Our sixth Festival was our biggest to date, 18 extraordinary days of performances and exhibitions presented in landmark locations, hidden spaces and a host of other venues across Greater Manchester.
We opened MIF17 with a celebration of Manchester, as What Is the City but the People? invited more than 100 local residents to take to a 100-metre catwalk in Piccadilly Gardens. And we ended the Festival by returning a local icon to the city in the form of a statue of Friedrich Engels, erected outside HOME as part of Phil Collins’ Ceremony.
In between, the programme was packed with variety and greatness. New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes was just one part of an enormous music series that also encompassed Mary Anne Hobbs’ Dark Matter, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Last and First Men, the pioneering Music for a Busy City, and a special series of gigs staged Live in the Pavilion Theatre.
The visual art programme included Susan Hefuna (ToGather), Graham Eatough and Stephen Sutcliffe (No End to Enderby) and Samson Young (One of Two Stories, or Both), while our stage works featured Jane Horrocks in Cotton Panic!, the vital Fatherland at the Royal Exchange, and our baby opera BambinO, which toured around Greater Manchester following its Festival Square premiere.
From director Thomas Ostermeier (Returning to Reims) to choreographers Boris Charmatz (10000 Gestures) and Lucinda Childs (Available Light), MIF17 welcomed a host of international artists. But from the Festival in My House Takeover in Festival Square to the endeavours of the Creative50, there was also more room than ever for the people of Manchester in a Festival that felt firmly rooted in the city.