It was inevitable really. Set up an exclusive, expensive festival for the arts and a low-budget alternative will soon follow. I suggested as much back in November, and Gareth McCann has since come up with the ingeniously simple name: Not Manchester International Festival:
If every event that happens in Manchester from 29 June to 15 July carries our web address on all its promo material then everyone who’s looking will know where to go to find out everything else that’s happening. And what’s more, everyone who’s putting something on will be promoting not just themselves but everyone else who’s putting something on. So it’s not just great publicity but good karma too.
Gareth was motivated to set this fringe of sorts up after a play he’d written, Lovers Talk, wasn’t commissioned by MIF, meaning no publicity boost for its premiere (Britons Protection, 29 June).
Other promoters have already signed up – including the likes of I’m so Indie (my band wouldn’t play Manchester International Festival even if they asked, which they haven’t) at Dry Bar and the Castle pub on Oldham Street, which will host 20 bands in two days.
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