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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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The Manchester Art Fair is back and you can get FREE tickets today

Pieces from world renown artists like Banksy will be up for grabs across the weekend

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Manchester Art Fair

One of the UK’s most ambitious art fairs is coming back to Manchester this year and you can get your hands on free tickets for the exclusive event TODAY.

After a brief hiatus last year, the White Circle Manchester Art Fair is back with a bang and it is boasting a fantastic line up of both modern and contemporary paintings, sculptures, photography and limited edition prints from a selection of some of the worlds most acclaimed galleries and artists.

Art work by world-renown artists such as Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin and Banksy will be available to purchase at the weekend-long event, as it will from some of the UK’s finest like Saul Hay, Laura Jordan and Ian Rayer-Smith… So start getting your pennies saved up.

Manchester Art Fair

Plenty of Manchester’s favourite artists will also be in attendance throughout the weekend, including Saul Hay Gallery (Castle Street), Contemporary Six (Princess Street), Hot Bed Press (Cow Lane), Simone Ridyard with her urban sketches and the wonderfully raw expressive paintings of Ian Rayer Smith.

But perhaps the most talked about aspect of this year’s fair is the booming market of the ever-so mysterious NFTs – Non-Fungible Tokens. White Circle Manchester Art Fair will demystify the world of NFTs, with advice on purchasing, the link to cryptocurrency, and a selection
of exhibitors in the fair selling exclusive NFTs.

Fair Director Sophie Helm said, “We are really excited to part of bringing live art events back to the city with White Circle Manchester Art Fair in November supporting the city’s cultural recovery. Our audience of art lovers will be able to buy art from over 130 galleries and artists who will be exhibiting at the fair over the weekend, as well as well learning more about NFTs.”

Manchester Art Fair

Sarah Maskell, Founder of White Circle, added: “The opportunity to support Manchester Art Fair has been the most amazing collaboration. As we open up offices and public spaces to celebrate the role culture plays in our environment, this event is an integral part of that journey.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to help continue the support the show gives artists in reaching people, sharing their talents and the joy art brings to our community.”

The fair opens with a launch night at Manchester Central on Friday November 19th
from 5-9pm, followed by public admission the following days on Saturday November 20th, 10am-6pm and Sunday November 21st, 10am –5pm.

And guess what? For today only, you lovely Proper Manchester readers can get tickets for the event for FREE. Click here to get yours.

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The UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park is coming back to Manchester after four years

Christmas 2021 is going to be a good one…

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Winter Wonderland

After a four year hiatus, the UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park is making its grand return to Manchester. 

The iconic Winter Wonderland will be coming home to Trafford’s indoor venue EventCity to celebrate the 2021 festivities with magical Christmas experiences such as reindeer, elves, fairies and even Father Christmas and his famous grotto.

There will also be a number of child-friendly theatrical performances taking place on the main stage with daily performances ideal for the whole family, including shows like the Ice Princess Show, Christmas Meltdown and the return of Winter Wonderland’s spectacular Christmas Circus.

Winter Wonderland

And it wouldn’t be a Christmas bonanza without an abundance of festive food, would it? From German bratwursts to waffles and crepes, plus lots of Christmassy games stalls to keep the kids happily entertained, there’ll be something for everyone to feast upon.

Elsewhere, a German bar will also serving up fresh Bavarian beers and other festive drinks and adult refreshments.

Speaking on the grand return, Winter Wonderland’s organisers Tammy and Billy Silcock of Kingpin Events said: “We are absolutely delighted to be returning to Manchester this Christmas after a four-year gap, after the last eighteen months we all need to create magical memories with our families, and we hope the return of the event will spread joy across the region.

“And, as a special thank you for the hard work of our NHS and Armed Forces, we are introducing reduced ticket prices on specific days throughout the run.”

Winter Wonderland

Tickets for the event are now on sale now and are priced at £29.50 for adults and children off-peak, and £35 at peak times. OAPs are priced at £20 and £27.50 while those under the age of three can visit for free at any time. 

Located at Event City next door to the Intu Trafford Centre, Winter Wonderland will be running from Saturday December 4th 2021 to Sunday January 2nd 2022.

To book your own tickets and for more information about the event, click here.

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What's On

Terrifying immersive drive-in cinema experience is returning to Manchester for Halloween

Reckon you’re brave enough for this?

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Park N Party / Scare City

Halloween fanatics, this one is for you: An immersive drive-in cinema experience is coming to Manchester and it looks wonderfully spooky.

Screening from October 1st, Park N Party will be reopening the gates to the Scare City Horror Drive-In at Secret City to put on an immersive, open-air experience featuring performances from live actors alongside some of the scariest and most iconic Halloween films of all time.

Spooky favourites such as Annabelle, Evil Dead and The Ring will be shown across several large screens that you can watch from the comfort of your car – though be warned, eerie ghouls will be lurking in the shadows.

Park N Party / Scare City

Park N Party will be adopting a witchy theme this year, with the events description reading: “We are conjuring a spellbindingly satanic experience complete with horrifying live actors, drive through scare tunnel, your favourite horror movies and much more.

“Scare City 2.0 is an immersive event that will enchant and disturb all who dare enter for a Halloween like no other.”

Once the movie and spooky fun is over, you can recover from your frights with a drink at Secret City’s new bar, which offers an array of drinks and food, including loaded fries and burgers.

There’ll also be plenty of photo opportunities to show off your horror-filled night including a drive-in tunnel, the scare zone, a ritual area, an abandoned gas station, and a very Halloween-esque graveyard.

Fancy it? Click here to book your tickets.

Here’s the line-up in full:

  • Friday Oct 1st, 9:00pm: The Wretched
  • Saturday Oct 2nd, 3:00pm: Paranorman
  • Saturday Oct 2nd, 6:00pm: The Nun
  • Saturday Oct 2nd, 9:00pm: A Quiet Place
  • Sunday Oct 3rd, 3:00pm: Coraline
  • Sunday Oct 3rd, 6:00pm: The Cabin In The Woods
  • Sunday Oct 3rd, 9:00pm: Annabelle
  • Wednesday Oct 6th, 9:00pm: The Descent
  • Thursday Oct 7th, 9:00pm: Poltergeist (2015)
  • Friday Oct 8th, 9:00pm: Insidious
  • Saturday Oct 9th, 3:00pm: Coco
  • Saturday Oct 9th, 6:00pm: The Babadook
  • Saturday Oct 9th, 9:00pm: A Quiet Place Part II
  • Sunday Oct 10th, 3:00pm: Hocus Pocus
  • Sunday Oct 10th, 6:00pm: Evil Dead (2013)
  • Sunday Oct 10th, 9:00pm: Annabelle Comes Home
  • Wednesday Oct 13th, 9:00pm: The Witch
  • Thursday Oct 14th, 9:00pm: Get Out
  • Friday Oct 15th, 9:00pm: Insidious Chapter 2
  • Saturday Oct 16th, 3:00pm: Frankenweenie
  • Saturday Oct 16th, 6:00pm: Cabin Fever (2016)
  • Saturday Oct 16th, 9:00pm: The Ring
  • Sunday Oct 17th, 3:00pm: The Corpse Bride
  • Sunday Oct 17th, 6:00pm: Annabelle: Creation
  • Sunday Oct 17th, 9:00pm: Deliver Us From Evil (2014)
  • Wednesday Oct 20th, 9:00pm: Paranorman
  • Thursday Oct 21st, 9:00pm: Insidious Chapter 3
  • Friday Oct 22nd, 9:00pm: Exorcist
  • Saturday Oct 23rd, 3:00pm: Monster House
  • Saturday Oct 23rd, 6:00pm: The Woman In Black
  • Saturday Oct 23rd, 9:00pm: The Grudge
  • Sunday Oct 24th, 3:00pm: The Addams Family (2019)
  • Sunday Oct 24th, 6:00pm: The Strangers
  • Sunday Oct 24th, 9:00pm: Hostel
  • Wednesday Oct 27th, 9:00pm: It Comes At Night
  • Thursday Oct 28th, 9:00pm: Orphan
  • Friday Oct 29th, 9:00pm: Quarantine
  • Saturday Oct 30th, 3:00pm: The Witches (2020)
  • Sunday Oct 31st, 3:00pm: The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Sunday October 31st, 6:00pm: Evil Dead (2013)
  • Sunday October 31st, 6:00pm: The Ring
  • Sunday October 31st, 9:00pm: Blair Witch
  • Sunday October 31st, 9:00pm: Halloween 2018

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