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Spirit of Friendship Festival *

A vision for the new Commonwealth

"The XVII Commonwealth Games provides a wonderful opportunity to embrace and celebrate the diversity of our arts and to open our doors to the traditions and cultures of other Commonwealth nations."


11 March – 10 August 2002

The Spirit of Friendship Festival - a catalyst and banner for a vibrant, visual and engaging celebration of the modern Commonwealth, generating enthusiasm for community celebrations, excitement and widespread awareness in the lead up to the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The Festival will enable the overall Games experience to reach far beyond those mainly interested in sport or in the North West during the Games. As the host of a vast array of other activities it will ensure an unforgettable summer of celebration in 2002. It will leave a lasting legacy of diversity and inclusion nationwide and in the north west.

town hall

Our vision

The Spirit of Friendship Festival’s vision is to be the most ambitious, multi-cultural festival linked with a major sporting event ever to take place in the UK.

Activity is grouped into four strands linked by the common themes of diversity and inclusion. The strands are:

  • Sport

  • Education

  • Arts and culture

  • Community events linked to The Queen’s Golden Jubilee

We're celebrating on every level and we invite you to join us in celebrating the richness of modern, multi-cultural Britain.

fire eater

Live it up!

Come and Celebrate the Commonwealth Games this summer with Festival Live, a festival of free entertainment in Manchester. Starting on 25 July, Festival Live will see the city come alive with big sport screens, street performance and one-off events.There will be something for everyone in Festival Live, from cutting edge Manchester DJs to traditional brass bands.

Count yourself in

The success of the Spirit of Friendship Festival will depend on the creativity, inspiration and imagination of people just like you. To find out more about ways you can become involved, look around this website for ideas and information or contact your regional arts board, local authority, school or community group. If you have an event that you would like to be part of the Spirit of Friendship Festival you can find out more - see the Guide for event organisers

You can email the Spirit of Friendship Festival team at: Rhiannon.burgess@manchester2002.co.uk

Thanks to: the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, the Arts Council of England, the Department for Education and Skills, the Commonwealth Institute, the Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, Marketing Manchester, North West Arts Board, Manchester City Council, Arts About Manchester, the Home Office, the Commonwealth Games Federation, Visiting Arts, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the British Council and the many other organisations who have contributed so far and to everyone who will be contributing to make this vision a success.

If you have already registered you can now access the Spirit of Friendship logos

*Festival Live
*Arts and Culture
*Community and Jubilee
*Registration and logos
*Guide for event organisers
*Festival events
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