Free things to do at MIF23

Creative Tourist

Manchester International Festival (MIF) is back for 2023, bigger and better than ever. But aside from those eye-catching big-budget events there’s plenty to do that won’t cost a penny, thanks to the organisers putting on plenty of free happenings and must-visit events all over the city.

MIF23 is your chance to try something new, and in these trying times it’s important that everyone can take part. The eyes of the world will be on Manchester during the first half of July, and that’s the perfect excuse to get out there and enjoy what our great city has to offer, courtesy of the most exciting creative minds of our generation.

There’ll be world-firsts brushing up alongside world-class art, which means exciting collaborations and thought-provoking activities, from revered artists such as Tino Sehgal, Risham Syed and Ryan Gander. Not forgetting those all-important free-to-enter spaces, such as the ever-popular Festival Square, which has moved to a brand-new riverside location this year.

There’s a wealth of free things to do at MIF23, all designed to blur art forms, push boundaries and address the big questions of our time, while creating hope for the future. Read on for some of the most essential things to do in summer 2023 that won’t break the bank (or even dent it).

Our top picks

MIF23: Economics The Blockbuster – It’s not Business as Usual at the Whitworth

Economics The Blockbuster at The Whitworth, Manchester, Until 22 October 2023, free entry - Visit now

Described as an event that creates ideas for other ways of being, Economics The Blockbuster closely examines the idea of economic systems via the lens and use of art.

Members and regular pickers of Company Drinks, a community - driven drinks business, forage for hawthorns at Eastbrookend Country Park in Dagenham, East London/Essex. Photo courtesy of Company Drinks
Father John Misty and Friends at The Piece Hall
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