What is MI

Manchester Independents is a biennial showcase for independent Greater Manchester artists. Running alongside and supported by Manchester International Festival, in 2025 it will offer opportunities for GM artists to present their work to the influx of audiences + professionals visiting the city. Supported by over 30 GM organisations with cash and resources, It features new commissions selected by an artist panel alongside an open platform for GM artists to profile their work. 

Outside the showcase period, Manchester Independents online remains open as a year-round listings opportunity for GM artists. If you have a new piece of work, created + presented in GM, give it a boost with a free listings page here. 


Born out of the pandemic, as a way to support local independent artists, Manchester Independents is an initiative supported by over 30 cultural organisations in the city to celebrate the work of Greater Manchester artists across all boroughs. It was born out of the pandemic.

Following 23 new commissions in 2021, 2023 saw 12 new commissions as well as a platform for independent artists to showcase and promote their projects across the region. Commissioned works were selected by independent artists and supported by a unique partnership of GM organisations in support of their artist community.

Manchester Independents 23 presented a vast range of new work ranging from workshops with Muslim women in Rochdale to film screenings in Levenshulme and AI generated performances on the streets of Greater Manchester. Artists explored personal yet universal experiences of shame, mental health, celebrations, love, feminism, chronic illness, cerebral palsy and even a dystopian Manchester.

See the full list of artists and commissioned works.