Manchester is all set to become the world’s stage this summer, with Manchester International Festival returning from 29 June to 16 July 2023. And with the long-anticipated programme now launched, it’s fair to say that we’re more than a little excited about the cultural adventures in store.
Taking place across the city as well as at the all-new Factory International, MIF23 will bring 18 extraordinary days of events, performances and happenings to Greater Manchester, where the world’s most exciting creative minds will reach across art forms, smash boundaries, and speak to urgent contemporary issues.
Here our editors make their selections of the best events on offer at this year’s Festival, from ground-breaking mixed reality concerts to colossal exhibitions via genre-bending performance.
Here are our picks
untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre, 24 June–22 July 2023, from £7.00 - Book now
Winner of the Bruntwood Prize 2019 International Award, Kimber Lee’s play looks to be the pièce de résistance for another brilliant season at the Royal Exchange and a hot ticket at MIF23.
The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 28 June–2 July 2023, from £10.00 - Book now
Expect dance, theatre and song in this musical world premiere performance of Larry Mitchell and Ned Asta’s cult 1977 novel.
Kagami by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum at Versa Manchester Studios, Castlefield, 29 June–9 July 2023, from £10 - Book now
Watch a ground-breaking mixed reality concert created by legendary composer and musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and world-leading production studio and technology developer, Tin Drum.
Each Tiny Drop at Mayfield Park, Manchester, 29 June 2023, free entry - Find Out More
Take part in a joyful gathering on the banks of the River Medlock, celebrating togetherness and the gift of water, while drawing on ancient practices and river rituals from South Asian culture.
Jenn Nkiru, online, 29 June 2023, free entry - Find Out More
Having worked with Beyoncé and Kamasi Washington, visionary filmmaker Jenn Nkiru turns her attentions to Manchester with a new short film.
This entry at National Football Museum, Cathedral Quarter, 29 June–16 July 2023, from £10 - Book now
Celebrate the connections between vastly different worlds with Tino Sehgal’s new choreographed piece, premiering at the National Football Museum and the Whitworth this summer.
Ryan Gander: The Find, 29 June–16 July 2023, free entry - Find Out More
Join Ryan Gander’s The Find, a citywide treasure hunt for the artist’s tiny collectible artworks and decision-making tools in the form of coins.
You, Me and the Balloons at Factory International, City Centre, 29 June–28 August 2023, from £7.50 - Book now
Yayoi Kusama’s You, Me and the Balloons celebrates three decades of Kusama’s spectacular inflatable artworks, which are brought together for the first time in this major exhibition.
THEY at John Rylands Research Institute and Library, City Centre, 5–9 July 2023, from £10.00 - Book now
The band’s back together. Regular MIF collaborators Maxine Peake, Sarah Frankcom and Imogen Knight unveil a brand-new production – a chilling adaptation of a lost dystopian masterpiece turned cult classic.
AFRODEUTSCHE with Manchester Camerata at Factory International, City Centre, 5 July 2023, from £10 - Book now
Manchester Camerata and Robert Ames are teaming up to premier a new work for string ensemble from Manchester’s very own AFRODEUTSCHE.
All right. Good night at HOME Manchester, Manchester, 6–8 July 2023, from £10.00 - Book now
The sudden disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the real-life experience of dementia are woven together in this meditative performance from Rimini Protokoll.
Anna Meredith: FIBS with RNCM Festival Orchestra at Mayfield Depot, Manchester, 8 July 2023, from £10 - Book now
Anna Meredith presents an orchestral version of her Mercury Prize-shortlisted album FIBS in collaboration with young musicians from the RNCM.
Noah's Flood at Factory International at Factory International, City Centre, 9 July 2023, from £10.00 - Book now
Audiences of all ages are invited to enjoy a one-of-a-kind opera featuring Manchester Collective, Lemn Sissay and 180 schoolchildren as every bird and beast under the sun.
Find Your Eyes at Manchester Academy, Manchester, 12–16 July 2023, from £10.00 - Book now
Fusing photography with choreography and theatre, don’t miss this live photography show, created by the award-winning British photographer Benji Reid.
Festival Square at Factory International, City Centre, 30 June–16 July 2023, free entry - Find Out More
You’ll find the beating heart of Manchester International Festival 2023 in an all new location this year, with Festival Square popping up on the banks of the River Irwell.