View all

John McGrath

Artistic Director & CEO, Manchester International Festival & The Factory

John E. McGrath is the Artistic Director and CEO of Manchester International Festival (MIF), appointed to the role in 2015.

John’s inaugural Festival in 2017 featured new work from leading international artists such as Boris Charmatz, Thomas Ostermeier and Yael Bartana; a new digital direction for the Festival including MIF’s first online game, and a series of participatory commissions in public space beginning with the Festival’s opening event, What Is the City but the People?

World premieres included New Order collaborating with artist Liam Gillick and an orchestra of synthesizer players; Underworld’s Manchester Street Poem; film-maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s first installation HOME1947 and artist Susan Hefuna’s work with recent migrants to the city for a performance in collaboration with Studio Wayne McGregor.

John also initiated My Festival, a new year-round programme of activity with Manchester communities, including a series of micro-festivals run by Manchester residents; a range of opportunities for the city’s emerging artists, and a creative network for Manchester residents. As CEO of MIF John is also responsible for The Factory, a flagship cultural space for the creation of ambitious new work, opening in 2020.

John was previously Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales which he launched in 2009, achieving an international reputation for large-scale site-specific work, digital innovation, international collaboration, and extraordinary community involvement. John has worked as a theatre director in New York and London and was Artistic Director of Contact Theatre in Manchester from 1999 to 2008. Awards include the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Cultural Leadership Award (2005) and an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University (2015).

Amit Sood

Director, Cultural Institute, Google

Justine Roberts

Founder & CEO, Mumsnet

Stuart Trevor

Co-founder, AllSaints & Co-founder, Bolongaro Trevor

Fabien Riggall

Founder & Director, Secret Cinema (UK)

Jean Oelwang

CEO, Virgin Unite, Virgin Group

Alex Poots

Director, Manchester International Festival

Torsten Schmidt

Co-founder, Red Bull Music Academy

Ian Livingstone CBE

Co-founder Games Workshop and the UK Government’s Creative Industries Champion

Sir Nicholas Kenyon

Managing Director, Barbican Centre

Fergus Linehan

Festival Director, Edinburgh International Festival

Dale Dougherty

Founder, Maker Faire (USA) - Dale has been called 'Father of the Maker Movement' & 1.5 million attended Maker Faire events in 38 countries last year

Eleanor Ford

Innovation Director, Time Out

Michael Morris

Co-Director, Artangel

Siobhan Reddy

Studio Director, Media Molecule (Sony)

Tom Panton

London Studio, Sonos

Ruth Mackenzie CBE

Interim CEO / Launch Director, The Space

Keith Stuart

Games Editor, The Guardian

Fiona Stewart

Director, Green Man Festival

Dominic Dromgoole

Artistic Director, Shakespeare's Globe

Phil Edgar-Jones

Director, Sky Arts

Chris Wild

Director, Retronaut

Caspar Llewellyn Smith

Digital platforms editor and Head of Culture, Guardian News & Media

Simon Walker

Founder - CANVAS, Maidthorn, Love Home Swap, Insportive & ‘Entrepreneur-in-Residence’ - Rightster

Mohammad Al Shehhi

Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Design District

Chris Michaels

DIgital Director, National Gallery

Tim Arthur

CEO, Time Out

Mike Sarna

Director, Programming & Exhibitions, Royal Museums Greenwich

Julien Deslangles-Blanch

Regional Director, UK & Germany, General Assembly

Emily Smith

Director of Marketing and Business Development, Atlantic Productions

Kelly Sawdon

Chief Branding Officer, Ace Hotel

Sandra Schembri

Chief Encouragement Officer of The House of St Barnabas

Sarah Drinkwater

Head of Campus, Google

Helen Marriage

Director, Artichoke

Jess Butcher

Co-founder and CMO, Blippar

Peter Tullin

Co Founder, CultureLabel.com & REMIX Summits

Maddy Carroll

Campaigns Director, 38 Degrees

Adam Clarke

Founder, The Common People

Nick Jankel

Founder, Ripe & Ready

Bethany Koby

Co-founder and CEO, Technology Will Save Us

Yomi Ayeni

Media Liaison, Burning Man Festival

Paul Croft

Director, Ultimaker UK

Julian McCrea

Managing Director at Portal Entertainment

Charles Edwards

Street Artist a.k.a. Pure Evil

Joseph Smith

Co-Founder Makerversity, Designer, Artist

Bill Thompson

Head of Partnership Development, BBC Archives

Clive Dutton OBE

Co-founder, The Line: East London Sculpture Walk

John Kampfner

Director, Creative Industries Federation

John Cassy

Co-Founder, Factory 42

Simon Cronshaw

Co-Founder, CultureLabel.com & REMIX Summits

Abi Wade

Cello / Box / Voice

Manisha Ferdinand

Head of PR, Sky Arts, Sky Movies, Sky 3D. Acting Head of PR, Sky Atlantic

Anthony Geffen

CEO, Atlantic Productions

Jo Holdaway

Director of Strategic and Commercial Data, Evening Standard, Independent & i

Lea Simpson

Strategy Director, TH_NK

Jessica Taylor

Vice-President, Experience Design & General Manager, Antenna Lab

Terence Teh

Editor, Nowness

John McGrath

Artistic Director & CEO, Manchester International Festival & The Factory

Tristan Sharps

Artistic Director, Dreamthinkspeak

Jane Burton

Head of Content and Creative Director, Tate Media

Neil Bruce

Head of Mobile, Mindshare

Ruth Sessions

Director of Operations, Atlantic Productions

Anthony Catt

Commercial Director, Oxygen Startups

Marino Fresch

Head of Marketing, Eventbrite

Stephen Nuttall

Senior Director, YouTube EMEA

Chris Michael

Deputy Editor, Cities, The Guardian

Dan Pearce

10 Second Ninja & BAFTA Breakthrough Brit

Gerry Hopkinson

Co-founder, Unity

Paul Smyth

Co-founder, Something & Son

Mariano Robles

Business Director, Airbeem

Rob Silver

Head of Dance Festival Division, MAMA & Company (Lovebox)

Dr Matthew Green

Author, Time Traveler's Guide to London (Penguin)

Cat Botibol

Co-founder & Executive Producer, Grimm Productions

Bruno Zamborlin

Creator, Mogees

Many Ameri

Co-founder, Red Bull Music Academy

Andy Taylor

Head of Movies Coverage / Documentary Producer, BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra

Justine Simons

Head of Culture, City Hall, London & Chair, World Cities Culture Forum

Helen Charman

Director of Learning and Research, Design Museum

Adam Gee

Multiplatform & Online Video Commissioning Editor, Channel 4