A group of volunteers at Manchester International Festival

Would you like to be a part of one of the world’s most dynamic and adventurous cultural festivals?

We couldn’t run Manchester International Festival (MIF) without the dedication, energy and enthusiasm of our amazing volunteers. Some 507 volunteers got involved in MIF19, our last festival, doing everything from helping out with preparations to greeting the public at our events. Our diverse and supportive community of volunteers are one of our greatest assets – passionate about the arts, the Festival and our city.

This year, we’re trying to build as much flexibility into the volunteer applications process as possible. Your safety and comfort is incredibly important to us, and we want to make sure that you’re able to make a fully informed decision about whether volunteering is right for you – and only when you’re ready to do so.

As we – hopefully! – emerge from lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s Festival (1-18 July 2021) will undoubtedly be a festival like no other. We’re confident that, together, we can deliver another 18 extraordinary days that are in equal measure safe, responsible and joyous – in whatever format the festival takes. We hope you’ll come and be a part of it.


Why volunteer?

Volunteering is a great way to connect with the Festival and the city whether you’re looking for an opportunity to go behind the scenes, gain customer service skills for the workplace or just do something different and fun in the company of a brilliant group of people.

Other benefits include invites to special events, MIF volunteer clothing and rucksacks, and (subject to availability) ticket offers and discounts. We reimburse all reasonable, out-of-pocket expenses relating to travel, subsistence and access requirements for everyone taking part in our volunteering programme.

What might I do as an MIF21 volunteer?

The shifting nature of national restrictions means that we don’t yet know the nature of all our volunteering roles this summer – which is why we’re initially recruiting all volunteers as Festival Fronteers, a hugely important audience-facing role and in many ways the public face of MIF. There may also be opportunities for you to get involved in other ways, from helping us test and prepare for shows to supporting artists and participants behind the scenes.

All volunteer roles will be within government COVID-19 guidelines, supported by our amazing team of COVID safety advisors – and we will of course adapt to any changes in official guidance or restrictions in the run-up to and (if necessary) during the festival.

How do I sign-up?

To register your interest in volunteering at MIF21, create a profile on our Volunteer Hub. If you have any questions before you apply, please email volunteering@mif.co.uk or call the team on 0161 817 4500.

The closing date for applications is Monday 3 May.


After applications close, we’ll arrange virtual and in-person socially distant meeting days, where you can meet current MIF volunteers and ask them, and us, any questions you want about our volunteering programme. We’ll start confirming places in April/May, subject to the changing COVID-19 situation. You’ll need to be aged 18+ to volunteer. Depending on the number of applications we receive we may need to prioritise applications from residents of Greater Manchester.

If you have any time to spare between now and MIF21 this summer, you may want to consider volunteering to support Manchester’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme (details here) – or perhaps you’d like to get involved in MIF’s year-round programme of activity? If so, sign up here.