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Björk, Snoop Dogg, and Wagner Share the Bill at Manchester International Festival

March 30, 2011 at 11:16 AM | by | ()

Arts and culture-o-philes: dig up your Wellies. U.K. festival season is upon us, bringing with it myriad opportunities to traipse through muddy countrysides a la her Mossness.

For true culture connoisseurs, however, the focus is less on the probability of a celebrity sighting than the chance to see some of the best artists, DJs, filmmakers and other top creatives converge in one place over a short period of time. The goliath that is Glastonbury tends to attract the most press attention, but several worthy festivals are being put on this summer, including artist-led Manchester International.

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.

Björk tickets are going fast, but you can still track some down via MIF Online. (A bonus: no booking fees.) Take a look at the entire lineup here.

Photo: Björk by Inez & Vinoodh via Manchester International Festival

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