Our fourth Festival went in search of hidden Manchester. For MIF13, we uncovered an array of long-lost spaces around the city, bringing them back to life with a succession of ambitious Festival spectaculars.

Derelict since 1986, the atmospheric Mayfield Depot was the setting for Massive Attack v Adam Curtis, plus works by visual artists such as Dan Graham and Tino Sehgal. Kenneth Branagh co-directed and starred in a thrilling production of MACBETH at the deconsecrated church of St Peter’s in Ancoats. The xx performed 18 shows in a secret 60-capacity venue not far from the Co-Op’s New Century Hall, which hosted James Murphy and 2manydjs for Despacio. And we presented shows by everyone from Peter Sellars to Mogwai in the rediscovered Albert Hall.

Elsewhere, Robert Wilson returned to direct Willem Dafoe and Mikhail Baryhsnikov in The Old Woman, and we welcomed Abida Parveen and Martha Argerich for a pair of rare Manchester concerts. We were also honoured to premiere several works by British composer Sir John Tavener, including one written especially for MIF’s Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir. Sir John received a standing ovation at the end of the concert at The Bridgewater Hall, one of his final public appearances before his death in November 2013.

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