Updated: Tuesday, 19th September 2017 @ 1:20pm

Manchester International Festival a big draw with premieres, world class art and culture galore

Manchester International Festival a big draw with premieres, world class art and culture galore

| By Seamus McDonnell

Crowds from across the UK are continuing to flock to Manchester for the city's biennial International Festival, which is now in full flow.

This year’s event is the first under new artistic director John McGrath and will feature more than 20 world premieres.

The festival will also showcase some of the biggest names in music and art with New Order and Phil Collins performing and exhibitions of works by Frank Gehry, John Adams and Lucinda Childs.

McGrath said: “Only a festival of new work could speak so compellingly to the current state of the world. Everything has changed in the last 12 months, and our artists are responding in real time.

“This is where MIF’s commitment to commissioning new ideas from artists comes in to its own: many of these pieces are being made right now, and will continue to evolve in response to the events happening around us.”

The festival was opened by the massive public event ‘What is the City but the People?’ which saw a unique set of individuals from across the city, recruited via open auditions, walking across a huge catwalk in Piccadilly Gardens.

This was followed by the opening of Festival Square, the amalgamation of arts, music and food exhibitions and stalls which will run in Albert Square until the festival ends on Sunday 16th.

Another of the continual exhibitions ‘Music for a Busy City’ has been set-up within some of Manchester’s most iconic buildings, like the town hall and Victoria Station, and consists of pieces of music by artists from across the world representing the complex of the city.

Other events are being held at Manchester’s main permanent art galleries and venues including the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Lowry and the Manchester Art Gallery.