It’s been compared to the famous Coney Island in New York.
Easing us out of lockdown with something very exciting, a brand new market is in town – and it sounds like the kind of fun we need after months stuck in the house. Compared to epic urban playgrounds such as the iconic Coney Island in New York and Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, the brand new ‘Escape to Freight Island’ is set to be a social space for everyone to enjoy, with events to suit both adults and families as it gradually opens.
The first opening phase will begin on July 24th and will see the ‘Platform 15’ site by Piccadilly Station open to a capacity of 600 with safe, social distancing measures in place at its Depot Mayfield home on Baring Street. Part of the huge new regeneration in the area, guests will be able to enjoy a permanent ‘urban market’ with both food and drink vendors, as well as festival takeovers which will include music, art, immersive entertainment and family-friendly events. The site is set to expand its capacity to 1000 in August.
The exciting launch this month will see “surprises of magical happenings as part of the entertainment programme” and as part of a collaboration with Reform Radio, it will host a programme of guest DJs and more live performances once restrictions are lifted.
In addition to the market, Escape to Freight Island will also play home to a number of bars and restaurants, with a 70s-inspired roller disco, a hidden high-fi audio bar with karaoke, and a retro games arcade already confirmed to be moving in. Elsewhere, guests can find traders such as Manchester-born The Jane Eyre and Ramsbottom’s Baratxuri – as well as Camden Town Brewery, Pomona Island, Voodoo Ray’s Pizza and Madre.
The Refuge’s Luke Cowdrey, co-curator, said: “Escape to Freight Island isn’t your average food market. 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. Escape to Freight Island is a game-changer and most importantly to me, Escape to Freight Island has soul.
“Platform 15 will give a flavour of what is to come when we launch the full Escape to Freight Island experience, so let’s all meet at Platform 15 to begin our escape to freedom.”
James Heather, development director at U+I for the Mayfield Partnership, said: “Mayfield has over the last three years been re-established in the hearts and minds of both Mancunians and visitors to our city as an outstanding location for culture and entertainment. With Escape to Freight Island, our partners at Broadwick Venues have assembled an amazing line-up of operators, brands and innovators which will take this to the next level.
“This is an exciting new chapter in Mayfield’s regeneration story and one which raises the bar further still for our city’s visitor offering, underlining our vision for Mayfield as Manchester’s true commercial, creative and cultural nexus.”