What is the City but the People? was created from an idea by Jeremy Deller and is a celebration of the people who make up the fabric of the place we are situated in. Raised above the pavements, citizens walk a 60m catwalk backed by live music, large scale projected photographs and text, making a unique portrait of people and place.

A work of the people by the people for the people, Director Richard Gregory works with a local team to showcase the story, sentiments and soul of the city. The work involves around 150 members of the community, new music by local musicians, a local photography and video team, a local writer and interview team and a local dramaturg. This project is especially suited to be an Opening/ Closing event for venues and festivals who want to deepen their relationships with their local community.

Premiered at MIF17: 29 Jun 2017

Three people walk down a large yellow catwalk, surrounded by a crowded audience in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester

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International Presentations


15 September 2018

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht in collaboration with Centraal Museum Utrecht and SPRING Performing Arts Festival, Utrecht


4 May 2019



29 June 2021

Munich Kammerspiele

This is a beautifully simple idea from Deller... a piece tapping deep into the power of public spaces to generate fleeting human connections between strangers. For many participants, it was more than a parade: it was an act of self-affirmation.

The Telegraph

A platform that normally celebrates superficial appearance is instead used to celebrate the everyday brilliance and resilience of the people of the city. And it’s more beautiful than any fashion show. Beautiful, heartwarming and life-affirming.

BBC News


From an idea by Jeremy Deller

Richard Gregory Director

Simon Banham Designer

Graham Massey Musical Director

Sonia Hughes Writer

Gavin Parry Photographer

Hawkins\Brown Architects

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