What’s on in Manchester

If you are looking for what's on in Manchester, then Manchester International Festival presents one of the finest occasions during which to stay in Manchester, a city already filled with prestigious cultural attractions, and further transformed every other year by 18 extraordinary days of world premieres and special events. The home of the Festival is Festival Square, in the heart of the city in front of the grandeur of the Town Hall, and reconfigured for MIF19 with a new, larger stage. The superb, carefully-selected independent food and drink stands here deliver quality across the board, and are an opportunity to try some of the city’s best-loved kitchens. Elsewhere across the city are 20 world and UK premieres from internationally-acclaimed artists.

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Sign up to download our full guide to Manchester International Festival 2019, with extended highlights from the Festival, recommendations for the best places to stay, eat, drink and shop in Manchester, and our exclusive picks of other things to see in the city – all in a convenient PDF format.

What’s on at MIF19

There’s much that makes Manchester International Festival exceptional. Every other year, the Festival commissions an acclaimed programme of world premieres by internationally-renowned artists in some of Manchester’s most outstanding venues. MIF19 is no different, featuring a gripping adaptation of Ayn Rand’s uncompromising 20th century classic The Fountainhead from one of the world’s greatest theatre directors, mesmerising new work from composer Philip Glass for Tao of Glass at the Royal Exchange Theatre, and a monumental performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.7, ‘Leningrad’, originally written for more than 100 musicians. The countdown to MIF19 has begun, with tickets to several productions already beginning to sell out: when they do, the opportunity to be among the first to see these remarkable events will have passed. Here we highlight some of the most cutting-edge, eminent work taking place as part of the festival – plan your visit now, and be part of the experience

Where to Stay

Luxurious, historic and unique, Manchester’s leading hotels are each a truly inviting prospect – for one night during the Festival, or several. They occupy some of the city’s landmark buildings (such as the place where Rolls met Royce), and are furnished with a meticulous attention to detail. Here are a few of the best.

What else to see in Manchester

Manchester International Festival programmes world premieres in Manchester’s world-class cultural spaces, as well as unusual venues across the city. Enhance your Festival experience by visiting a selection of the city’s other defining sites – from the home of a classical novelist, to an astonishing library that took ten years to build.

Where to eat in Manchester

Festival Square is the home of the Festival in the heart of the city – and prioritises quality, independent food in its resident kitchens. From special events to dishes from one of Manchester’s most hotly-tipped new bistros, the Square is a hub for some of the best cooking in the region – and conveniently surrounded by other acclaimed restaurants and bars.

Where to shop in Manchester

Manchester hasn’t lost its reputation as a superior place to shop: in fact, the revival of King Street has further enhanced the city’s retail offer. Our favourite areas and stores each have quality as their hallmark: from limited edition whiskies to rare denim and the very best designer names. If you’re browsing between MIF19 shows, these are the places to go to.