Yoko Ono, Skepta and Idris Elba to perform at Manchester international festival

Thousands will ring bells with Yoko Ono to kick off July 2019 arts festival, ahead of a dystopian rave from Skepta and a musical by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah

A message of peace from Yoko Ono to the world will open Manchester international festival (MIF) next July. The festival will also feature an immersive rave experience from grime MC Skepta, and a musical theatre collaboration between Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah.

Ono’s work Bells for Peace will feature around 8,000 members of the public forming an orchestra of bells in Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens as a way to welcome visitors to the arts festival, which takes place every two years in venues across the city. Prospective bellringers can sign up to work in tandem with the organisers, though anyone is welcome to turn up and play or listen on the day. “The beauty of this piece will break the sky and more,” Ono said. “More than ever, we must come together to heal each other, and the world. Peace is power!”

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