29 June – 16 July 2017


What Is the City but the People?

Piccadilly Gardens

Free event

Thur 29 June

Created by The People of Manchester

World premiere

This year’s Festival opens with an invitation – come to Piccadilly Gardens and join friends, neighbours and total strangers for this self-portrait of the city.

Raised high above the pavements, a unique selection of individuals from across Manchester will walk along a runway stretching more than 100 metres through Piccadilly Gardens.

As the working day ends on Thursday 29 June, MIF17 starts. All eyes will be on the people of Manchester as they become the opening event of the Festival.

With live music from Graham Massey assisted by an unexpected mix of local musicians, What Is the City but the People? will capture and celebrate Manchester as never before.



If you’re not in Manchester you can still enjoy our events. Experience What Is the City but the People live and online at mif.co.uk/live.


wakelet Powered by Wakelet

Directed by Richard Gregory
In association with Islington Mill
Graham Massey
Musical Director
Simon Banham
Sonia Hughes
Gavin Parry
Ian William Galloway
Video Designer
Constanza Macras
Concept Choreography
Miki Shoji (DorkyPark)
Assistant Choreography
Darren Pritchard
Assistant Choreographer
From an idea by Jeremy Deller

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival. Supported by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence and My Festival Circle.

Photo: © Jon Super