Free Your Mind: The launch of Aviva Studios, home of Factory International

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 12 months, then you will know all about Manchester’s newest cultural juggernaut Aviva Studios, home of Factory international.

We’re seriously proud of being from the North and culture from our region is always close to our hearts, so we have been waiting with baited breath for this venue to fling its doors open.

When the Factory International team got in touch with us and asked us to support them with on the official Aviva Studios opening event, we jumped at the opportunity.

The launch event was a live, interactive launch party, built around the venue’s opening show Free Your Mind, a journey into The Matrix through dance and immersive design, directed by Danny Boyle, with hip hop choreography by Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy, a powerful score from composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante (co-founders of Boy Blue); we’ve worked with these three wonderful people before on Emancipation of Expressionism, but that’s a whole other story.

The breathtaking production also featured eye-opening staging from world-leading designer Es Devlin, alongside words from acclaimed writer Sabrina Mahfouz and costumes by iconic fashion designer Gareth Pugh.

It goes without saying that the event was absolutely sensational; a fully immersive experience with giant white rabbits running around everywhere, fully costumed barrel walkers, dancers, amazing food and drink by the venue’s food and drink operator Super Serve, a massive party with music provided by quality DJs spinning hip-hop and soul, and of course a flawless performance of Free Your Mind.

A massive night for Manchester, welcoming one of the most important cultural venues that the city has ever housed, and it has been an honour of the highest order to work on it with such brilliant people… but those red carpets don’t walk themselves, and now it is most definitely bedtime!

Sundae x

📸: Jody Hartley 

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