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A huge new outdoor food market and event space is opening in Manchester in July

This looks incredible!

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Manchester is set to get a brand new outdoor market and art space at the Depot, Mayfield, as part of the £1.4bn regeneration of the area. 

Escape to Freight Island has until now been something of an enigma, with mysterious posters popping up in the city centre with almost no other information but the name.

Well, it turns out it’s a brand new outdoor food market, where art space and terrace-style seating collide on one sprawling tract – a long-forgotten freight depot carved from the city’s industrial past.

The new opening is set to be an international destination akin to Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Coney Island in New York and Grand Central Market in Los Angeles.

The area will be home to restaurant quality food vendors, inventive bars, secret dens, music, immersive art, festival takeovers and family focused happenings.

Of the food vendors confirmed they include Madre, a non-traditional taco stall, Voodoo Ray’s Pizza, and Baratxuri will also be having a wood-fired ‘Asador’ grill. There will also be a specialist wine bar, and a cocktail space from The Jane Eyre. 

Escape to Freight island will be located on Baring Street and will become a permanent urban market and festival space.

There will even be a ’70s New York-inspired roller disco, a hidden high-fi audio bar – which will transform into a karaoke venue called Queen Samantha’s – and a retro arcade games corridor.

The entire venue will be sound-tracked by a visionary selection of music, festival takeovers and exclusive collaborations with the likes of Homoelectric, We Out Here festival, Festival N°6, Love International and other iconic musical curators.

Escape to Freight Island is the brainchild of individuals with a formidable reputation around food and culture in Manchester, including Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey of Volta, Electrik Bar and The Refuge, Gareth Cooper of Festival N°6, event production veteran Jon Drape of Engine No. 4 and Managing Director Dan Morris, who launched leading Manchester music venues Gorilla and the Albert Hall. 

Electriks’ 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.”

Phase one of the launch will open in mid-July 2020 with social distancing at the forefront, and limited capacity for 600 people. Following that phase two is planned for August, where capacity will be increased to 1,000 people.

Once restrictions are lifted, the venue will extend the capacity of 2,500 people.

Find out more and sign up to access tickets here

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A huge first-of-its-kind live entertainment venue is opening in Manchester this year

A fantastic new addition to our city

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Circle Square Manchester

A new ‘first-of-its-kind’ entertainment venue is set to open this year in Manchester.

The one-stop destination will see a combination of live music, events, entertainment, food, drink and socialising all in the venue. 

Canvas will be home to three different areas: Canvas Kitchen, Canvas Club and Canvas Events.

The development will take place at Circle Square and have space for 100 in Canvas Kitchen and a further 400 people in the live music and events space.

Circle Square Manchester

The venue will be open from 7am until 4am every single day meaning you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and even a night out all in one place. 

You’re guaranteed to be in good hands too with the team behind Canvas Manchester responsible for the likes of Hammersmith Apollo, Brixton Academy and G-A-Y Manchester.

The calendar for events is expected to be well-rounded with the likes of wellbeing events, room for social activism, plus gigs, networking events and workshops. 

Gavin Aldrich, CEO at BeSixth, said of the new development: “We’ll be in the heart of a thriving, city centre neighbourhood that brings together people from all walks of life – be it students, shoppers, business owners or academics – and it’s this community that makes us confident Circle Square will be the perfect destination to launch Canvas Manchester.”

Circle Square Manchester

Tom Renn, Managing Director of Bruntwood SciTech – Manchester added: “Our ambition for Circle Square was always to create a destination – a place that would bring people together morning, day and night and a place that would become part of the fabric of the city. Somewhere tourists and innovators would see as a must-visit when coming to Manchester.

Adding: “The live music industry has understandably suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but where better to drive its resurgence than in the ‘City that thinks a table is for dancing on’?”

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Bez is launching his own lockdown fitness classes called Get Buzzin’ With Bez

He wants to inspire the nation like Joe Wicks

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Spoke TV / YouTube

Bez is set to launch his very own fitness classes online to see everyone through lockdown.

The Happy Mondays maraca-shaking dancer is releasing his own series of classes called ‘Get Buzzing With Bez’, as he attempts to shift his own lockdown weight. 

The classes will launch on January 17th showing Bez being trained by a fitness instructor, something he’s describing as ‘somewhere between Joe Wicks and Mr Motivator’. 

He said: “I’d like to think I’m somewhere between Joe Wicks and Mr Motivator. I’ve started this new year seriously unfit, with a fat belly and creaky hips, and I can’t stop eating chocolate.

“Last lockdown I got unfit, fat, lazy and into some seriously bad eating habits.

“This year, this lockdown, I need to sort it out sharpish.”

He added that people can join him ‘on this mad journey or just sit on the sofa and have a good laugh at me’.

He added: “At the very least, I know I’ll be making people smile, at best I’ll be helping people get fit and mentally happier alongside me.”

SIGN US UP. 

Get Buzzin’ With Bez is launching over on YouTube on Sunday January 17th, with Bez encouraging us to get active every week for three months.

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A huge £4.5m Nerf laser combat arena is opening at the Trafford Centre

The brand new experience will feature laser guns and virtual reality

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Hasbro

A brand new Nerf experience is set to open in Greater Manchester incorporating laser guns and virtual reality. 

The new ‘Nerf Action Experience’ is set to open in 25,000 square feet of the Trafford Centre, costing owner’s Hasbro £4.5m.  

The new activity centre will be the first to open in the UK in collaboration with games giant Hasbro and Rocafella Leisure Group.

The news of the plans were revealed via LinkedIn from Phil Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Rocafella.

Hasbro

He wrote “I’m excited to announce that we are launching the UK’s first Nerf Action Experience at the Trafford Centre in early 2021. Taking UK family Entertainment Centres to the next level with the first of its kind. A huge thank you to @hasbro and their dedicated team.”

The applications for the plans reveal that Nerf is ‘a family entertainment leisure experience, incorporating laser guns and virtual interactions and is a market-leading attraction with 20 attractions across Europe’.

Guests can expect a massive space for the attraction spanning three first floor units. There will also be a 4,000 square foot mezzanine for a café and viewing platform.

The attraction is also set to create 50 jobs, according to bosses.

Nerf Experience Singapore

A spokesperson for Barton Square said: “We’re in talks with a number of exciting brands who are looking to open at Barton Square following its transformation last year.

“This is part of plans to build a vibrant retail and leisure destination that our visitors will enjoy.”

The first Nerf Experience in the world opened in 2019 in Singapore which gives us an insight into what to expect from the Manchester site, such as multiple ‘zones’ with a variety of challenges and games split over different themes.

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