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From The xx to Kenneth Branagh, Manchester International Festival brings huge audiences to the city

  • Date: 12 August 2013
  • Area: International, North
band performing on stage with audience

The xx at MIF 2013. Credit: Credit:

The fourth Manchester International Festival (MIF) took place between 4-21 July attracting estimated audiences of 250,000 - an increase of 10% on the 2011 festival. Most of the audiences came from Greater Manchester and other visitors came from over 45 different countries. The world's first and only festival of new work, MIF included over 300 performances of more than 30 new commissions and special events.

The festival, one of the Arts Council's National portfolio organisations, works with partners around the world to present new productions, and some of this year's show will travel to the Armory in New York, Ruhr Triennale in Germany, Festival d'Automne in Paris and Spoleto Festival, Italy.

Alex Poots, Artistic Director and CEO of Manchester International Festival, said: 'Sincere thanks go to all of our artists. We are thrilled with the response we've received from Manchester and beyond - we never take that for granted and I have been so pleased by the generous reactions from reviews to tweets to emails and chats with audiences on Festival Square. For MIF13 weʼve explored some of the city's hidden places. It's been a revelation to see crowds in Mayfield Depot and Albert Hall and a joy to welcome artists like Maxine Peake, Kenneth Branagh, The xx, Massive Attack and Tino Seghal to bring these amazing spaces back to life.'

Philanthropic support and other investment in the festival

Income for the 2013 festival from private sponsorship, individual giving and trusts and foundations stands at just under £3 million pounds. Many of the top tier sponsors have supported the festival over all four editions. The new MIF Members scheme was a sell-out, with 700 individuals joining to support the 2013 Festival with a £50 donation.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: 'The fourth Manchester International Festival has built on the success of previous events and once again proved a remarkable showcase for the city. It attracted a great many visitors and stimulated imaginations and debate.  As well as being a remarkable artistic success, with memorable and in some cases headline-grabbing shows, it will undoubtedly have provided a major economic boost to Manchester as well. The next MIF may be two years away but it's testament to how MIF has established itself as a vibrant part of the city's life that I, and many others, are already starting to look forward to MIF15.'

Alison Clark-Jenkins, Arts Council's Director, North and National Director, Combined Arts said: 'I am delighted at the success of this year's Manchester International Festival. It is an excellent example of how cultural funding can enable more people to experience and be inspired by the arts. In the current economic climate it is good to see a mixed funding ecology supporting an international commissioning festival.'

A full evaluation of MIF13 will be released later in the year.

Links and more information

Find out more about our National portfolio organisations.

Check out highlights from Manchester International Festival.

Fore more updates about our work in the North of England, follow @ace_thenorth on Twitter.