Manchester International Festival is grounded in our city and engages with the world. We aim to reflect the great diversity of Manchester, and our planet, in all aspects of our work – artists, audiences, staff, participants, board members, and partner companies. We invite and welcome input on how we can do this effectively from the many individuals and communities with whom we aim to work in ever more exciting ways.
John McGrath, Artistic Director and CEO, Manchester International Festival + The Factory
From 2020, as well as producing a biennial festival, MIF will also be running The Factory, a state of the art building and producing organisation in the heart of Manchester and an important new cultural and training resource for the whole of the UK.
This is a landmark opportunity for Manchester International Festival, the city and the UK; acting as a catalyst for creative and socio/economic growth and solidifying MIF’s role as a leader in making and presenting ground-breaking work.
As we start on our journey to The Factory, we are committed to building opportunity for all into everything we do.
We aim to embody the values implicit in our name:
Over the last 12 years, MIF has commissioned, produced and presented world premieres by a wide range of international artists including Björk, Steve McQueen, Robert Wilson, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Jeremy Deller, Wayne McGregor, Maxine Peake, Boris Charmatz, The xx, Zaha Hadid Architects, Thomas Ostermeier, Damon Albarn, FKA twigs, Punchdrunk, Elbow and Marina Abramović.
MIF works closely with venues, festivals and other cultural organisations around the world, whose financial and creative input helps to make many of its projects possible and ensures that work made at MIF goes on to be seen across the globe. The Festival also works widely within Manchester, with a new initiative called My Festival – a community of creative people from all backgrounds, ages and corners of the city who are forging closer connections with MIF.
The Factory, set to open in late 2020, will be a new kind of large-scale multi-arts venue. Designed by Rem Koolhaas’s world renowned architecture practice OMA and with an ambitious vision inspired by MIF, The Factory will be capable of making and presenting the widest range of art forms under one roof spanning 13,500 square metres of floor space.
MIF17’s Opening ceremony, What Is the City but the People? Photo by: Jon Super
The Factory will commission, produce and present innovative contemporary work throughout the year, serving as a genuine cultural counterweight to London. The building’s component areas, a 5,000-capacity warehouse and a versatile theatre space with a capacity of 1,500 can be arranged into a variety of different configurations, creating spaces suitable for a diverse array of performances, displays and making. The Factory will also offer significant opportunities for learning, training and participation, playing a leading role in developing future generations of technicians, producers and creatives.