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Where have we been since 2013?


We’ve been to Glasto and Hay and Edinburgh fringe,

Watching and cheering, with only a tinge 

Of yearning for Manchester and all of our friends,

With MIF now starting to trend.


We’ve met up in pubs and Manchester clubs,

Relationships started and so much fun had.

The lack of our festival has not been that bad.


We’ve also been busy in Volunteer land

So many events that needed a hand.

There were book fests and jazz fests and science and beer

And food fares and flower shows and plenty of cheer.

Volunteering for Whitworth and Commonwealth games,

Gardening and painting, it’s never the same.


Front of House action at Victoria Baths

Romeo went swimming, there were plenty of laughs.

Now The Library and Cornerhouse have ended their roam

And settled at First Street and established their HOME.


And so we are here all shiny and clean

To see what will happen in 2015.

Volunteers anew and many returnees

All ready to start their fabulous journeys.


So what have we got that’s extra exciting

No Scotsmen this time, no kilts and no fighting.

But there’ll be Maxine again, this time with The Skriker

As fantastic as ever, there’s no one quite like her.


Bjork and her guests is a ticket that’s hot!

Adam Buxton and cabaret with Invisible Dot.

We have Tree of Codes with never a stumble,

And lots of fun with nice Mr Tumble.


And then there’s Charlotte with wolves in the Woods

And Festival Square will come up with the goods.

Damon will wonder with his online Alice

A truly fitting trip to the Palace.


There’s FKA Twigs and Flex with street dance

Discussion and debate with Interdependence.

And Richter and Part with art and with song.

To High Tea in Wonderland the masses will throng.


To help us and guide us through this summer of fun,

With Go to Give and the office to run

We’ve got Kayleigh as Ella and Ella as Matt

And Fee who is Fee and the best for all that.

With a crowd such as this we’re all in control

Just one month to go and we’re ready to roll.

We’ll be the best volunteering team

Are you ready for us MIF 15?



The Tale of the Festival


Hello Hello. How are you?

Hello Hello. It’s good to see you.

Mr Tumble has gone but I’m still so inclined 

To talk to you using Makaton signs.

Or sing you a song with an Estonian choir

Or Sacred Sounds who will always inspire.


The festival came and the festival went

And many happy days and nights there were spent.


Working with spreadsheets each day was a dream 

Entering sponsors for the development team.

Sorting tickets and flyers and maps to find Bjork 

Was funny and happy and nothing like work.


But soon we’re fixated with stairs and with floors

With queues and with raincoats. An obsession with doors,

There were heavy ones, light ones and one that was blocked

And closed ones and open ones and some that were locked.


High Tea in Wonderland was over so fast,

There were spoons to be stolen and soup in a glass. 

A manic white rabbit and a cello playing queen

The rooms and the food were a sight to be seen. wasn’t real, it was only a game

They all survived, but with nothing the same.

Of course we loved Charlie, right from the start

But Alice was also in everyone’s heart.


The Skriker was nasty, Maxine Peake at her best,

With the Exchange and with words and our minds it did mess.

At Home it was dark, cutting trees in the wood.

What big eyes you have, Little Red Riding Hood. 


The Age of Starlight was truly enlightening

The discussion of science was very exciting.

With his Oldham twang and his Beatle locks,

How many in there loved Brian Cox?


FlexN were flexible in so many ways

And for FKA twigs there was nothing but praise.

Tree of Codes with music, lights and dance

Reflections on life, our world enhanced.


An avatar created and performances captured,

By Ed Atkins head we were all enraptured.

While Part made music and Richter made art 

Amazing connection, so full of heart.


The Square was all fab, as every year it has been

With pizza and DJs and the BBC scene.

The Crocodile snacked on a gentleman called Ivan

And Invisible Dot Cabaret our world did enliven.

At Tumble, high-vis and herding balloons,

Amusing young children with repetitive tunes.

Squirrels and birds and owls and blue frogs

But nothing compared with the lovely hedgehogs.

Red noses and raisins and traffic too fast,

With crushes on Tumble now well in the past.


What would we have done without Ella, Kayleigh and Fee?

Who organised the volunteers so excellently.

They kept most of us sane, well as best as they could,

With hugs and with kisses and plenty of food. 


The festival offers many acts every time

But on opening night, it was just so sublime.

Damon Albarn sang out, right there in the Square

A festival moment for so many to share.


And so thank you Alex, for the acts you have found

The shows that you brought and the sights and the sounds.

It won’t be the same with you in New York

But we’ll all continue your incredible work.


And now all together say a heartfelt hoorah

And welcome to MIF, Mr John McGrath.

The Festival is Manchester’s best time of year

And as we all know, we do things differently here

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