Manchester International Festival has returned this year and we decided to pay a visit to Albert Square which has been transformed into Festival Square. From live bands and food stalls to a live show from the BBC, there was definitely a lot for us to see.

So what’s it all about?

The MIF event began on 29th June and will run until 16th July. Staged shows are presented all over the city from dance and drama to music, art and much more. Many of the events are free to get into and occur throughout the day making it widely accessible for everyone.

When we arrived, we were welcomed by crew members and could immediately smell the delicious food from Manjit’s Kitchen, a vegetarian Indian street food and snacks stall inspired by Manjit’s grandma’s home cooking. Wise, an anthemic alt-rock band from Manchester, took to the stage and everyone was in great spirits, enjoying drinks and having a dance.

We spoke to a volunteer named Nigel who explained to us that this year the festival is bigger than it’s ever been before. In the past, some performances have been a one off and especially for the festival, while others have made it to the West End because they’ve gained so much attention.

Joe at huddled said, ‘Manchester has had a tough couple of months so what better time to celebrate the beauty of the city than with a festival? The MIF is a great way to appreciate Manchester as a city, the culture and the people who make the city what it is.

‘I really enjoyed visiting Festival Square and encourage anyone who is considering going to do so. There’s plenty to do and something for everyone.’

Festival Square will be open from noon till late, every day from Fri 30 June to Sun 16 July and admission is always free. Throughout MIF17, you can visit Festival Square for great food and drink, free live music, nightly DJs, the Festival Box Office and free copies of The Guardian’s MIF17 Guide.


To keep up-to-date with the festival and for a timetable of events, please visit the MIF website.

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