Yoko Ono to send message of peace at festival opening

By Eleanor Barlow, Press Association
The widow of John Lennon is inviting members of the public to gather for the BELLS FOR PEACE event.

Yoko Ono is inviting people to send a message of peace to the world at the opening event of the Manchester International Festival.

The artist and widow of John Lennon will hold the event, BELLS FOR PEACE, in the city’s Cathedral Gardens on July 4.

Members of the public will be able to gather and an orchestra of bells will ring out for peace.

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.”

In the lead-up to the piece, people are invited to take part in bell-making workshops and choral groups will prepare responses to the message of peace.

Manchester International Festival artistic director and Chief Executive John McGrath said: “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.”

The festival will run from July 4-21 with artists from across the globe premiering new work in spaces across the city.