GRAMMY-nominated singer and actor will perform on Manchester International Festival launch night (Thurs 4 July)

Janelle Monáe will perform on the opening night of next year’s Manchester International Festival (MIF) on Thursday 4 July. 

The GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter producer, actor and activist (blimey) will headline the open-air event at Castlefield Bowl, helping kick eighteen days of new work from a global range of artists from 4-21 July.   

The last two years have been hugely successful for Monáe, who embarked on her film acting career in 2016 with lauded performances in two landmark films, Hidden Figures and Moonlight - both of which received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture (the latter winning). She also stars alongside Steve Carell, Leslie Mann and Diane Kruger in Robert Zemeckis' latest film Welcome to Marwen, which receives its premiere later this month.

Castlefield Bowl 564
Janelle Monáe will play Castlefield on the opening night of MIF 2019

Musically, Monáe recently collected a Trailblazer Award at the Billboard Women in Music ceremony, whilst Dirty Computer has been named NPR’s album of the year and has just been nominated for a GRAMMY® in the best album category.

John McGrath, Artistic Director and CEO at MIF, said: “We’re thrilled that Janelle Monáe is performing on the opening night of MIF19. Justifiably, she’s getting widespread acclaim for her work and we’re delighted that Manchester is hosting one of only two shows she is planning for the UK in 2019. It will be a sensational event and adds to an exciting start to the festival.”

Monáe joins Yoko Ono, Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah and Skepta as the artists revealed for MIF 2019 so far. 

2018 10 29 Yoko Ono Matthew Placek
Yoko Ono is also amongst the artists announced for MIF 2019 Matthew Placek, copyright Yoko Ono

Also announced is a partnership with The National Theatre of Scotland and leading artist Claire Cunningham to present Thank You Very Much; an ambitious and powerful new work, informed by an international company of leading disabled performers, that explores identity and acceptance through the phenomenon of Elvis tribute artists.

MIF will also be continuing its Creative Community programme - a year-round initiative designed to engage Greater Manchester residents through the likes of Festival in My House, which allows participants to curate their own mini-festivals - and recently hosted a series of musical pre-events at Mayfield with The Warehouse Project and Mary Anne Hobbs.

The full programme for Manchester International Festival 2019 will be announced in March, and will again take place citywide. Tickets are now available for Yoko Ono, Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah and Skepta.

Janelle Monáe tickets available from 9am on Tuesday 11 December (priority) and Friday 14 December (general public) from £35/£10 concessions 

Janelle Monáe photo: JUNO