Yoko Ono invites members of the public to gather in Cathedral Gardens on 4 July 2019 to
open Manchester International Festival 2019 with BELLS FOR PEACE, a mass gathering
to send a message of peace to the world. Thousands of celebratory voices and a people’s
orchestra of bells from the UK and abroad will ring and sing out for peace and welcome the world to Manchester. ( Image: Yoko Ono. Photo by Bjarke Orsted ©Yoko Ono)
Yoko Ono has been among the world’s leading artists for more than 50 years. From her
early Bed-in collaborations with John Lennon in 1969, to her ongoing WAR IS OVER!
campaign, Ono has boldly communicated her commitment to social justice throughout her career, creating works that blur the boundaries between art, politics and society. This new commission is the first major work she has created for the city of Manchester.
In the lead-up to the event, participants are invited to take part in bell-making workshops and choral groups will prepare responses to Ono’s message of peace. Bells will also be provided for participants who join on the day.
As the opening event for MIF19, BELLS FOR PEACE follows the success in 2017 of What
Is the City but the People? which was an opportunity for the people of Manchester to
present a self-portrait of themselves and the place they live.
Yoko Ono said: “The beauty of this piece will break the sky and more. One of the reasons
this is very different is the fact that all of us will be making the sound together. More than ever, we must come together to heal each other, and the world. PEACE is POWER! I love you all.”
MIF Artistic Director and Chief Executive John McGrath said: “I’m thrilled to be announcing the involvement of such extraordinary artists in Manchester International Festival 2019. Yoko Ono will be creating a very special opening event for Mancunians – and the world – in the city centre: a joyful response to our complicated times.”
Details: BELLS FOR PEACE Yoko Ono
Cathedral Gardens, The Medieval Quarter, Manchester, M4 3BG
Free, no ticket required 6pm..