Greater Manchester UK


Manchester International Festival (MIF), is a biennial
event, the world‘s first festival of original, new
work and special events, which takes place in Manchester.
It was launched on 27 June 2007, to peak in July of that
year, and focused on new music by established and new
international musicians. This ambitious international
festival is believed to have been the first of its kind
in the world, and drew on the leading role Manchester
holds as a centre of excellence in music and its long
association with innovative and new music. The
Festivals have been sponsored by both corporate companies
and public sector organisations who underwrote the huge
cost of creating a commissioning festival.
Director Alex Poots said: “The
Festival exists to bring extraordinary new work by some
of the most exciting creative talent from around the world
to premiere in Manchester.”



Manchester International Festival, 3rd floor, 81 King Street,
Manchester M2 4AH.
Tel: 0161-238 7300. Fax: 0161-832 7047. Email:

Press Enquiries
Nadja Coyne, Head of Press, Tel: (Mobile) 07799 532 373.


Helen Bowdur, Head of Sponsorship, Tel: 0161-238 7316. Email:

Website Registered charity no: 1113902.

International Festival 2011

30 June – 17 July 2011

performing in the 2011 event included Victoria Wood, Snoop
Dogg, Sinead O’Connor and Bjork. Featured artists and performers
included Björk, Damon Albarn, Snoop Dogg, Marina Abramovic,
Victoria Wood, WU LYF, D/R/U/G/S and Air Cav.
Björk began the 2011 festival, with the live debut
of her new album “Biophilia”
The festival included the previously announced play by Victoria
Wood at Manchester Opera House; the collaboration between
Marina Abramovic, Willem Dafoe, Robert Wilson and Antony
(of Antony & the Johnsons) at The Lowry; and Mark Elder
and the Hallé playing Wagner’s Die
at the Bridgewater Hall.
There were also be exciting contributions from major international
artists in every conceivable field.

Manchester International Festival 2009

2 – 19 July 2009

The entire festival programme featured
more than 20 commissioned new works for the 2009 Festival.
These included “Prima Donna”,
Rufus Wainwright’s debut opera, “Everybody
Loves a Winner”
by director Neil Bartlett, and
a “unique environment within
Manchester Art Gallery”
for solo piano, violin
and cello JS Bach works, created by Zaha Hadid Architects.
Other works included a one-off performance by Kraftwerk and
a Steve Reich commission being performed at the Manchester
Velodrome, as well as performance art by Marina Abramovic
at the Whitworth Art Gallery.
performers included De La Soul, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson,
Antony and the Johnsons with the Manchester Camerata, Carlos
Acosta and The Durutti Column, performing a tribute to the
late Tony Wilson.

The 2009
Festival Team

Alex Poots – Festival Director
Simon Mellor – General Director
Christine Cort – Associate Director
Kate Beard – Producer
Caroline Birnie – Volunteer Coordinator
Helen Bowdur – Head of Sponsorship
Jennifer Cleary – Head of Creative Learning
Catherine Corlett – Sponsorship Account Manager
Gemma Cowan – PA to Associate Director
Nadja Coyne – Head of Press
Marie-Claire Daly – Press Officer
Rachel Down – Office Assistant
David Fox – Office Administrator
Cathy Gallagher – Marketing Director (consultant)
Christine Gettins – Producer (consultant)
Ian Griffiths – Sponsorship Account Manager
Jonathan Higgs – Marketing Officer
Jackie Johnston – Production Administrator
Devina Kumar – Creative Learning Manager
Tracey Low – Senior Producer
Kerenza McClarnan – Producer
Jackie McNerney – Administrative Director
Lindsey Moutrey – Personal Assistant to Festival Director
& General Director
Billy Partridge – Ticketing Manager
Sandra Roemermann – Marketing Manager
Sarah Rowland – Head of Artist Liaison
Sapna Sanghvi – Marketing Officer
Emma Stenning – Head of Producing
Jack Thompson – Technical Director
Hannah Woolnough – Sponsorship Account Manager
Yasmin Younis – Finance Manager

International Festival 2007

28 June – 15 July 2007

Festival Directors

Manchester International Festival Director Alex Poots ALEX POOTS
London-based Alex Poots, Director of Contemporary Arts at English
National Opera, was appointed as the Festival Director – he
has a respected and well-known reputation as a leading festival
programmer, including successful work for the Barbican, the
Tate Modern and Tate Britain Galleries in London.

Tom Bloxham, Non-Executive Chair to the Manchester International FestivalTOM BLOXHAM
Tom Bloxham MBE was appointed as non-executive Chair and Belinda
Kidd as Executive Director of the Festival, Tom, joint founder
and innovative property developer of Urban Splash Group said
at the outset of the event:

Ruth Mackenzie  General Director Manchester International FestivalRUTH

Ruth Mackenzie OBE began work as General Director of the Manchester
International Festival in August 2006. Previously Ruth had been
Artistic Director at the Chichester Festival Theatre for 4 years,
before working on a consultancy basis for the Arts Council,
BBC, Tate and City University. She was awarded her OBE for services
to theatre in 1995.

Dr Jennifer Cleary, Higher Education Festival Manager
Manchester International
Festival and the City’s Universities announced the appointment
of Dr Jennifer Cleary as the Higher Education Festival Manager
in February 2006. Dr Cleary has extensive experience of managing
projects between Higher Education institutions, public sector
research organisations and industry.

World Premieres

World premieres in the 2007 Festival included:
Monkey: Journey to the West, a new opera directed by Chen
Shi Zheng with music by Damon Albarn and design by Jamie Hewlett,
Il Tempo del Postino, a group show by 15 of the world’s leading
contemporary artists including Matthew Barney, Tacita Dean,
Douglas Gordon and Pierre Huyghe, new theatre productions
including a site-specific work by Stewart Lee and Johnny Vegas,
debates, food by Heston Blumenthal and an international music
series that featured Lou Reed, Kanye West, PJ Harvey, The
Gossip and The Whip. The festival incorporated over 25 specially
commissioned productions, performances and projects, created
by an extraordinary shortlist of leading artists from across
the spectrum of culture, the arts and innovation – including
Damon Albarn, Carlos Acosta, William Orbit, Heston Blumenthal,
and Johnny Vegas.
Acknowledging Manchester’s pivotal role in music, the
Festival programme will have a focus on new music – premiering
work by established and emerging international musicians,
such as PJ Harvey, Kanye West, Happy Mondays, Ojos de Brujo
and The Noisettes.

What the Papers said:

is the beating cultural heart of Britain’
The Observer
July 2007.

is drawing on a rich cultural tradition, from the Hallé
to Oasis’.
The Daily Telegraph
Jan 2007.

that celebrates adventure, newness, intellectualism, radicalism
has to be in Manchester. The whole city is about that and this
– the Festival – is the kind of thing that suits it’.

Paul Morley, BBC2 Newsnight Review – special live broadcast
from the Festival .

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This page last updated 15 Sept 11.