a Dj's on stage at festival square hold his hand up

MIF is back this summer – and we’re on the lookout for acts to perform at Festival Square, the home of the Festival in the heart of the city.

Festival Square is the focal point of every Festival: always open, always buzzing and always free. We’re thrilled to be presenting a full live programme in Festival Square during MIF21 (1–18 July) – and you could be among the acts taking to our stage this summer.

We’re inviting talented musicians and performers from communities right across Greater Manchester to get in touch via our Festival Square Open Call. From steel bands to dance troupes, community choirs to hip hop collectives there’s no limit on what sort of live act we’re open to presenting – just so long as you’re original, of a good standard and can create positive vibes to welcome back the people of Manchester to our city and our Festival.

a band perfroming on stage at festival square

How do I apply?

To apply, please read the detailed FAQs below and then complete our online application form by Monday 10 May. If you have any queries about the process, please drop us a line. After the closing date, a panel drawn from the MIF Artistic team will review all applications, and we’ll get in touch with all selected acts by the start of June.


We encourage proposals from people with specific access needs and are happy to help with both the application process and the work itself. If you have any questions or need any support in preparing your application, please email creativeengagement@mif.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


How long are the live performance slots? 

Each live performance slot is for a maximum of one hour, but we’ll also consider applications for shorter slots.

How many slots are available? 

We’re looking to invite 12-15 acts to perform over the Festival’s 18 days.

Are the performances paid? 

Yes – we’ll pay all selected acts a fee of £300.

Will you cover travel costs? 

We’re unfortunately unable to pay travel expenses, which should be considered within the performance fee.

For question 2 of the form, I can’t find a suitable category on the drop-down menu.

Please select ‘Other’ and then describe your act in the box provided.

What’s the technical set-up? 

We’re encouraging all acts to use the basic backline, but please note that the nature of the busy Festival Square programme means you’ll have only a very limited opportunity for a soundcheck.

What else do I need to take into account?

Please consider if and how your live performance could be socially distanced given the confines of our stages (6m x 5m) and the Festival Square site. We’ll work closely with selected acts to ensure safe performances for all.

What COVID-19 precautions are you taking to ensure our safety? 

The safety of our artists and audiences is our top priority, and we’ll be sure to follow all government guidelines that are in place at the time of the Festival. You’ll also get exclusive use of your own dressing room for up to 30 minutes before and after your performance, allowing time for sufficient cleaning between acts.

I still have some queries who do I contact?

If you have any questions or queries do get in touch with our team by emailing creativeengagement@mif.co.uk