Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Updates

the Manchester International Festival team

All times stated are UK

  1. And that's it for MIF 17 - it's been a joy.

    Thank you so much, whenever you are, for joining us

    Festival Square

    That's the end of the stream, the end of Ceremony, and the end of our Manchester International Festival coverage 2017.

    We hope you've had a fabulous 18 days - we've had groundbreaking performances, new musicals, returning heroes, celebrations of the people of Manchester and so much more.

    It'll be two years before we do it again - so make the most of the rest of the evening - We'll see you all in Festival Square.

    Make sure you take a look at the photos and videos above, we've had some truly sensational talent grace our doors this year, and we couldn't be prouder.

    With huge thanks to the BBC, for letting us take over this page - it's been an honour. See you next time!

  2. Singer Gruff Rhys - three things you need to know


    As singer Gruffdd Rhys sings as part of our closing Ceremony, we thought it only right that we fill you in on the need to know about him.

    1. He's a member of the Welsh group Super Furry Animals, whose hits include Something 4 The Weekend, Juxtaposed with U and Demons.

    2. His father was Ioan Bowen Rees, Welsh poet.

    3. He has a cherrypicker license, which is excellent in anyone's book.

  3. Is a moral reversal taking place?

    The Engels legacy

    Quote Message: A moral reversal is taking place – the old media empire, the scaremongering, anti-immigrant, anti-other press that deals in low- and high-level fear, has lost its footing. Young people born in the 1990s and 2000s don’t read these papers, and if you tell them they should be ‘afraid’ of Britain returning to the 1970s, they say it sounds great, what’s the problem? Indebted, badly-paid with zero hope of getting a house or having any kind of future that contains within it any sort of positive horizon, why would young people vote for the executioners of hope, the very people who had it easy telling them they just need to work hard and they too will succeed? Except they’re not even being told that any longer, more just keep your head down, get a rubbish job if you can, stop complaining. So what if it’s a rich country? You’re still poor! from Nina Power Senior Philosophy Lecturer at Roehamption University
    Nina PowerSenior Philosophy Lecturer at Roehamption University

    Read full article Austerity is Over by Nina Power.

  4. 'If Engels were to walk the streets of Manchester today, what would he make of it?'

    Quote Message: The unveiling of the statue of Engels in Manchester is an important symbol of the contributions he made. It is a fitting reminder of his commitment to the city and the working class. Yet it should serve as more than a historical monument. If Engels were to walk the streets of Manchester today, what would he make of it? The city, its inhabitants and its workplaces have undergone a deep transformation, but the relationships of exploitation are still clear to see. Whether the exploitation is obvious or subtle, takes place online or in physical workplaces, like Engels we too need to stand against the social violence of capital. So the statue should also be a call to action: that the future belongs to those exploited workers. from Dr Jamie Woodcock
    Dr Jamie Woodcock

    Read full article All Work and No Play.

  5. Phil Collins: what you need to know


    English visual artist Phil Collins is the mind behind Ceremony, our closing event with 1418-Now and HOME arts centre. Here are three things you need to know:1. He used to be a barman at Manchester's legendary Hacienda nightclub.2. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006.3. In 2002, when Saddam Hussein was still in power, he travelled to Baghdad and made a video piece called Baghdad Screen Tests.

    Quote Message: I'd say even now I think about Morrissey at least ten times a day every day. I can't have a cheese and pickle sandwich without wondering if Morrissey likes them. from Phil Collins, quoted in The Guardian
    Phil Collins, quoted in The Guardian
  6. 'The condition of the working class is the condition of the vast majority'

    Friedrich Engels

    Quote Message: The condition of the working-class is the condition of the vast majority of the English people. The question: What is to become of those destitute millions, who consume today what they earned yesterday; who have created the greatness of England by their inventions and their toil; who become with every passing day more conscious of their might, and demand, with daily increasing urgency, their share of the advantages of society? from Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1845
    Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1845
  7. Want to know more about Mary Burns?


    Our Creative50 cohort know all about Mary Burns - and have created this very film, in order that the rest of us might know too:

    View more on facebook

    Fabricator – Nicola Ellis - @_Nicola_Ellis_ /

    Textile dyer – Natalie Linney - @TalieLinseed /

    Sculpture designer: Jasmine Walne @jwalnedesign /

    Films/projections: Jamie Starboisky @jamiestarboisky / Composition/cello: Chris Lyon @gymnastband /

    Recording/sound design: Manoli Moriaty @manolimoriaty /

    Poetry: Ella Otomewo @black_poetess /

    Poetry: Kofi Gyamfi - Instagram: @kofz_jamz

  8. Wait, why should we care about Engels?

    Stay right here, we've got all you need to know

    Who is the man at the heart of this piece?

    We've commissioned some amazing pieces to get you totally up to speed on Engles and everything he did for Manchester - you can start by reading this article by Historian Sheila Rowbotham

    Quote Message: Friedrich Engels, the man who was to become Karl Marx’s closest collaborator and loyal friend, arrived in Manchester for the first time in 1842, aged 22. The son of a wealthy German textile manufacturer could well have been oblivious to the brutal consequences of rapid industrialism. Instead, he set about documenting the careless brutality of the newly concentrated form of capitalism that surrounded him. from Sheila Rowbotham Historian
    Sheila RowbothamHistorian
  9. And we're live!

    Welcome to our closing Ceremony

    Thank you for joining for our closing Ceremony, a celebration of the local communities of Manchester, as we welcome a brand new statue of Friedrich Engels - a local hero.

    Why are we so excited to welcome back a statue? We'll get into all that soon enough. For now, sit back, and enjoy!

  10. Our closing Ceremony - 45 minutes until we go live!


    Missed out on ticket to our closing spectacular, or just not quite lucky enough to live in bonny Manchester? Never fear, we are here for you.

    We'll be live-streaming the entirety of Ceremony from when it begins at 6pm sharp - so grab a glass of your favourite liquid, gather those you with to celebrate with, and let's see out this festival in style. #loveMCR

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  11. Tiny Metal Islands


    Kate Radford

    MIF17 Creative 50

    Inspired by our show Last And First Men, Creative50 artist Kate Radford decided to journey into using new technology, whilst questioning exactly what might happen if we were to become dependent on that technology.

    Take a look at her finished film here, and read about her experience of making it...

    View more on youtube
    Quote Message: 'I was inspired by the form of Last and First Men. The multi-faceted layers of composition, film and story. During my time with MIF we have been learning a lot about digital technology. Although I was inspired by the form, I allowed myself to explore my own feelings of future. Particularly inspired by my new learning. A potential future of how technology can decay our connections. I made this Art entirely on my own. With just lots of different types of equipment. It was very lonely. It may not be the best technology. Sometimes I get confused as to which part is more important. It is very different to how I often make art, with people, and spaces. And things. And feeling together. If we are not careful perhaps it will be human nature that is left derelict. from Kate Radford
    Kate Radford
  12. What is the show but the audience?


    Jenny Gaskell

    MIF17 Creative50

    What Is The Show But The Audience? is a series of interviews about shows from this year's festival with Mancunians who never normally go to see theatre shows.

    With the promise of a free ticket and free chips/pint/cup of tea afterwards, Creative50 artist Jenny Gaskell took brand new audience members to shows to find out what they thought.

    This project hopes to treat 'new audiences' as more than just useful data for venues and festivals to analyse, offering the public more authority to define what the theatre means to them and who it might be for.

    View more on Soundcloud

    This project was made by Jenny Gaskell as part of MIF 17 Creative50 programme.

  13. 'Solidarity can inspire people across the world'


    Isaac Rose

    MIF17 Creative50

    Creative50 artist Isaac Rose has been inspired by the journey our statue of Friedrich Engles has made across the world, and has created two pieces of art linking this bold movement to that of the Manchester people who travelled to Spain to fight Franco in the 1930s.

    Take a look at the two GIFs he's created, and be proud of your Northern roots!

    Quote Message: "Ahead of tonight's closing piece, 'Ceremony', I wanted to reflect on the idea of the journey of the statue. To me it represents not only the physical fact of something moving across borders, but the fact that ideas and internationalist solidarity can inspire people across the world. In response, I made two gifs. The first tracks the journey of the statue, and the second juxtaposes that with another story- of those people from Manchester who travelled to Spain in the 1930s to fight Franco and defend the values of the Spanish Republic. Their story is as relevant today as it ever has been. No pasaran!
    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  14. MIF GIF a day


    Creative50 Tara Collette artist sees us out in style, with a celebration of No End To Enderby - one of the many exhibitions that are STILL open and free for you to visit today:

    View more on twitter

    Take a look at all the GIFs she's created for the festival - they are genuinely beautiful.

  15. Noodlemoon - a timelapse illustration of Holly Herndon


    Becki Miller

    MIF17 Creative50

    Brilliant illustrator and Creative50 artist Becki Miller was inspired by our Holly Herndon Dark Matter gig, and has created this hypnotising piece in response:

    View more on facebook
    Quote Message: Responding to Holly Herndon's gig for Dark Matter, the artists on stage (Holly, Colin Self and Matt Dryhurst) were just crying out to be illustrated! All three were so engaging, their performance and visuals inspired the theme of this piece, Noodlemoon. from Becki Miller, Creative 50 Artist
    Becki Miller, Creative 50 Artist

    Erm the Artist online

    Erm the Artist on Facebook

    OneFiveEight online

  16. Some of our favourite shots from Cotton Panic!

    Filmed in the gloriously atmospheric Upper Campfield Market Hall

    You can now watch Jane Horrocks' gig-musical Cotton Panic! by going to our Facebook page, but we wanted to whet your whistles by giving you a taste of what you're in for.

    A whirlwind of Manchester history, and the story of how this city stood in solidarity with the slaves of the American Deep South, it's a very relevant exploration of politics, community, and standing up for what's right.

    Cotton Panic!
    Cotton Panic
    Cotton Panic
    Cotton Panic
    Cotton Panic
    Cotton Panic
  17. Restore To Factory Settings - a response to Available Light


    Fascinated by the context in which our dance piece Available Light was first created (post-war America, in a collaboration between Lucinda Childs, Frank Gehry and John Adams), one of our Creative50 artists Amrit Randhawahas created adigital collage, made up of photograph taken on 35mm film at the show.

    Available Light
    Quote Message: I felt the context of post war + post modernism were appropriate areas to explore in the present day. In this era of information, I often feel confused by the bombardment of news stories, especially those concerning war. Thinkers like Berger and Sontag helped me develop a thought around how to interpret the images we see everyday. Their writings focus on print media - I am much more concerned with how digitally we see not just other humans, but ourselves.

    Learn more at:

    Instagram @amritrandhawa

  18. Let's hear it for our volunteers

    Where would we be without you?

    Festival Square

    We just wanted to say an enormous thank you to the hundreds of fantastic volunteers who help us keep this festival ship afloat - without you, we'd surely sink without a trace.

    Many of our volunteers are great photographers, take a look at the amazing moments (such as the one above, taken by Martin Bush) they've captured over the last few weeks - and join us in shedding a small tear that it's all coming to a close...

  19. 9 x 5 + 1 =

    A #creative50 response to Engels

    Nas Malik

    MIF17 Creative 50

    Brilliant local artist Nas Malik has been inspired by the work of Friedrich Engels, and his relentless pursuit of justice for the workers of Manchester.

    With this in mind, he has created a short video approaching the work of Engels in a modern way - exploring some of the ideas of work, aspiration and personal happiness in 2017.

    Shot entirely on a mobile phone, local Manchester workers were filmed for a six minute period in one continuous unbroken shot. They were all asked the same five questions, plus one more. Take a look at the mesmerising result:

    View more on youtube

    The Title 9 x 5 + 1 = not only refers to the nine participants and questions they were asked but also refers to the standard 9 to 5 hours and sometimes an extra hour after work we devote to our jobs.

    Learn more here: -