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Press release — 26 July 2013
MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2013 ENDS
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“It's the combination of global daring and local investigation that has made the Manchester international festival so indispensable. It mines the city, recovering its stories and finding out exceptional spaces in which to tell them.”
Susannah Clapp, The Observer, 21 July 2013
The fourth edition of the Manchester International Festival ended on Sunday 21 July.
The world’s first and only festival of new work, the 18-day Festival included over 300 performances of more than 30 new commissions and special events. Audiences for the 2013 Festival are estimated at around 250,000, an increase of 10% on the 2011 event. Around 75% of audiences came from Greater Manchester, with the rest from other parts of the UK and beyond – visitors from more than 45 countries were welcomed to the 2013 Festival.
Alex Poots, Artistic Director and CEO of Manchester International Festival, said: “Sincere thanks go to all of our artists. We are thrilled with the response we've received from Manchester and beyond - we never take that for granted and I have been so pleased by the generous reactions from reviews to tweets to emails and chats with audiences on Festival Square.
For MIF13 we’ve explored some of the city's hidden places. It's been a revelation to see crowds in Mayfield Depot and the Albert Hall and a joy to welcome artists like Maxine Peake, Kenneth Branagh, The xx, Massive Attack and Tino Sehgal to bring these amazing spaces back to life.”
The closing weekend saw an audience of more than 5000 gather for an outdoor relay of Kenneth Branagh’s electrifying performance of Macbeth, while cinema-goers around the country also got the chance to see the production as part of NT Live. Visitors to Festival Square, the heart of MIF, enjoyed shows at the Festival’s own Pavilion Theatre, soaked up the final few rays following an unprecedented run of unbroken sunshine, and drank up the last of more than 60,000 pints pulled in the site’s bars.
Many of the Festival’s shows took place in new or found spaces; venues included the glorious Albert Hall, a former Wesleyan chapel, which was the scene for Maxine Peake’s impassioned and acclaimed recitation of Shelley’s The Masque of Anarchy, plus performances from Mogwai and Goldfrapp and Peter Sellars’ staging of Michelangelo Sonnets. Mayfield Depot, a former railway station, became a new centre for thrilling live art from Tino Sehgal, Mårten Spångberg, Dan Graham and more, as well as the venue for the iconoclastic film/gig hybrid Massive Attack v Adam Curtis. The xx performed in a secret space under Victoria Station and Indian artist Nikhil Chopra occupied the Whitworth’s new and as yet unfinished Landscape Gallery for 65 continuous hours, while the groundbreaking Biospheric Project saw an old industrial space in Salford transformed into an experimental space for urban growing and design. For The Machine, Campfield Market Hall became an arena, the perfect setting for the contest between Garry Kasparov and Deep Blue.
Many of Manchester’s existing venues and galleries were also part of the Festival.
Participative group show do it 20 13 took over Manchester Art Gallery and Willem Dafoe and Mikhail Baryshnikov performed at the Palace Theatre. The Bridgewater Hall, arguably the country’s finest concert hall acoustic, was the setting for a concert celebrating the career of John Tavener, as well as performances from Martha Argerich and sufi superstar Abida Parveen.
MIF Creative, the Festival’s Creative Learning programme, went from strength to strength engaging local people from across the region. The MIF Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir brought together 75 women from different faith communities in the region, to perform the world premiere of a new work by John Tavener; ZigZag ZigZag, a new work for children by Belgian director Inne Goris, premiered in school classrooms across all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs and The Biospheric Project in Salford was brought to life through collaboration with an array of local communities from ecologists and designers, to growers and local school children.
The Festival works with co-commissioning partners around the world to present new productions, and MIF13 shows will travel to the Armory, New York, Ruhrtriennale in Germany, Festival d’Automne in Paris, Spoleto Festival Italy and more. These partnerships contribute significantly to MIF’s funding, which also sees generous support from Manchester City Council, Arts Council England and Salford City Council.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The fourth Manchester International Festival has built on the success of previous events and once again proved a remarkable showcase for the city. It attracted a great many visitors and stimulated imaginations and debate.
As well as being a remarkable artistic success, with memorable and in some cases headline-grabbing shows, it will undoubtedly have provided a major economic boost to Manchester as well. The next MIF may be two years away but it's testament to how MIF has established itself as a vibrant part of the city's life that I, and many others, are already starting to look forward to MIF15.”
Income for the 2013 Festival from private sponsorship, individual giving and trusts and foundations stands at just under £3 million pounds. The top tier sponsors are PZ Cussons, Doubletree by Hilton, The Co-operative, Manchester Airport Group, NCP and Bruntwood, many of whom have supported the Festival over all four editions. The new MIF Members scheme was a sell-out, with 700 individuals joining to support the 2013 Festival with a £50 donation.
The Festival’s media partners the BBC, The Guardian and Manchester Evening News, covered every aspect of the event, with rolling coverage and special editions. The 400+ MIF volunteers were the face of MIF, welcoming visitors to Manchester and providing vital support to the Festival team in the form of an estimated 25,000 working hours.
A full evaluation of MIF13 will be released later in the year.
Previous Press Releases
Press release — 06 June 2013
CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR MATT CHARMAN’S NEW PLAY
THE MACHINE, DIRECTED BY JOSIE ROURKE
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Press release — 23 May 2013
THE BIOSPHERIC PROJECT ANNOUNCES PUBLIC PROGRAMME FOR MIF
PLUS FARM SHOP 78 STEPS
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Press release — 22 April 2013
TICKETS ON SALE FOR MACBETH PREVIEWS, MIF IN CONVERSATIONS
MACBETH PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVELY FOR GREATER MANCHESTER RESIDENTS
IN CONVERSATION EVENTS WITH DAVE HASLAM ON SALE
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Press release - 12 April 2013
ALEX KINGSTON TO PLAY LADY MACBETH OPPOSITE KENNETH BRANAGH
BRANAGH CO-DIRECTS WITH ROB ASHFORD
PLUS BIG SCREEN RELAY
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Press release — 28 February 2013
MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2013 PROGRAMME
Download this press release here.