What's on at Manchester International Festival 2013

For the fourth year running, Manchester will come alive with the arrival of the Manchester International Festival. From 4th-21st July, a whole host of shows, musicians and stalls will take over the city, turning it into a cultural hub of specially-commissioned work.

Building on the successes of the previous years, 2013’s offering is bigger and better than ever. In terms of music, the standout work comes from Massive Attack vs Adam Curtis. This is a show fusing the dark, brooding intensity of one of music’s most interesting bands with the stunningly fascinating imagery of filmmaker Adam Curtis, and it’s set to be one of the festival’s biggest events. Other popular musicians taking to the city include The xx, Mogwai, Neneh Cherry and Goldfrapp.

Kenneth Brannagh is directing the festival’s headline work this year with an open air production of Macbeth. Come rain or shine, the show will go on, so bring a picnic and a drink or two and settle down to watch what will inevitably be a jaw-dropping performance. Other notable plays include Sarah Frankcom’s interpretation of 19th century tale The Masque of Anarchy about poverty-stricken Mancunians.

If you’re thinking of taking children along, they won’t be left out, as Manchester Festival caters for people of all ages and interests. Inne Goris’ Once Upon a Story has been designed specifically for children, with stories about childhood being performed at locations throughout the city. Each story is aimed at a different age group, so there is something age appropriate no matter how old your kids are.

Fans of DJ sets and dancing all night won’t be disappointed. The Festival Pavilion is taken over by a different DJ every night of the festival with tunes blaring out until the small hours. The music collection will be eclectic, with past and future cult hits mixed in with some popular mainstream tunes to keep everyone happy. The House of Popular Disco kicks off the festival courtesy of Drunk at Vogue, with Dave Haslam’s Yellow rounding off the weeks of debauchery and dancing.

Manchester International Festival is one of the new kids on the festival block, but it’s not holding back any punches, and looks set to be a fantastic event. So if you fancy a spot of culture this summer or want a festival where you won’t be knee deep in mud, gather your friends together, hire a coach to Manchester and let yourself be blown away by some of the brightest new stars on the arts circuit.

Esther Randall is a self confessed culture vulture who blogs regularly about arts and entertainment events across the UK

Algene C.

The author is currently taking up law who blogs on her free time.

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