Damon Albarn joins Patti Smith in Manchester International Festival 2021 line-up

Billy Nomates, Rema and more have also been announced

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Damon Albarn has joined the line-up for this year’s Manchester International Festival (MIF).

The event takes place between July 1 and 18, and will see its participating artists reflect on ideas such as love and human connection in a post-coronavirus world. Last month, organisers announced Patti Smith and Arlo Parks as performers.

MIF 2021 confirmed yesterday (May 27) that the Blur and Gorillaz musician will present his The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows project on July 13, accompanied on stage by a string quartet.


Rema will headline the festival’s Homecoming Live showcase on July 17, joining the likes of Midas The Jagaban, Anz and Julie Adenuga. Meanwhile, Billy Nomates, The Lounge Society, Pip Millett and more have been added to MIF’s Festival Square bill of free events.

According to a press release, Manchester International Festival 2021 will offer up “a unique snapshot of these unprecedented times” while playing “a key role in the safe reopening of the city’s economy”. You can find tickets here.

MIF’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive, John McGrath, explained: “I am thrilled to be revealing the projects that we will be presenting this year – a truly international program 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.”

Originally published on NME

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