CitySuites Blog

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Manchester International Festival in 2023


Manchester International Festival (MIF) is back in 2023.

With new artists, exhibitions, and cultural hits from across the world showcasing exciting talents. With Manchester becoming the stage for otherworldly creativity, the programme will set the city ablaze with 18 days of events, performances, and exhibitions. 

We highlight the most anticipated happenings during the festival. 

*All images used are from

We've selected the best events on offer at this year's festival. 

MIF Events & Performances 


Festival Square 2023

Festival Square makes a return in 2023, offering free live music and performances. Set within Cathedral Gardens (not too far from the Arndale, Victoria Station and CitySuites!) the event provides a diverse range of entertainment and amenities from family-friendly events, to street food. 

[Price] Free

[Date] 29th June to 16th July


Anna Meredith: Fibs With The RNCM Festival Orchestra


Meredith's sound can be defined as... undefinable. Anna's creative electricity pushes the boundaries of modern music. With experience in composing, producing and performing, Anna's orchestral prowess results in a sensational performances (including the Hollywood Bowl and the "Last Night Of The Proms"). 

[Price] £25 

[Date] 8th July 




Created by the late Ryuichi Sakamoto, this mixed-reality concert experience fuses a concept that can be described as "dimensional moving photography" with real space. Visitors will wear optically-transparent devices to experience KAGAMI fully, watching the virtual Sakamoto performing alongside the dimensional art displayed. 

[Price] £28

[Date] 29th June to 9th July


Jenn Nkiru


British artist and filmmaker Jenn Nkiru explores the intricacies of architecture, the human body, and their evolution through time and space in her new piece for Virtual Factory. Jenn's work spans important topics in the world's culture, such as the history of Black music, experimental film, the Black arts movement and Afro-surrealism.

[Price] Jenn Nkiru's new short film will be released online as part of MIF23.

[Date] 29th June



Yayoi Kusama: You, Me And The Balloons

Yayoi Kusama makes her presence known in this year's MIF with her largest-ever immersive environment exhibit. You, Me and the Balloons is a celebratory programme concerning the artist's work, taking guests through a psychedelic journey of giant dolls, polka-dot-inspired art, and fantastical pieces. Kusama's art style highlights surrealism, highlighting dots, pumpkins, tendrils, and other artistic expressions. 

[Price] £15

[Date] 30th June -16th July (extended to 28th August). 



Janelle Monae


Janelle Monae - a multi-talented performer is back at MIF this year. Known for her many Grammy-nominated TV roles and hit singles, Janelle has been making waves in the entertainment industry. For this upcoming MIF event, expect a euphoric performance by Janelle, interacting with viewers and displaying power and talent through her show.

[Price] £45

[Date] 30th June to 2nd July 



Angelique Kidjo And Guests


Angelique Kidjo and guests will bring an unforgettable performance, made to experience live. Her music has graced the industry for the past four decades, and her work is known for its diverse musical influence - as well as expressive music shoots. As her first show at MIF, Angelique and some of the best talent from the city will join her on stage. ----

[Price] £25 

[Date] 4th July


All Right. Good Night.

MIF2023 All Right Good Night Show

This meditative performance tells a compelling story about the disappearance of MH370. Combining the subject of tragedy with catastrophe - this experience is a meditation on how we can deal with loss and uncertainty. Created by Rimini Protokoll, the theatre of All Right. Good Night. is a haunting, yet enticing performance to keep an eye on. 

[Price] £28 

[Date] 6th to 8th July 


50 Hours Of Freedom 

50 Hours of Freedom celebrates International Non-Binary People's Day on 14th July. This collaboration between Contact and MIF brings in a new performance: three local non-binary artists will have 50 hours to make their new piece that showcases their talent - which will then be shown to a live audience. 

[Price] £20 

[Date] 14th July


Balmy Army


Balmy Army is a free exhibition in MIF, created as a new art, activism and mutual care project for young people struggling with mental health. Drop in and see the overwhelming number of advocates supporting mental health care for youths across the globe. There are various programmes by the Balmy Army taking place across the whole event, so check it out when you get the chance!

[Price] Free!

[Date] 1st to 15th July 



Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon


The play, directed by Roy Alexander Weise and written by Kimber Lee, takes a look at Kim - who's somehow trapped in an endless run of unfortunate events - makes a breakthrough in hundreds of bloody narratives that offer the same conclusion. Exploring themes of racism, control and destiny, Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon delivers a captivating play, filled with hilarity and heavy subject matter that will entertain and engage the audience! 

[Price] £15 

[Date] 24th June to 16th July




Factory Sessions: B!TEZ and Obeka

Factory Sessions display live performances from Manchester's best upcoming generation of artists. You can find out more about the new artists through their profiles on Factory+. 

Understand more about how multi-talented musician B!TEZ or Factory Sounds alumni Obeka came to find their distinct styles.


Experiment: Immersive Tech In Performance

You can check out Factory's research and development project that highlights the future of live performance experiences. MIF was recently part of a 2019 major piece of research that explores this concept, looking into various subjects including music, video production, gaming, theatre, and more. 

You can learn more about the completion of this research and their findings through their Factory+ page.


Art: Postcards From Now

This digital exhibition showcases diverse perspectives regarding COVID-19. 

Postcards From Now are a set of films that explore different subjects on the Global Pandemic. Watch as leading international artists take a dive into important themes - from communication to power. 


Games: Songs Of The Lost

Songs of the Lost is described as a magic-realist game created for MIF19, by award-winning Paloma Dawkins and a team of international collaborators. 

The game uses both visual and auditory senses to create a unique, interactive experience. 

What Is The Manchester International Festival?

MIF is an event that features fresh talent from around the globe. This festival takes place every other year, with a focus on showcasing new, original work. 

Brief History of MIF 

The first event took place in 2007, from the 28th of June to the 15th of July, with events happening biennially (2009, 2011, 2013, etc.)

With the purpose of delivering the very best of original art, new exhibitions and works across diverse disciplines (from music to visual arts), MIF brings newly-acclaimed artists and emerging talents into one city. 

When Is It On? 

The festival starts on the 29th of June, 2023!

How Long Is It On For? 

In 2023, the event will take place from the 29th of June to the 16th of July, 18 days of continuous events at the heart of Manchester. 

Events & Performances

Below is a quick highlight of all events happening in 2023's MIF.

Yayoi Kusama: You, Me & The Balloons

30th Jun - 28th Aug

Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon Play 

24th Jun - 16th Jul

The Fa**ots and Their Friends Between Revolutions

28th Jun - 2nd Jul

Jenn Nkiru

29th Jun


Risham Syed: Each Tiny Drop

29th Jun (Free)


29th Jun - 9th Jul 

Ryan Gander: The Find

29th Jun - 16th Jul (Free)


Tino Sehgal: This Entry

29th Jun - 16th Jul


We Cut Through Dust

29th Jun - 16th Jul


Janelle Monáe

30th Jun - 2nd Jul

Economics The Blockbuster: It's Not Business As Usual

30th Jun - 22nd Oct

Modelling Queer Utopias: A Blueprint For A Future

1st - 11th Jul (SOLD OUT)

Sonics, Stories And Scenes Of The Diaspora

1st Jul

Angélique Kidjo And Guests

4th Jul



5th - 9th Jul (SOLD OUT)


AfroDeutsche With Manchester Camerata Conducted By Robert Ames 

5th Jul 

Justin Vivian Bond: One Night In Trans Vegas

6th Jul 

All Right. Good Night.

6th - 8th Jul

Sonic Geography

7th Jul

Anna Meredith: Fibs With The RNCM Festival Orchestra 

8th Jul

Sanam Marvi

8th Jul

Manchester Collective And Slung Low: Noah's Flood

9th Jul

John Grant Sings The Songs Of Patsy Cline With Richard Hawley And Band

11th Jul

The Comet Is Coming and Daisy Dickinson Present Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam

12th Jul

Benjo Reid: Find Your Eyes

12th - 16th Jul

R.O.S.E: Sharon Eyal, Gai Behar And Young With Ben UFO 

13th - 16th Jul

Alison Goldfrapp

14th Jul

Balmy Army

1st - 15th Jul (Free)

50 Hours Of Freedom

14th Jul

Desi Factory

15th Jul

Festival Square 2023

30th Jun - 16th Jul (Free)




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