New technology event coming to Manchester

Manchester will host Distractions, a three-day event that will explore how technology affects the way we create, share and consume art, music and entertainment.

The event has been created by organisations including Sound City, Manchester International Festival, FutureEverything and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Distractions will take place from Thursday 18 July to Saturday 20 July, with Sound City, Manchester International Festival and Future Everything leading themed days that focus on innovation, revolution and the future of entertainment.

The first day is headed up by FutureEverything with Distractions: GM Futures, which will gather together artists, digital tech leaders and the people of Greater Manchester to explore visions of the future in an innovation lab.

Secondly, Sound City will lead the agenda looking at how tech is driving the future of entertainment via AR, VR, 3D immersive, facial recognition in stadiums and social media.

For the third and final day Manchester International Festival will explore how science and technology is enabling us to reconfigure our minds, bodies and relationships with each other and the world around us.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, says: ‘Distractions is everything Greater Manchester is about – innovative, forward thinking and radical. We have a great musical heritage and this event shows we use that to inspire an even better future. But more than that, it is about exploring the cross-over between music, technology and our plans for young people.

‘We have a pioneering digital, technological and music history. Whether that’s building the first computer, the birthplace of the industrial revolution and the Spinning Jenny, or the home of Factory Records – our progressive past should be seen as a great foundation for the future.

‘Distractions is all about showcasing the future of Greater Manchester and asking the moral and ethical questions about how technology is both a fantastic opportunity to drive forward out digital city-region ambitions whilst building on our unique cultural offering.

‘In Greater Manchester, we don’t want to just imagine what the future of entertainment and music might look like, we want to lead it.’

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit