Make the Most of Manchester International Festival

It’s time for Greater Manchester to demonstrate its diversity as it prepares to bring together a range of music, art and action from around the world. Two years have passed since the last Manchester International Festival and it’s back to wow us all once again! 

And what better place to stage a festival of different cultures and backgrounds than Manchester? MIF works to bring together performers and audiences through interesting art forms in which the local community can be involved. Festival organisers collaborate closely with various venues across the city to make it possible for visitors from all over the world to see the beauty of the region while sharing our different interests, traditions and heritage. 


Running from 29th June to 16th July, MIF is the perfect opportunity to get out in Greater Manchester and see the diverse displays on offer, and even get involved in some of the exhibitions! 


Wherever the venue, System One Travel can help make getting there easier with our journey planner and range of Day Saver travelcards.



Where Did It All Begin?

The first MIF launched in 2007 and started with the iconic Monkey: Journey to the west. The show was a collaboration between Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and Chen Shi-Zheng. MIF still considers it to be one of their most pioneering shows to date!

Before this, among other things, MIF staged Gorillaz Demon Days Live, which put the festival on the map. 


Kicking Things Off...

Starting the festival this year is What Is The City But The People?, a portrait of the city created by people of the city with music from Graham Massey and local musicians.

The festival kicks off at the end of the working day on Thursday 29th June at 6:30pm. We don’t want to give too much away but it’s well worth getting yourselves to Piccadilly Gardens for this. Our one day travel cards can get you there!


New Order

Next on the bill is a band with a worldwide following who have their roots firmly in Manchester: New Order. They will be performing on stage 1 of Manchester’s Old Granada Studios, accompanied by a 12 strong synthesiser ensemble from the Royal Northern College of Music. Show dates are as follows: Thursday 29 June, Saturday 1, Thursday 6, Thursday 13 & Saturday 15 July 2017. Doors open at 7:30pm.

The exclusive shows were created with the help of visual artist Liam Gillick and composer-arranger Joe Duddell. The shows are currently sold out, however more tickets may be released nearer the time. Keep updated by following MIF on twitter!

Art inspired by the work of New Order and Joy Division will also be explored in True Faith, a free event at Manchester Gallery, running from 30th June to 16th July.



For music of a more international flavour, The Lowry is the place to be on July 1st for Sangam 2017. Harshdeep Kaur and Sanam Marvi will sing their own sets of Sufi (which means come together) music before duetting for the first time.

Both singers provide the perfect introduction to the music of South Asia and an opportunity for existing fans to share their love of the genre.


What If Women Ruled The World?

This art experiment answers the question of what if women ruled the world? The film and performance project is likened to Doctor Strangelove, in which men are each assigned ten women to repopulate a post-apocalyptic world, with the males being all-powerful.

In this updated version, the power is in the hands of women. Ten women will be confronted with urgent global crises, the test will be to see how they handle the situations.

The project is running from Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th July, and tickets can be purchased here.


Available Light

Fans of music, dance and architecture will all be equally stunned by the Available Light performance due to appear at the Palace Theatre from Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th July. The three creators: composer John Adams, choreographer Lucinda Childs and architect Frank Gehry have worked together to produce this beautiful, stripped down piece which will challenge the imagination of all audience members.

Originally performed in Los Angeles in 1983, this contemporary presentation has been revived with a 2017 update and is a welcome addition to the Manchester International Festival. For more information and a full list of this year’s events, visit the Manchester International Festival website. There, you will also find details of how to get involved and make the most of the programme of displays and performances.


Here at System One, we love to get involved in all things Manchester so we’ll be delighted to help you to get involved too with our travelcards and get me there smartcards, which are accepted by all major regional and local bus companies!

Pick up a Day Saver travelcard from us from as little as £5 and never miss an event again! Or enter our competition to win a FREE Day Saver travelcard by telling us via Twitter or Facebook which of the MIF events is at The Lowry on July 1st. Use #DiscoverMIF and have fun discovering the International side of Manchester.

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