Stiff site for Manchester festival

Creative design agency Stiff Rowlands has created a fresh website for the 2009 Manchester International Festival, to be unveiled in early October.


Creative design agency Stiff Rowlands has created a fresh website for the 2009 Manchester International Festival, to be unveiled in early October.


Stiff Rowlands was approached by MIF last August to overhaul the website, which was first devised by the Manchester-based new media agency Code Computer Love.


The MIF is now into its third year and Stiff Rowlands creative partner Simon Rowlands believes it needed a new Web proposition to match its growing maturity, as a world-class event.


He says, ‘The festival has moved on and matured – and we have given it a hardworking, considerate website to reflect that progression. The organisers didn’t want an all-singing, all-dancing website this year. They wanted something functional that could provide an information portal to the event.


‘The website should be a backdrop to all the great shows and events that are on – the website doesn’t need to be a show in itself.’


The launch of phase one of the site, www.mif.co.uk, will coincide with the announcement of the first three commissions for the 2009 festival, which will take place from 2-19 July.


Heralded as the ‘world’s first festival of original, new work’, last year’s MIF kicked off with 25 world premieres, including the opera Monkey: Journey to the West, composed by Damon Albarn, designed by Jamie Hewlett and directed by Chen Shi Zheng.


A group show by 15 of the world’s leading contemporary artists, drama productions and comedy from Johnny Vegas, and food inventions by Heston Blumenthal, were just some of the highlights of last year’s festival.


Earlier this year an independent evaluation of the 2007 MIF reported that the inaugural event attracted 200 000 people and generated an economic impact to the value of £28.8m.

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