Big Ben has quit Westminster and come to Manchester – to give itself to us, the people.

Come to Piccadilly Gardens to explore a monumental new work of art: a colossal 42m replica of Big Ben, lying almost horizontal and covered in 20,000 copies of books that have shaped British politics. Read more about it on the main Big Ben Lying Down page.

On this page, you can book free tickets to explore inside Big Ben Lying Down, which contains a film and soundtrack created by artist Marta Minujín. Tickets are available for entry between 10am and 9.30pm, every day from Friday 2 July to Sunday 18 July.

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival.


Image credit: courtesy of the artist

Essential Information


The safety of our audiences, artists, volunteers and staff is our highest priority. As well as following all government and industry guidelines, we’re working closely with specialist safety consultants to ensure all our venues are COVID-safe and secure for everyone. You can read more details about our safety measures on our Visit Us page, which we’ll update regularly between now and the Festival.


Big Ben Lying Down with Political Books takes place outdoors at Piccadilly Gardens. As the artwork is open to the elements, please wear sensible shoes and outdoor clothing. There is step-free access to all areas of the site via flagged pathways. Some grassed areas in Piccadilly Gardens may be inaccessible to wheelchair users depending on prevailing weather conditions.

The installation will include a short subtitled film, which ticket-holders can watch inside the structure and which will also be available online.

For more information about the venue, please visit

For guidance on booking access tickets for MIF21, please visit

For details of the different types of access performances at MIF21, please visit

We always welcome specific access enquiries: please email us at, call us on our dedicated access number of 0333 322 8679 (Option 3) or chat to us online via webchat.