Manchester International Festival to go ahead this month

Manchester International Festival is back this year despite ongoing coronavirus restrictions, with a packed 18-day lineup of both free, paid and online events.

The festival will run from July 1 until July 18 and is a celebration of arts and original work, with a ‘Big Ben’ sculpture from artist Marta Minujín already on display in the centre of Piccadilly Gardens, made from over 20,000 political books.

The audience will be invited to take books home after the festival – part of the promise to keep the event as sustainable as possible.

The Festival Square, the heart of the event, will be set up in Cathedral Gardens to host food and drink, live music and tours, and will be open and free for everyone to attend.

A rare solo appearance from Blur and Gorillaz member Damon Albarn will take place on July 12 and 13, who opened their first-ever festival back in 2007.

Other musical events include The Patience of Trees, a new concerto for violin, strings and percussion by acclaimed composer Dobrinka Tabakova.

A large range of exhibitions and installations will also take over the city centre and buildings around it, such as Portrait of Black Britain by Cephas Williams, which will be hosted in the Arndale Centre, exploring what it means to be black living in the UK.

Most of the event will also be live-streamed over on their rolling broadcast channel, their biggest digital programme to date.

For the full lineup and tickets, head over to their website.

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