Stiff Rowlands to relaunch Manchester Festival site

Manchester and London creative agency Stiff Rowlands has been appointed to carry out a website redesign for Manchester International Festival's 2009 programme of events, with the new site due to launch in early October.

Manchester International Festival is the world's first festival of original, new work and special events and takes place biennially, in Manchester, UK.

The Festival launched in 2007 as an artist-led, commissioning festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.

The next Festival will take place from 2-19 July 2009, with the first commissions announced in October 2008.

Cathy Gallagher, marketing director, Manchester International Festival, said of the appointment: "We are delighted to be working with Stiff Rowlands on the new Festival website and I'm looking forward to the launch of phase one in early October which coincides with the announcement of the first three commissions for the 2009 Festival... We chose Stiff Rowland for their range of experience but also for their attitude and approach."

Simon Rowlands, creative partner at Stiff Rowlands, added: "We are proud and excited to be working with such a prestigious organisation. It is a truly artist-led festival that breathes new life into Manchester's rich cultural heritage with world-class events and community spirit."

Among the 25 world premieres in the 2007 Festival were Monkey: Journey to the West, a new opera directed by Chen Shi Zheng composed by Damon Albarn and designed by Jamie Hewlett and Il Tempo del Postino, a group show by 15 of the world's leading contemporary artists such as Matthew Barney, Tacita Dean, Douglas Gordon, Philippe Parreno and Olafur Eliasson; plus new theatre productions including a site-specific work by Stewart Lee and Johnny Vegas, debates, food inventions by Heston Blumenthal and an international music series featuring PJ Harvey, Lou Reed, Happy Mondays, Kanye West and The Gossip.

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