Celebrating MIF19’s Volunteers

From helping out in our city-centre offices to taking part in Festival events, our diverse and supportive community of volunteers are one of the Festival’s greatest assets. Passionate about the arts, the Festival and the city, volunteers are crucial in making every stage of the Festival experience happen. To mark this year’s International Volunteer Day, we are taking a look back at some of the incredible individuals who volunteered with us at MIF19.

Nazma Noor, MIF19 Volunteer

What inspired you to get involved with MIF 2019?
I had such a great time volunteering and attending Festival events in 2017 – it was a highlight of my summer and I just knew I wanted to be part of it all over again. I kept in touch with many of the other volunteers and MIF team over the last two years and couldn’t wait to meet more people.

Which role were you involved in this year and what attracted you to it?
The volunteer role is really varied and that’s what I love about it – you get to experience different aspects of the Festival from assisting behind the scenes and seeing everything come together, to engaging with the public and enjoying the festival through their eyes. I volunteered at Festival Square again this year, there was just such a great vibe – live music, food, drink, people coming to socialise, and lots of passers-by who previously didn’t know anything about the Festival. I remember there was even a small bridal party who came for a drink and some music after their wedding in the Town Hall.

What do you think MIF brings to the city?
It shines a light of how great Manchester is, showcasing different venues, artforms and artists.

What sets Manchester apart from other cities?
The people and our attitudes. There’s a real community feel, as much as we’re a big developed city, there’s still that closeness and familiarity


Vincent Dugdale, MIF19 Participant

What inspired you to get involved with MIF 2019?

I was involved with MIF 2017 as a performer and an ensemble contributor in What Is The City But The People and Fatherland and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  It was a world away from anything I’ve ever done in my work or in my social life and family life. I really enjoyed it – I love meeting people. I brought my family and a lot of people along with me who would never have thought of going to the theatre before and they were gobsmacked – and that’s why I applied to participate in 2019 as well.

Which show are you involved in this year and what attracted you to it?

I was lucky enough to be picked as an ensemble member for the Studio Orka play Tuesday which was in a church in Salford. I’m also in a choir and sang for Bells For Peace, Yoko Ono’s opening event. My choir also performed on Festival Square which is an absolutely fantastic place to go and chill out.

What do you think MIF brings to the city?

MIF brings to Manchester lots of different international artists with new stuff and I think it’s quite punky to be honest with you – avant-garde, different from the normal. It involves everybody. It’s very inclusive, whether you’re an artist, a participant or a member of the audience, everybody is involved. It’s such a lovely feeling whether you are going to shows or being in them, everyone is involved.

What sets Manchester apart from other cities?
Manchester is special because it’s so very warm and welcoming. We’ve always been tolerant, everyone just seems to get on. And we say what we think. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what colour skin you have – your identity is more than welcome in our city – that’s just how we’re made.


Breb Millar, Youth Forum member

What inspired you to get involved with MIF 2019?
I’ve actually been involved for a couple of years now. I applied to be a youth board member initially and then was contacted about joining the Youth Forum which is a really interesting vehicle for feeding in young people’s opinions to the Festival programme. It’s really exciting and forward thinking to try and engage with the opinions of young people like this.

Which show/role are you involved in and what attracted you to it?
As well as the Youth Forum, this year I was involved with My Head Is Disconnected, the David Lynch exhibition, and Ibrahim Mahama’s Parliament Of Ghosts at the Whitworth. It was fantastic, varied, exciting and ambitious – I was completely delighted to be involved. It’s great to explore my personal passion for art and culture, and work with these amazing artists whilst using my professional practice. It’s been an absolute privilege to be involved. I’ve loved every minute of it.

What do you think MIF brings to the city?
MIF brings to Manchester: ambition, confidence – confidence that Manchester can host these kind of international events that compete with not just London but the world. We don’t have to go to other places to see these kind of bespoke world-renowned shows – they will come to Manchester. That is such an important thing for the city. I think the Festival is really inspiring for people  – since I have become involved in MIF so many of my friends who mostly have no interest in art or culture, want to hear about and get involved in what I’m doing. It’s just such an exciting opportunity for everybody in the city. Having a relationship with MIF is infectious, it snowballs, it’s just such an exciting thing to be part of.

What sets Manchester apart from other cities?
Manchester has a no-nonsense approach to everything. Everything has to be of a certain quality to meet expectations – which is demanding but really brings out the best in people. I think at the moment the city is going through so much change – it’s becoming an international city. Now we’ve got The Factory being built it just seems like all the pieces are falling into place to take us to where we want to be in the next 20 or 30 years. It’s just something that you can’t help but want to be part of.

Thousands of people take part in Manchester International Festival, both during the Festival and year-round. Whether you want to get involved in creative activities, help shape our programme or develop your own skills and experiences, there’s something for everyone. Sign up to find out more.

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