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Arlo Parks by Parri Thomas for The Line of Best Fit web 003

Arlo Parks, Aaron and Bryce Dessner and more confirmed for Manchester International Festival 2021

28 April 2021, 11:06 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Manchester International Festival has unveiled its 2021 programme, which will include a performance from Arlo Parks, as well as a new film with music by The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner and Jon Hopkins.

2021 BRIT nominee Arlo Parks will perform a one-off concert alongside musicians from Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music for the 2021 Festival, and Patti Smith has also be confirmed for two nights of performances as part of the 2021 programme.

The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner, and Jon Hopkins have created original music for the world premiere of an Aoife McArdle-directed film titled All of This Unreal Time, which is written by Max Porter and will star Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders).

Manchester International Festival will also include a live curated event by Cerys Matthews celebrating words and music.

There will also be a sound and light installation titled Arcadia, which is created for The Factory site due to be completed in 2022, and will include recorded contributions from rappers RoxXxan and Lioness, and actors Simon Russell Beale, Jane Horrocks and David Thewlis.

Cathedral Garden will host the relocated Festival Square part of the programme this year, which will host curated events from Jamz Supernova, Homoelectric, MrScruff, DJ Paulette and more.

The 2021 edition of Manchester International Festival will be available both online and in person, with 50% of the programme available for free.

John McGrath, Manchester International Festival Artistic Director & Chief Executive says, "I am thrilled to be revealing the projects that we will be presenting from 1-18 July this year – a truly international programme of work made in the heat of the past year and a vibrant response to our times. Created with safety and wellbeing at the heart of everything, it is flexible to ever-changing circumstances, and boldly explores both real and digital space. We hope MIF21 will provide a time and place to reflect on our world now, to celebrate the differing ways we can be together, and to emphasise, despite all that has happened, the importance of our creative connections – locally and globally."

Manchester International Festival 2021 will take place online and across the city from 1-18 July. Visit for more information. Tickets go on sale 20 May.
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