2017’s Festival opened with an invitation – come to Piccadilly Gardens and join friends, neighbours and total strangers for this self-portrait of the city.

Raised high above the pavements, a unique selection of individuals from across Manchester walked along a runway stretching more than 100 metres through Piccadilly Gardens.

All eyes were on the people of Manchester as they become the opening event of the Festival.

With live music from Graham Massey assisted by an unexpected mix of local musicians, What Is the City but the People? captured and celebrated Manchester as never before.

What Is the City but the People? can be found internationally on 15th September in Utrecht, Netherlands as the opening event to Uitfeest 2018.


Experience What Is the City but the People online at mif.co.uk/live.

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival. Supported by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence and My Festival Circle.

Photo: © Jon Super

Take a look at our

Previous festivals

Official partners

Public sector partners

Media partners

Join mailing list Sign in Basket 1