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Food & Drink Things To Do

The Fun, Open-Air Entertainment Space That’s Taken Manchester By Storm

By Laura Rogan

The Fun, Open-Air Entertainment Space That’s Taken Manchester By Storm

It’s the hottest new opening in over a year.

Kicking off the summer in style, Escape To Freight Island only arrived in Manchester last July – and it’s already cemented itself as one of the coolest spots in town.

Offering up food, drink and entertainment all in one spot, the social distancing friendly space is part of Depot Mayfield’s huge £1.4bn regeneration plans, and can be enjoyed all year round – right under the stars.

Credit: Jody Hartley

Resembling the adult playground of our dreams, the dining destination features ample outdoor seating, a wonderful atmosphere amplified with live DJs, and some lovely food vendors to choose from – keeping in theme with Manchester’s much-loved independent and street food scene.

Recently expanding inside the Depot, too, guests can also enjoy the fantastic Ticket Hall – which has welcomed a whole host of new faces to the scene, including Ancoats’ beloved Jane Eyre with their industrial cocktail terrace that overlooks the rest of the iconic venue. It’s an indescribable atmosphere that can’t be compared to a single venue elsewhere, with an experience for everyone’s tastes up ETFI’s sleeves.

Credit: Jody Hartley

Bringing some of the best booze from all over the country (including Manchester), guests can enjoy drinks from craft brewery Pomona Island, Camden Town Brewery, The City of Manchester Distillery and Kopparberg, accompanied with street grub from city newcomers such as Madre (a top taco spot!), Voodoo Ray’s (NYC-style pizza), Krum (vegan donuts) and Baratxuri (live fire Basque cooking with a whole lotta meat!).

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Credit: Jody Hartley

Alongside all that, a jam-packed schedule of live performances sees both local and internationally renowned artists and performers take to the stage frequently, with a full line-up in store each week with a variety of shows to check out. Live music schedules are regularly released on the complex’s Instagram – so be sure to keep up to date with the latest. Recent events include the sell-out orchestral performances of Disney and Stevie Wonder hits, which welcomed the renowned Untold Orchestra to the stage for the occasion.

Credit: Jody Hartley

Al fresco seating is dotted around the whole venue, with both covered and open-air seating available to choose from (with a safe distance between all tables, of course!). Hang out on the brightly-coloured bleachers and relax, or gather with friends pub garden-style while soaking up the sunshine – with various tables available by different vendors. For the colder months, guests can also rest assured they’ll be kept warm and dry, with plenty of covered seating and new heaters being installed throughout the venue.

Credit: Jody Hartley

The fun complex has a ton of exciting developments planned for the future – including more live performances and vendors, a 70’s-inspired roller disco, a hidden high-fi audio bar with karaoke, and a retro games arcade. And as the site grows, it’s expected it will hold a whopping 10,000 guests.

Credit: Jody Hartley

Bookings are advised to guarantee a seat, and you can book your place via Escape To Freight Island’s online booking portal here.