Unlike one-note (excuse the pun) music events which rule the circuit, MIF highlights work from multiple disciplines: the performing arts, visual arts, and music among a host of others. The lineup for 2011 is a bizarre but brilliant smorgasbord that sees a concert version of Wagner's Die Walküre being staged the same day as a Snoop Dogg set. The Ring Cycle meets "Gin and Juice"? Apparently so.
The festival's biggest piece of music buff-animating news was the recent announcement of an exclusive three-week residency by Björk, her first UK concert dates in over three years. The fanciful Icelandic artist will premiere her Biophilia live show at MIF, a multimedia experience that sees her experimenting with "specially conceived and crafted instruments," such as a 30 foot pendulum "that harnesses the earth's gravitational pull to create musical patterns." And you thought the swan dress was boundary pushing.
Photo: Björk by Inez & Vinoodh via Manchester International Festival