You, me and the balloons

Soar beyond the everyday at Manchester’s International Festival

Manchester is a thriving and artistic city, influenced by its diverse communities and well-established creative network. The Manchester International Festival (MIF) presents an opportunity to celebrate these qualities, drawing some of the most exciting creatives to the city through a range of pop-up exhibitions.

This year, the MIF will feature collaborations that blur art forms and seek to remove arbitrary boundaries that define the sector. Each artistic display seeks to address the big questions of our time, from local, national and international perspectives. Its diverse programme includes performances from icons like Goldfrapp to discussions of the connections between art and football from Tino Sehgal and Juan Mata. Manchester’s outdoor spaces are also transformed by the festival, with Mayfield Park providing the perfect backdrop to “honour our connection to water” in Risham Syed’s Each Tiny Drop.

The MIF also hosts the opening of Factory International’s much-anticipated new home in the city, in advance of its official opening in October. It opens its doors to house one of the MIF’s 2023 highlights, a major exhibition of Yayoi Kusama’s inflatable artworks, You, Me and the Balloons.  

With accessibility at its core, the majority of MIF’s programme can be accessed free of charge or through tickets at extremely accessible prices, ensuring the whole of Greater Manchester can access this thought-providing artistic display.

Taking inspiration from the city it calls home, the MIF offers an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the pioneering potential of both the visual arts and the performing arts.

Manchester International Festival takes place between 29 June and 16 July. To find out move, visit