News release: 15 May 2024

International recognition for IF: Milton Keynes
International Festival announced

  • awarded the EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) label for 2024/2025
  • shortlisted for the Pineapple Awards for placemaking and place-led initiatives for 2023 commission The Place Between

Following 2023’s successful edition of IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, it has been honoured with the EFFE Label 2024/2025, recognising IF as one of Europe’s most remarkable festivals. This is the second time the Festival has secured this prestigious accolade.

Initiated by the European Festivals Association and funded by the European Union, EFFE is the label highlighting remarkable festivals across Europe which are committed to the arts, their communities and Europe and connecting them with international audiences. It is designed to embrace Europe as an idea of community, reciprocal understanding and responsibility.

Festivals must demonstrate delivery of a minimum of seven out of ten quality standards including: assessment of the programme; new commissions and artist residencies; opportunities for emerging artists; local community engagement, access, inclusion and diversity; sustainability; intercultural experiences; innovation; and deepening engagement with educational activity.

The biennial IF: Milton Keynes International Festival was first recognised with the EFFE label following the 2016 Festival. The International Jury was chaired by former director of Edinburgh International Festival, Sir Jonathan Mills, who said: “The Festival has grown its artistic programme to embrace its local infrastructure, landscape and communities to extend its ambition and relevance to international issues and embrace innovative artistic engagement.”

Recipients of the EFFE Label 2024/2025 are now featured in the online European festivals calendar which offers audiences worldwide a window to Europe’s vibrant cultural scene.

Further recognition this spring is the shortlisting for a Pineapple Award for one of the Festival’s major 2023 co-commissions with its headline sponsor centre:mk - The Place Between by Rebecca Louise Law with soundscapes by Jason Singh.  The Pineapple Awards are the only awards that celebrate the very best in placemaking and place-led initiatives. With an exciting programme and a commitment to recognising projects that make a positive social, environmental and economic impact, they celebrate places that contribute to urban life and encourage people to live, work, dwell or play. The winner of the award will be announced in London on 16 May.

Kevin Duffy, Centre Director of centre:mk, said: “We have been working with IF: Milton Keynes International Festival since its inception and our recent collaboration on The Place Between commission perfectly illustrates how a highly successful retail destination like centre:mk can have a role to play in delivering unique experiences which challenge what we expect of our immediate environment. It is hugely rewarding as Headline Partner for the Festival to have this recognition of our shared vision to ensure art and culture is truly for everyone.”

Milton Keynes Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Sustainability and Innovation, Cllr Shanika Mahendran said: “We’re really proud to be part of the International Festival which brings together so many different communities across our city. It’s no surprise that the Festival has received this accolade given last year’s exemplary programme. My thanks go out to the all of the partners involved and this achievement is a recognition of their hard work in delivering a truly remarkable experience.”

Festival Director Monica Ferguson said: “It is fantastic to be recognised for the amazing work which the Festival team and artists deliver.  We are busy developing plans for the next Festival which will take place from 18 to 27 July 2025 and there is still an opportunity for local businesses and other organisations to co-commission projects and sponsor the Festival.  To find out more check out our website at or contact”