Monday, July 04, 2011

Festival Season

Manchester International Festival began on Thursday. Counterintuitively I went down to London Friday, as I'd long planned to, to see "The Cult of Beauty" at the V&A (more of which later.) MIF (or #MIF11 on Twitter) isn't a festival that you can take the full two weeks off for, as it would probably bankrupt you. Most people I know have booked for one or two events and will see what else they might catch. Yet there's also a festival pavilion in Albert Square, many of which events are free. So, over the next week or two I'll be catching a few things I'm sure. Its also spurred its own fringe, this time with quite a large, coherent programme. The "Not Part of" festival takes its name from the somewhat dismal community offerings of the first MIF, but has thankfully grown into a welcomed little brother of the main festival. As ever in Manchester, the city is a diverse beast, and events not associated with either festival of fringe are going on at just the same time. So tonight I'll be going to the last of Martin Amis's public lectures as Professor of Creative Writing at University of Manchester.

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