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Manchester International Festival



Music, Theatre, Dance and Visual Arts


About us

We bring together artists from different art forms and backgrounds to create dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking new work, which we stage in a rich tapestry of venues across Greater Manchester – from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks. We work closely with venues, festivals and other cultural organisations around the world, whose financial and creative input helps to make many of our projects possible and guarantees that they have a life after each Festival has ended.

We work widely within communities around Manchester with My Festival, MIF’s creative community. My Festival is a diverse network of creative people who are forging closer connections with MIF – taking part in public projects, connecting the Festival to their communities, and joining our programmes of training activities, workshops and other special events.

MIF launched in 2007 as an artist-led festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture. We’ve commissioned, produced and presented world premieres by artists as diverse as Björk, Steve McQueen, Robert Wilson, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Jeremy Deller, Wayne McGregor, Maxine Peake, Boris Charmatz, The xx, Zaha Hadid Architects, Thomas Ostermeier, Damon Albarn, Punchdrunk, Elbow and Marina Abramović, among many others. Learn more about our previous events.

MIF’s Artistic Director & Chief Executive is John McGrath. John was previously the Founding Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales, where he won an international reputation for large-scale site-specific works, digital innovation, international collaboration and extraordinary community involvement. John replaced Alex Poots, MIF’s founding Artistic Director, who is now setting up a new cultural centre in New York.


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