About Us

Manchester International Festival
‘Manchester is probably the most radical and important arts festival today.’

The New Yorker, July 2013

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 next Festival, MIF15, will take place from 2 - 19 July 2015. For updates on MIF, including any announcements for MIF15, sign up to our e-newsletter here, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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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MIF News

MIF13 One Year On

MIF13 One Year On

One year after MIF13, we've been reminiscing about the Festival on our Twitter and Facebook pages

MIF15 Save the Date

MIF15 Save the Date

MIF15 will take place from 2 - 19 July

14 Rooms at Art Basel

14 Rooms at Art Basel

Round-up of press coverage

Great Reviews for Macbeth at Park Avenue Armory

Great Reviews for Macbeth at Park Avenue Armory

MIF13's Macbeth opens to great reviews at Park Avenue Armory, New York.

MIF Touring Update

MIF Touring Update

Tricia Coleman and Paul Clay update us on MIF Touring

A Look Back at 11 Rooms

A Look Back at 11 Rooms

Before the opening of 14 Rooms at Art Basel

MIF Images