The Manchester International Festival will run from 1-18 July with an eclectic programme of live entertainment taking place at outdoor and indoor venues across the city.

Events will include a one-off concert from the singer-songwriter Arlo Parks (pictured) with musicians from Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music, and two shows by Patti Smith. The city’s Cathedral Gardens will be dubbed Festival Square during the event, where performances by acts including Jamz Supernova, Homoelectric and Mr Scruff will take place.

MIF also announced a partnership with Homecoming, the Lagos-based festival of African music, sport and culture – the first event in a long-term relationship with Homecoming that will result in a cultural exchange between Nigeria and Manchester.

Organiers said that MIF will be one of the first major public events in the city, and will play a key role in the safe reopening of the city’s economy and provide employment for hundreds of freelancers and artists.

Manchester International Festival artistic cirector & CEO John McGrath said, “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.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said, “After the year we’ve all had that has been such a massive challenge for our cultural sector – which was the first to lockdown a year ago and will be the last to reopen – Manchester needs MIF this year more than ever.

“Manchester has always been a city that values and champions culture and is rightly recognised across the globe for its strengths and innovation in this. As we now begin to move out of the pandemic, we’re very clear that the cultural sector has an enduring and important part to play in our recovery.”