Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events and takes place biennially, in Manchester, UK. The Festival launched in 2007 as an artist-led, commissioning Festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.
Highlights of the first three Festivals include Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and Chen Shi-Zheng's Chinese opera Monkey: Journey to the West; group art event Il Tempo del Postino featuring work by Matthew Barney, Tacita Dean and Olafur Eliasson; Steve McQueen’s commemoration of fallen British soldiers, Queen and Country; Zaha Hadid Architects' new space for the music of Bach; Björk's three week Biophilia residency; director Robert Wilson's The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, starring Abramović, Willem Dafoe and Antony; and Punchdrunk’s Doctor Who adventure The Crash of The Elysium.
MIF13 included Kenneth Branagh’s acclaimed Macbeth, Maxine Peake’s impassioned recitation of Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy, thrilling live art from Tino Sehgal, and the iconoclastic film/gig hybrid Massive Attack v Adam Curtis. The xx performed in a secret space under Victoria Station and participatory group show do it 20 13 took over Manchester Art Gallery with works by more than 100 artists including Ai Weiwei, Sarah Lucas, Yoko Ono and Richard Wentworth, while the groundbreaking Biospheric Project saw an industrial space in Salford transformed into an experimental space for urban growing and design.
The Festival works with co-commissioning partners around the world to present new productions, and MIF shows travel to the Park Avenue Armory, New York, Ruhrtriennale in Germany, Teatro Real in Madrid, Art Basel and more. These partnerships not only help realise new commissions, but allow them to be experienced internationally, adding value to the generous support from Manchester City Council, Arts Council England and Salford City Council.
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