Manchester International Festival (MIF) has announced its programme for 2021 with a variety of art, music, film, dance and theatre coming to the city from 1 – 18 July 2021.

The festival is a biannual event last taking place in 2019 when it was opened with a collaborative bell-ringing event created by Yoko Ono also featuring a musical work about South Africa by Idris Elba.

Big names on the festival this year include the iconic musician, poet, artist, author, and activist Patti Smith who is playing for two special shows, as part of the Patti Smith Quartet which will open the MIF21 live music series. Arlo Parks will take the stage on Friday, 9 July alongside a string section from the Royal Northern College of Music.

Elsewhere, the festival’s music programme will see Cerys Matthews curate a stage of spoken work music, poetry, song and rap while Homecoming, an independent Black-owned digital platform and festival of cultural exchange in Nigeria will take over for a night under ‘Homecoming Live’.

All of This Unreal Time will be premiered at the festival a film starring Cillian Murphy with music by Aaron Dessner of The National, in collaboration with Bryce Dessner and Jon Hopkins.

Also playing are Abi Sampa, Sona Jobarteh, and poet Muneera Williams who will headline a special event launching a new festival of Islamic art and culture.

Tickets for the festival’s events go on sale from 20 May. For more information, including the full programme, head to the MIF21 website.

About The Author

Will Fisher

Journalism graduate from The University of Sheffield, all-round music dweeb, and mac 'n' cheese enthusiast.

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