light City that was visible right across the city.

MKIAC founding director and CEO Anouar Kassim, said: 'The City of Light Festival brought such enthusiasm to Milton Keynes. It was fantastic to see diverse communities, young and old, participating inthe experience together. It was a true celebration of arts and culture.'

You can watch some of the best bits from the festival here.


MKIAC presents the ‘City of Light' festival from 6th - 10th October 2021 in Milton Keynes. We want to bring our diverse communities together to celebrate the intersection of art, science and technology. Building on the success of  the Codemakers Digital Light 2019/20 project, get ready for light projection, community performances and workshops at Bletchley Park, MK College, MK Innovates and Station Square. Join us as we light up Milton Keynes!


6th October 

'Using technology to amplify diverse cultural narratives'

Event: Panel Discussion

Date: 6th October

Time: 11 am - 2 pm

Location: Bletchley Park

Register to attend: https ://

About the event:

How can technology be used to democratise the cultural sector and its subsequent impact on wider society? In this emerging and exciting intersection between culture and technology, we dive into the opportunities that exist to involve new perspectives and audiences as well as the barriers that are there for diverse communities to be involved. Discussing tangible ways to overcome these issues is central to the discussion. 

7th October, 2021

Creativity to tackle the Climate Crisis 

Event: Panel Discussion

Date: 7th October

Time: 11am - 2pm

Location: MK College, Chaffron Way


About the event:

This panel includes important voices that are vital as we step up to the challenge of climate change. We are bringing together local changemakers from the business and technology communities, educators, grassroots campaigners, students and members of the arts and culture sector to discuss the need for creativity in our response to the urgent challenges we are facing and are soon to face. Creative solutions can fuel change, be it an art installation to change public opinion, new technologies to replace or optimise fossil fuels usage and minimise wastage or slogans to catch our attention. We ask our panellists; can creative solutions in all industries build connection to the climate change crisis? How can it help shape local action? And how technology can amplify our creative ideas in the future.   

Art and Technology

[Photo Sarah Hickson]

8th and 9th October, 2021

MK Innovates STEM Festival 

Event: Come and visit our stand at the festival to take part in art and science workshops!

Date: 8th and 9th October, 2021

Time: 10 am - 4 pm 

Location: Midsummer Hall

Come and visit us at our stall at MK Innovates STEM festival, where you can learn all about the Islamic origins of sciences and maths concepts and understand their practical applications today! Find out why creative thinking is so important for all future careers, and especially in STEM. 

Explore shape and space with us as we ask the tough questions; which platonic solids are the  easiest to build? Which are the most difficult and why? Can you construct a trussed bridge structure? What is the tallest structure you are able to build? Can you build a dome using geodesic principles?

For younger children, we have an activity introducing them to Tehzip, which is a traditional art form from Turkey. Our artist-facilitator, will explain the significance, history, mathematical concept and then let participants fill their designs related to Turkish Tehzip traditions.

For more information, visit:

9th October

The highlight of our festival! 

Event: A parade show with music and dance, followed by community concerts and a laser light show!

Date: 9th October from 6.30 pm

Time: 6.30 pm - 10.30 pm 


6.30 pm - Meet at Midsummer Place for parade show (entrance closest to Midsummer Blvd near former GAP shop) for parade show

7.30 pm onwards - MK Central Station Square

A 50–60-minute dusk parade show bringing together two of Europe's most in-demand outdoor arts companies: southern Germany's Dundu and the north of England's Worldbeaters. The parade will start at Midsummer Place for one mile, down Midsummer Avenue, to the Hub, and then onto to MK Station. This will be accompanied by African-style drumming from World Beaters, a Kora player and a Bhangra Performance by Eternal Taal.

Following speeches from dignitaries on the stage at the station, we will have large LCD screens, showing digital light projections, which have been designed through artist-led, community workshops. 

Then, join in this one-of-a-kind interactive laser show across the Milton Keynes skyline on the nights of October 9th and 10th.

The show is in YOUR hands. For the first time MK residents will have the chance to control powerful lasers which can be seen for miles across the night sky. Play with colours and patterns with lasers via your smartphone.

Laser ight City has been designed by BAFTA award-winning artist Seb Lee-Delisle. It has been commissioned by MKIAC as part of their City of Light Festival.

It's FREE to take part and check out here how you can control the lasers:


[Photo Sarah Hickson]

10th October, 2021

Event: Community concerts and a laser light show!

Date: 10th October

Time: 6 pm onwards

Location: MK Central Station Square

From 6 pm, we will have the Eternal Taal Bhangra group, the Fusion of Caribbean Steel Drum Band and more! As soon as it is dark, Seb Lee-Delisle's Laser Light City will be available again for MK citizens to enjoy until 9.30 pm. It's FREE to take part and check out here how you can control the lasers:

Laser Light Show

Seb Lee-Delisle Laser Light City [photo Tony Lee-Delisle]


Q: What are the COVID regulations for this event?
A: We will be following the latest government guidelines for the particular events

Q: Are the events free?

A: Everything is free to attend and everyone is welcome! For the panel discussions on the 6th and 7th, we ask you to register in advance on Eventbrite, otherwise, you can just turn up!

Q: Are children allowed
A: Absolutely! On the 8th and 9th at MK Innovates, we have specially designed activities for children. On the 9th October, the parade and light spectacles will be loved by children and adults alike. 

Questions? Mail us at