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Riz Ahmed, Manchester, Manchester International Festival, MIF, Covid-19

Riz Ahmed to live stream performance of The Long Goodbye for Manchester International Festival

  • Original event in March postponed due to covid-19
  • Performance coincides with release of single, Once Kings
  • MIF's purpose-built venue the Factory to open in future

An actor and musician is bringing a one-off live stream performance of his recent album to the city as part of the Manchester International Festival

Riz Ahmed, 37, was set to bring the performance of The Long Goodbye to the festival but the event has been postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Long Goodbye is Ahmed’s second solo album, after 2011’s Microscope. He has also released one studio album as part of rap collective Swet Shop Boys.

The performance will take place on December 19 and coincides with the release of Ahmed’s upcoming single, Once Kings.

The concept album looks at the lives of British Asians in post-Brexit Britain, through the lens of an abusive relationship.

“The performance will be as immersive as it can be online,” said Oscar Lister, press officer for the MIF.

“The show is much more than just Riz’s music.”

Ahmed’s original event for The Long Goodbye was set to be performed at the Mayfield Depot in March, but was postponed when the country entered its first period of lockdown.

 “I would like to stress that this is not a replacement event,” said Lister.

“The real thing will still take place in 2021.”

The MIF has seen a huge growth in popularity over the years. 2019’s events included Yoko Ono’s ‘Bells for Peace’ in Cathedral Gardens, and an exhibition at HOME displaying the artwork of David Lynch.

Festival organisers are working towards opening the Factory, a purpose-built venue which will house many of the events of the festival.

“We’ve gone from being an event that happens every two years to incorporating something which can take place year-round," said Lister.

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