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Play your part in Manchester International Festival 2019.

Festival director Christine Cort invites Mancunians to get involved in this year's events across the city...

IT'S just over a month since we unveiled the full programme for this year's Manchester International Festival at a fantastic event in Upper Campfield Market Hall, attended by artists and supporters. It was a grand parade through the amazing programme, but one of my personal favourite moments was Skepta making a special appearance at the end to talk to Mary Anne Hobbs.

And what a line-up it is. Having previously announced Yoko, Idris and Kwame, Skepta and Janelle, it was wonderful to be able to finally reveal the likes of Philip Glass, Maxine Peake, Laurie Anderson and many other important artists from around the world, all coming to our city.

It shows how Manchester is increasingly recognised as a major cultural destination, not just for visitors, but for artists too.

There's still time to book tickets, with new events and second releases of tickets to be announced in May. I was also very happy to tell people that we're linking up with the brilliant chef Gary Usher, who will be offering visitors to Festival Square a taste of his new restaurant Kala, which is about to open in King Street. His Kala pop-up will be joining Firebird Hope, Honest Crust, Manjit's Kitchen and ice-cream stars Ginger's Comfort Emporium, who are creating a limited-edition flavour based on the MIF19 programme.

Next week we're off to a tasting with JW Lees to choose what drinks are behind the bars, and soon we'll be announcing a collaboration with a Manchester-based coffee shop who will be residents on Festival Square serving everything from flat whites to espresso martinis.

We're very keen to get people from across the city actively involved in MIF and this year's festival offers more opportunities than ever before. If you get involved in Yoko Ono's Bells for Peace, you will be contributing to a large-scale public artwork that will see thousands of people ringing bells and singing out for peace. It's going to be a very special event, an "I was there" moment.

There are many other MIF19 commissions that will feature people from across the city, including a search for Utopia on the streets of Manchester, taking in some of the city's fascinating buildings. Another commission will see local people getting involved in a special day marking the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.

We've also got the return of Festival in my House, where you get the chance to create your own micro-festival, and of course, we're on the look out for more volunteers to bring their smiles, knowledge and enthusiasm to MIF19. There's loads of information about how to get involved on our website - who knows, you too could be one of the stars of MIF19.

We're now finalising the designs for the new look Festival Square and have been working with Manchester School of Art students as well as inviting local people to design tiles, which will feature on the six bars that will be dotted around the square. If you haven't had chance yet, workshops are still taking place where you can create your own piece of MIF design history.

So, it's all systems go for MIF19 - and we've got more to announce in May and June, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Join Yoko Ono to ring bells and sing for peace

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 21, 2019
Words:565
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