A key date in the UK’s cultural calendar is the biennial Manchester International Festival.
Launched in 2007, MIF prides itself in being “the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events”. Through an eclectic programme of events and performances held at venues across the city, MIF provides a dazzling showcase of creativity from around the world.
Past festival highlights
Every other year artists, musicians, architects and theatre companies at varying stages of their career are commissioned to make works specifically for MIF.
The festival has created some unforgettable moments; from Jeremy Deller’s 2009 project Procession, which included an ensemble of musicians and floats marching through Manchester, to Snoop Dogg’s 2011 comeback appearance at the city’s O2 Apollo concert venue.
2015’s festival was as vibrant and exciting as ever, and in the video at the top of this page you can watch highlights from MIF 2015 with cultural figures such as Blur's Damon Albarn and actress Maxine Peake giving their thoughts on what makes the festival so special.
The projects commissioned for MIF 2015 reflected the diverse nature of the creative vision for the festival. Highlights included wonder.land, a musical with stunning CGI elements co-created by Damon Albarn, and FlexN Manchester, a dance collective who performed to a sold-out auditorium at Old Granada studios. Introductions to both of these projects can be found in the videos below.
Looking ahead to MIF 2017
MIF is always looking to expand its horizons, and 2017’s festival brings with it some exciting innovations.
From What Is the City but the People? – a large-scale self-portrait of the city’s residents taken in Piccadilly Gardens – to What if Women Ruled the World, a theatre project reversing the male-dominated gender hierarchy of Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr Strangelove, the festival promises to continue pushing cultural and societal boundaries within and beyond Manchester.
Audience participation is integral to many of the MIF events, and last year the festival organisers launched My Festival, a creative community for the people of Manchester that enables them to easily participate in the various projects on offer.
Find out more about My Festival and MIF’s 2017 offering via the links below.