If you happened to be wandering around the city centre during the start of lockdown you may have spotted some cryptic signage displaying the message “Escape to Freight Island”. The mystery became public knowledge in the last month when the doors opened and the punters started lining up around the block.

Part of a new £1.4bn regeneration of Manchester’s Mayfield District, Escape to Freight Island is a trendy hub of music, food, art and culture in a terrace-style set up, fully capturing that festival vibe we’re all desperately craving. Of course, not forgetting we are in the midst of a global pandemic, Freight Island is organised and executed perfectly to support social distancing guidelines including staff escorting parties to their allocated seating, track and trace and table service.

Upon visiting you can expect independent food vendors, live DJ sets, family-friendly events, immersive art and more. Plans to expand are underway with talks of retail space and a bike park. For drinks, Freight Island is the biggest collaborator with Camden Hells outside of London, launching a craft ale bar in partnership with Salford’s Pomano Island brewery. 

Ticketed event programmes are also in the works with free entertainment 12 hours a day. Keep an eye out for upcoming festival takeovers with the likes of Love International, We Out Here fest, Homoelectric and other established music curators. 

Currently capacity is at 1,000 with plans to increase to 2,500 people.

With the word getting around, weekend tables are fully booked up until November! We say the sooner you book, the better…although don’t shy away as they have walk-in options available.

“It’s a new and unique destination in Manchester, it is the next evolution in the food market sector that will fill a hole in the life of our city. Escape to Freight Island will take its place as one of the most exciting, forward-thinking and disruptive markets in the world.”