Manchester International Festival is looking for volunteers for 2021

The festival will take place in venues across the city this July - with socially distanced, outdoor and digital shows

As the country emerges from lockdown, Manchester International Festival is preparing for another extraordinary 18 days.

The festival, which returns this July, will take place in venues and outdoor spaces across the city.

As a festival of original new work and specially-created events, MIF has been able to work with artists and venues creatively to develop a varied and flexible festival that can safely go-ahead whatever restrictions are in place – including socially distanced, outdoor and digital shows.

With its programme due to be announced later in the spring, MIF is once again asking local people to get involved as volunteers to help make the festival a joyous and celebratory moment for the city. 

Over 500 volunteers got involved in MIF19, doing everything from helping artists behind the scenes to greeting the public at festival events.

This year, the volunteer programme has been designed with safety and flexibility at its core, following and adapting to all government guidelines and allowing participants to make informed decisions about what they are comfortable doing – when they are ready to do so.  

All volunteers will initially be recruited as Festival Fronteers, a hugely important audience-facing role.

Other opportunities may include online support or helping prepare for live events.

Volunteering places will be allocated in late spring, but people will need to register their interest before 29th April.

“We are sure that MIF21 will be an extraordinary 18 days, in whatever format we present it, and we want you to be part of it,” said John McGrath, artistic director and chief executive of MIF.

“We want the festival to be a celebration of being together, an opportunity to reflect and share ideas, and a way of supporting each other.” 

All roles will operate within government COVID-19 guidelines, supported by a specialist team of COVID safety advisors, and will adapt to any changing official guidance or restrictions.

 “We are so lucky to have a wonderfully diverse and supportive community of volunteers who are passionate about the arts, the festival and our city,” said Lee Ashworth, volunteer manager at MIF.

“Without their dedication, energy and enthusiasm the festival would not be possible – and we can’t wait to welcome new volunteer team members this summer.”

 The MIF21 programme will be announced later this spring. Volunteering places will be allocated in late spring, but people will need to register their interest before 29th April at


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