Sparks will fly at Xscape festival finale

Banbury Cake: Hip hop and urban pop star Alonestar has top billing for Saturday Hip hop and urban pop star Alonestar has top billing for Saturday

Imagine all the elements of your fantasy family festival. Headline live music acts? Check. Skate parks and fashion shows? Check. Circus performers, pyrotechnics, talking trees and a bouncy Stone Henge..? Check!

And not only is the weather lined up to be a scorcher, the sizzling line-up is a mere hop away in Milton Keynes.

Xscape, in Marlborough Gate, presents The Big Summer Blow Out on Saturday which organisers plan will be bigger and better than ever. The family fun runs from noon to midnight and will be headlined by award-winning artist Alonestar, AKA Jethro Sheeran (cousin of Ed with whom he collaborated on hit You Need Me, I Don’t Need You).

Recent winner of two Exposure music awards for best male artist and best uban song, Alonestar says he is looking forward to fusing hip hop and urban pop for an electrifying set. Blow Out also features (deep breath) The Wondersmiths Band, Ben Whyman, Scott Finley, Lifford from The Artful Dodger, Sam Jenkins ft Limitless, the Rock Chorus show choir, Milton Keynes Cheerleading Academy and Limitless and Allstars Squad from MKCA. The day also promises to keep tots entertained with a kids play area, caricaturist, candy floss...and a bar for the adults and lots more intoxication. Xscape’s Blow Out ties in with the wonderfully packaged Milton Keynes International Festival (IF) which runs until this Sunday and is a sensory overload – named one of the country’s top festivals in The Sunday Times. And no wonder, with the same artistic team that created the smash 2010 IF event including Bill Gee scheduling 10 days of “world-class multi-arts”.

Wired Aerial Theatre presents As The World Tipped on Wednesday and Thursday at 9.45pm. The show features epic and ambitious outdoor visuals with characters dangling from buildings and screen installations. Think Man On Wire feats coupled with Olympic levels of showmanship. Fanning the flames of imagination will be a guest finale show from Deabru Beltzak’s Les Tambours de Feu on Saturday and Sunday night – a spectacular pyrotechnic drumming show. Hailing from the Basque region of Spain, these fiery drummers unleash the devilish inhabitants of a witches’ coven into Central Milton Keynes.

Then the adrenaline continues at Xscape, which will open its Blow Out Skate Park from noon to 8pm daily on the front piazza from August 6-26. The park includes quarter pipes, ramps, driveways, flatbanks and a half-pipe and promises events for skateboarders, BMX riders and scooters. There’s also a dedicated beginners’ area and a coach so, if you’ve never skated before, you can learn how the pros do it.

There will be loads of prizes to be won over the weekend too.

For full details of what’s on over the summer, check out xscape.co.uk . For IF, visit ifmiltonkeynes.org

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