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Live Updates

All times stated are UK

  1. MIF TRANSMISSION: DYSTOPIA987

    Incoming broadcast, are you reading us?

    Skepta on stage

    This is MIF Live with an urgent transmission - Skepta took over Mayfield Depot for three nights at #MIF19, with forward-thinking futuristic apocalyptic rave experience: DYSTOPIA987. Radical noise, immersive technology and a blistering live performance, all behind closed doors in this cavernous transformed space. They tried to keep it a secret: if you weren’t on the list you couldn’t see it… until now. We got cameras inside, we caught it all – and now we’re transmitting it to you.

    Video content

    Video caption: Enter Skepta’s singular vision of the future at MIF19: deep, dark, radical and riveting.

    This broadcast is time-limited, catch it right now here on MIF Live before they pull the plug and it disappears forever. This is Skepta’s vision of the future of rave: a vibrant immersive experience that will never be repeated.This is DYSTOPIA987.

  2. Goodbye, MIF Live!

    What an 18 days it was.

    And so, dear reader, the Manchester International Festival 2019 has finally come to an end - but what a party it was. We've been here with you every step of the way, from Yoko Ono's BELLS FOR PEACE festival opener to... well, we'll leave the last thing as surprise, but it's incoming soon.

    Dan and Tash
    Image caption: A fully accurate picture of our festival experience.

    The last thing left for Dan and Tash to do is say THANKYOU!

    Big thanks to the incredible MIF Digital and film crews who've pulled all this brilliant content together (truly, they are a marvel).

    Massive thanks to the MIF social media and press crew for synchronising watches with us, what a tag-team!

    Huge thanks to our volunteers for helping keeping the wheels turning, and especially big thanks to the intrepid Salford students who stepped up and joined the fray, both behind the scenes on our big productions and also as orbiting micro brief teams - we couldn't have done it without you.

    Giant thanks - of course - to the BBC team for being with us on the journey and putting up with our terrible jokes and dog pictures, and most importantly for wrangling our ridiculous high-speed content into coherence for the last 18 days.

    And finally, dear readers, thank YOU for being here with us. We hope you've enjoyed reading, hearing and watching all this as much as we've enjoyed putting it together.

    We're off for a bit of a knees-up and then a big long sleep, and I guess we'll see you at MIF21! If you can't wait that long, you can of course follow Dan or Tash on Twitter.

    A final word from John McGrath -

    Quote Message: On behalf of everyone behind the Manchester International Festival, we extend our warmest thanks to our artists, collaborators, international partners, and of course the people of Manchester for making MIF19 such a success - we look forward to welcoming you in 2021! from John McGrath CEO & Artistic Director, MIF
    John McGrathCEO & Artistic Director, MIF

    Right, that's us. MIF Live: over and out. <3

  3. Creative Lab: the class of 2019!

    We look back at this brilliant group of Manchester artists

    Over the past 18 days we've been shouting very loudly about the Creative Lab artists, who've been beavering away on a frankly ridiculous array of diverse and exciting works in response to MIF19's themes and commissions. We've had videogames, podcasts, sculpture, music, machinima, digital painting - honestly we're inspired!

    The full creative lab cohort standing together
    Image caption: The Creative Lab cohort, 2019!

    Now that everyone's crossed the finish line, we though we'd post a full list here in MIF Live, so if you missed any during the chaos of the last few weeks you can dive back in right here.

    The complete list is:

    A twitter bot by Caitlin Akers

    An interactive phone line by Tom Halls

    Videogame machinima by Stephen Davies

    A data sculpture by Jess El Mal and Sophia Malik

    Digital animated paintings by Simon Abbott

    Mini theatre short film by Ali Matthews

    Projection-mapping and a documentary by Josh Mellor

    Livecoded music by Hannah Miller

    Sonic sculpture by David McFarlane

    A giant projection-mapped head by Mel Roberts and Jo Portus

    Hidden sonic patterns by Michael-Jon Mizra

    An audio videogame by Holly Phelps and Jo Portus

    A sex and disability podcast by Natalie, Claire and Sophie

    Augmented reality data vis by Raheel Khan

    Beautiful music by Lehin

    Bold dance piece by Sara Green

    Experimental sculpture by Sophie Ashcroft

    New music from Claire McNulty

    What a list, and what a group of artists. Massive congratulations to everyone, it's been our pleasure writing about such an exciting array of artists. Keep an eye on this lot!

  4. Eighteen extraordinary plates: DONE

    He did it all for you, audience

    They said it couldn't be done. He's mad, they said. It cannot be done!

    It is done. Dan has successfully eaten almost everything available to eat and drink on Festival Square, and is proud to present the complete EIGHTEEN EXTRAORDINARY PLATES. Admittedly he stretched the definition of 'plate' on occasion, and had a little help here and there, but hey, it wasn't a bad effort.

    The whole thing is available as a single twitter thread, click here to start from the top!

    Oh, and: a few people asked Dan which his favourite was, and obviously that's like picking a favourite child, but hey, it was absolutely the chilli paneer wrap from Manjit's Kitchen - a wrap so good he ate it thrice!

    View more on twitter

    Dan's tummy hurts.

  5. Queens Of The Electronic Underground - in pictures

    Mary Anne Hobbs' stellar lineup brought the noise

    Our ears are still definitely ringing from last night's astonishing Queens Of The Electronic Underground, we were there for the whole thing and what a night it was. This ridiculously stacked lineup, curated by Mary Anne Hobbs, demolished the Ritz - and we loved it. Here's what we saw:

    Klara Lewis on stage at the Ritz
    Image caption: Klara Lewis opening the show
    Katie Gately on stage at the Ritz
    Image caption: Katie Gately brought abstract weird pop to the stage
    Aisha Devi in front of the crowd
    Image caption: Aisha Devi brought the noise with a searing set
    Holly Herndon on stage at the Ritz
    Image caption: Holly Herndon and her incredible band
    The crowd
    Image caption: JLin headlined to a capacity crowd at the Ritz

    The final set from Jlin was something else - using live visuals taken from Songs Of The Lost, we were treated to an amazing audiovisual wall of noise that remixed lots of music from the game's custom soundtrack.

    What a night. Whew!

  6. Animals of Manchester - in pictures

    The Whitworth is alive and... noisy

    We're currently camped out in one of the rare quiet spaces in the Whitworth today, as it's an Animals Of Manchester takeover!

    We met the Mayor (a cow):

    A cow in a field.
    Image caption: The mayor of The Whitworth today

    We made a pigeon house (careful, those are load-bearing green strips of paper):

    View more on twitter
    Some paper leaves in the grass
    Image caption: Some of our materials.

    We met some very good doggos (if you're into doggos, please see The Dogs Of Festival Square for all your adorable dog needs)

    A small child smiling at a cute dog
    Image caption: Eddie, age four, meets a good boy.

    We found a replica of the Arndale Centre but made for squirrels to eat (they get a bad rep, really):

    A large replica of the Arndale Centre
    Image caption: The Nuts House. Obviously.

    And lots more besides. Couple of hours left to join the fun, bring your small humanz and get stuck in!

  7. Morning briefing! Day 18.

    The final day!

    And so it's upon us - the final day of the Manchester International Festival. We've laughed, we've cried, we've thrown a lot of shapes and eaten a lot of food.

    We're not quite done yet, though. Check it out:

    A lineup image
    Image caption: Today's lineup

    Strong recommendation today is Animals Of Manchester over at the Whitworth - we'll be there with some small humanz of our own later, look out for that chaos.

    It's the last chance saloon for David Lynch, Parliament of Ghosts, and the incredible Atmospheric Memory - dive on them today or miss them forever!

    Festival Square in the sunshine
    Image caption: Enjoy the final day at Festival Square

    Festival Square is of course open for business today, the sun is shining and the party don't stop til the end of the day. We'll be eating our eighteenth extraordinary plate today and it'll probably be a delicious ice-cream. Nom.

    The final Talking Points session is today too, also at Festival Square at at midday - this series has been superb.

    Stay tuned to MIF Live for a bunch of retrospectives and wrap-ups today too, and possibly one more really exciting surprise (!!) as we prepare to go into hibernation until MIF2021.

    We're not done yet!

  8. The Dogs of Festival Square

    They've done us a bamboozle!

    Manchester International Festival, you have brought us many incredible spectacles this year, but none of those delights compare to a single one of the amazing and very good boys that are the Dogs Of Festival Square 2019.

    We have nothing more to add. In no particular order, some good doggos:

    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
    A good dog on Festival Square.
    Image caption: A good dog on Festival Square.
  9. Final chance to visit Festival Square

    Two days to go!

    In but a day and a half, our gorgeous Festival Square will be dismantled and put back in the Big Festival Box to rest up for another two years. So for goodness sake, we need to make the most of it while we still can!

    Video content

    Video caption: Take a tour around Festival Square, open until midnight every day of this year's festival.

    It's our FINAL Saturday night, and with free music on all day, there's absolutely no excuse. Take a look at the line-up, and get happy:

    15:00-16.30 BST: Werkha

    17:00-19:00 BST: Tilt the Axis present Samurai, !higgiWahWah & more TBA

    20:00-22:00 BST: Skittles with 8 Gold Rings & The Untold Orchestra

    22:00-late: Lost in Music with Natasha Kitty Katt

  10. Dame Wendy Hall on the future of the Internet

    Computer science pioneer speaks at Interdependence

    We're hearing from pioneering computer scientist Dame Wendy Hall, discussing the future of the internet with Lizzie O'Shea and Claire L Evans:

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  11. Interdependence morning round-up

    Halfway through the final session

    We're at the halfway stage of Interdependence, this morning covering AI, automation, games for change and more.

    The Interdependence logo
    Image caption: Interdependence at HOME MCR

    Here's a sample of who we've had on stage at HOME so far, we're live-tweeting over at @MIFestival all day for more detailed rapid updates!

    View more on twitter
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    Stay tuned for more updates, live from Interdependence.

  12. Songs Of The Lost - full playthrough

    Take a trip with Paloma Dawkins

    Fresh from speaking to the audience at Interdependence, we're pleased to share a full playthrough of Songs Of The Lost by game designer and director Paloma Dawkins. This is a complete run of the game including Paloma's insights and thoughts on the whole thing, make a brew and enjoy:

    Video content

    Video caption: Play-through of magic-realist game Songs Of The Lost with creator Paloma Dawkins.

    You can play Songs Of The Lost for precisely zero pounds on Mac and PC, click here to download it.

  13. So who are The Queens Of The Electronic Underground?

    We unpack Mary Anne Hobbs' stellar line-up

    Re-upping this post for anyone who missed it, the Queens gig is tomorrow night at the Ritz and it's not too late to join us! Read on...

    This Saturday night we welcome the Queens Of The Electronic Underground to the Ritz - a night of sensational upcoming electronic talent, hosted by Manchester legend Mary Anne Hobbs.

    View more on twitter

    So, let's learn a bit more about the brilliant artists on the bill.

    First up:

    Katie Gately is LA-based musician, sound designer and architect of beautiful abstract pop - she uses the raw, industrial sounds of the world around us (you can watch her go and capture them punishingly in this fabulous little documentary about her process) - resulting in a surprising, dirty but still somehow deliciously poppy sound:

    View more on Soundcloud

    Klara Lewis is Swedish musician-composer who describes her creations as ‘theatre for the ear'. Mary Anne named her Emerging Artist of the Year in 2014, and with her gorgeous mix of organic and digital recordings, it's easy to see why:

    View more on Soundcloud

    Aisha Devi is a Swiss electronic producer who frames her music as a spiritual quest, resulting in haunting, soaring and utterly original tracks that feel almost out-of-body.

    View more on Soundcloud

    Electronic goddess Holly Herndon rejoins us after smashing her gig here in MIF17, having taken her signature digital sound to new heights with recent album PROTO. Mixing choral vocals with AI, she's paving the way for digital artists everywhere.

    View more on Soundcloud

    Jlin is the composer on this year's game commission Songs Of The Lost, and her throbbing, pulsing, dramatic and completely hypnotic sound make one of the most hyped artists at this year's festival:

    View more on Soundcloud

    Afrodeutche brings dark electro, breaks, footwork, ghetto tech and more, mixing a head-spinning amount of influences to create entirely new worlds:

    View more on Soundcloud

    Can't lie, having now listened to all of these artists I am now so hyped for this. Also, crippling embarrassed at how little art I make with my computer. Does this count? This counts, right?

    Find out more about Queens Of The Electronic Underground here

  14. Ever wondered how your urine could be used to make bricks?

    We stand by the above sentence.

    We've tried not to give away the surprises and secrets of Chim↑Pom's A Drunk Pandemic, but this one was just too good to keep under wraps.

    As part of their brewery tours, Chim↑Pom encourage audience members to donate their... ahem, specimen to their team, so they can make bricks out of it. Just to be clear, that's bricks out of urine. We all in? Good good.

    The hope is that the bricks created will go on and be used in new buildings in Manchester, so that we can truly say that it's a city built by the people, with, well, the urine of the people. Excited to learn more? Of course you are:

    Video content

    Video caption: The artists making bricks from human urine

    We've enjoyed a lot of surreal sights as part of this year's festivities, but we have to say: donating urine to create building material as a tiny taxidermied Pikachu looks on is... well it's something that never quite leaves you. Thanks, art.

  15. Ready to be he(a)rd?

    Animals Of Manchester (Including Humanz) opens today!

    Imagine a city where animals of all kinds, including human beings, live together as equals. Animals of Manchester (including HUMANZ) pictures what life might be like if dogs, hogs, cats, bats and other creatures lived alongside us not just as our pets but as our peers – our companions.

    Oh man, we're so excited about Animals Of Manchester, we don't even feel sheepish about it (yep, this is it, stay with us.)

    Just as long as it doesn't start raining cats and dogs (yep), all you need to do is get up, stop lion around (not as good) and head to the Whitworth Gallery - every single Animals Of Manchester exhibition is totally free. We're buzzing. (WAHEY!)

    Learn a bit more below, take along your kids or your fellow big kids, and enjoy the delights of a world run by animals!

    View more on twitter
  16. Our final Saturday Summit is here!

    Interdependence: Life Hacked

    Today we've got another stellar line-up for our final Interdependence sessions, on the final topic of Life Hacked: how technology is changing the way we use our minds and bodies.

    It's inspired by Skepta's DYTSTOPIA987 and our installation Atmospheric Memory, with appearances from Skepta's creative studio team, Atmospheric Memory creator Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, our very own live team champ Dan Hett and the creator of our game Songs Of The Lost Paloma Dawkins will be skyping in from bonny Canada.

    Video content

    Video caption: Audiences give their opinion of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s creation Atmospheric Memory

    But take a look at all the panellists before we climb inside their lovely brains - if you're interested in gaming, tech, science, or the future of gigs, this is absolutely one for you.

    We're going to be live-tweeting from the event itself (as of right now) and hopefully getting some footage from the talks themselves later today, so check back a bit later for that.

    In the meantime! Feel free to get involved by playing our specially commissioned Songs Of The Lost (and you can learn a lot more about it from the creator herself below). Enjoy!

    Video content

    Video caption: Play-through of magic-realist game Songs Of The Lost with creator Paloma Dawkins.
  17. Morning briefing! Day 17.

    The final weekend is here.

    Good morning, Manchester International Festival!

    The final weekend of the festival is upon us, we're full of coffee and excitement, and my goodness we have a stacked day ahead:

    A lineup image
    Image caption: The lineup for the penultimate day of the festival.

    The big news today is that Animals of Manchester opens today at the Whitworth - this is a huge family-friendly event where creatures great and small take over the whole space:

    There’ll be a palace for mice and for humans, a film studio run by beetles, a hedgehog hospital, a conference of animals led by a cow, living memorials for extinct species, a Bestiary Beauty Parlour and a Life Art Library honouring animals as artists and performers.

    Animals opens today, we'll be taking you around the whole thing tomorrow. It's open 10:00 BST til 17:00 BST both days, and costs precisely zero pounds.

    The other big hitter today is of course our third and final Interdependence session, Life Hacked:

    The Interdependence logo
    Image caption: Life Hacked!

    The final session takes place at HOME, and we'll be hearing from the likes of Paloma Dawkins, TEM (who made lots of Skepta's rave tech), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, the geniuses at Marshmallow Laser Feast and many more. It'll be an excellent day, and it's not too late to join us. We'll be updating right here with the best soundbites and pictures from the day.

    But MIF Live team, you reply - I want noise, and delicious food! Oh, we got you:

    A lineup list
    Image caption: Today's Festival Square lineup

    Today is the last full-length Festival Square sesh, and we've made it a good 'un. Our picks today are an early-doors show from Werkha at 15:00 BST (see below), and absolutely do not miss local legend Skittles and pals who'll be tearing it up from 20:00 BST til 22:00 BST. Apologies in advance about your eardrums there, festival.

    View more on youtube

    Elsewhere our rolling projects are in their last few days of running, if there's anything you missed: hurry! Tomorrow is our final day, and then it's tools down and two years of well-deserved sleep for us. But not yet.

    Get stuck in.

  18. That's it for today!

    Two days remaining

    Well, the Manchester International Festival hasn't done bad for sunshine over the last few weeks, but oh my goodness did it rain today. Like, to an absolutely ridiculous degree. Then it rained some more.

    View more on twitter

    I mean, innit, Manjit's Kitchen?!

    ANYWAY we got through a lot today, looking at the School Of Integration citizenship test, a whole pile of Creative Lab posts (in fact, we're done!), took a peek at reviews on Thank You Very Much, and heard from one of our lovely Salford students, Will Jordan.

    Festival Square is kicking into life right now despite the rain, we're off to have a little dance under the cover of the stage, and then we're off to Skepta for the final run of DYSTOPIA987. We should sleep at some point really.

    Join us tomorrow for Interdependence all day, we'll be live updating right here and on Twitter from HOME as the day unfolds. Or, come join us and we'll see you there.

  19. A closer look at Atmospheric Memory

    Looking closer with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

    The incredible Atmospheric Memory runs until this Sunday, and if you haven't experienced it yet then we heartily recommend you do so while you still can - it is otherworldly amazing. In the meantime, check out this interview with artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, including some beautiful footage of the whole thing in action.

    Video content

    Video caption: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Atmospheric Memory scours the sky for the voices of our past.

    We've also got a closer look at some of the look and feel within this massive living artwork, it has to be seen to be believed. Check it out below:

    Video content

    Video caption: Rafael Lozano Hemmer's breathtaking interactive art environment.

    Atmospheric Memory runs until the 21st July at the Science & Industry Museum. All the info can be found right here.