A decade after the first ever MIF trailblazer, we celebrated our tenth birthday with our biggest Festival so far. More than a quarter of a million people attended MIF15, enjoying more than 200 performances across 18 extraordinary days in Manchester.
Several Festival artists returned to the city to premiere ambitious new work. Jamie xx, who’d performed with The xx at MIF13, joined Wayne McGregor and Olafur Eliasson to create the breathtaking Tree of Codes. MIF11 star Björk gave the first ever European performance of songs from Vulnicura. And two years after The Masque of Anarchy, Maxine Peake again teamed up with Sarah Frankcom in Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker.
We also welcomed a tremendous variety of MIF debutants, from the indelible collaboration between Arvo Pärt and Gerhard Richter at the Whitworth to the world premiere of family favourite The Tale of Mr Tumble. The word-of-mouth hit of MIF15 was surely FlexN Manchester, MIF Creative’s thrilling transatlantic collaboration between street dancers from Manchester and New York.
At the end of the Festival, we said goodbye to our founding Artistic Director Alex Poots, who left to set up a new venue in New York. Alex passed the baton on to John McGrath, who’s now leading us into MIF17 and beyond.