The full lineup for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF) has been revealed – and it sounds amazing.
Taking place down at the festival hub in Cathedral Gardens, MFDF will run from 16 – 27 September. As ever, the hub will be free to enter with some special events and feasts requiring tickets to be purchased on top.
Highlights of this year’s programme include a mammoth chippy tea feast, an Oktoberfest takeover from Albert’s Schloss, a wine and fizz festival at Halle St Peters, and an ultimate night of pub grub feasting from The Bull and Bear’s Tom Kerridge (the only UK chef to ever win two Michelin stars at a pub, thank you very much).
Elsewhere, an artisan food market will feature some of Manchester’s finest local producers, hosting two separate line-ups across each weekend.
And of course, there will also be an amazing range of street food traders popping up at intervals throughout the duration of the festival.
Other happenings at the festival include a four-day MFDF street food trailer takeover with chefs from Evuna and Tast Catala; a fundraising kitchen from anti-food poverty enterprise Eat Well MCR; and a gaggle of street food chalets hosted by sponsors Just Eat and filled with their top restaurant partners.
There’ll also be live entertainment from local bands like Mr. Wilson’s Second Liners and The Lottery Winners over on the City Life stage.
MFDF also has its own street food kitchen trailer on-site, which will be taken over by some of the city’s best-loved restaurants and chefs over a four-day period: including Evuna, Jackie Kearney and Tast Catala.
Headline sponsor Just Eat will install restaurant partners La Bandera, Vertigo, JJ’s Vish and Chips and Peck n Yard inside street food chalets.
And Meatless Farm will also be in attendance throughout the festival, serving up a full burger menu alongside samples of their excellent vegan cooking products.
An artisan food market will also feature some of the region’s best independent food and drink producers, makers and businesses, bringing down guests like Ancoats’ community bakery Companio, Chorlton Cheesemongers and HM Pasties to name just a few.
Bars, meanwhile, will include a Manchester Beer Bar celebrating locally-brewed ales, beer and cider, a gin and tonic bar from Franklin and Sons, and a Truly Hard Seltzer bar from alcoholic sparkling water brand Truly.
Manchester’s biggest chippy tea feast
Manchester’s best-loved restaurants, chefs, chip shops and food traders will be coming together on 22nd September in what’s being dubbed “Manchester’s biggest chippy tea”.
One of Manchester’s best traditional chippies, Anchors of Didsbury, will join Hip Hop Chip Shop, JJ Vish and Chips, acclaimed Ancoats fish restaurant Street Urchin and Stockport’s Lord of the Pies for the event in serving their own take on this classic Northern staple.
For dessert, there’ll be boozy ice cream courtesy of ‘A Few Scoops’ who will be bringing their special pink Tuk Tuk ‘Jolene’ to the Hub serving up the perfect chippy tea boozy finale.
As this is expected to be very busy, a limited number of tables are available for pre-booking here.
The ultimate pub grub feast, with a live music sound track
Tom Kerridge’s The Bull and Bear is hosting a one night pub grub style takeover at the festival hub, creating their own take on street food with a special three-course meal.
Designed especially for the festival, think potted Loch Duart salmon with apple jelly and cucumber chutney; followed by braised beef and blue cheese pie with English mustard mash and Seven Brothers ale gravy; finished off with a pudding of banana custard, dates, pistachio, and honeycomb.
A live music soundtrack will provide the perfect accompanying ‘pub at the hub’ atmosphere, and Manchester beer bar will be on hand with a selection of local craft beer to bring that proper pub variety.
Tickets cost £55 per person and can be booked here.
A Schlosstoberfest takeover feast in July, with brats, pretzels and lederhosen
Albert’s Schloss will be taking over the MFDF street kitchen on the evening of Thursday 23 July with Bavarian street food and lively entertainment from their brilliant house dancers and musicians.
Expect brats, pretzels and lederhosen a-plenty, plus German other street food favorites like mayonnaise loaded fries.
Free to enter, walk-ins welcome.
What’s happening at the CityLife music stage?
Featuring a curated line-up of Manchester’s best local bands and musicians, The CityLife stage always brings a great selection of local talent to MFDF. This year looks set to be no different.
The festival will kick off with live music from Mr. Wilson’s Second Liners on Thursday 16.
Friday 17 will see local indie-pop band The Lottery Winners take to the stage. Hailing from Leigh, they will be performing an acoustic preview ahead of their first Manchester Live gig at the Ritz on 25 September.
Sunday 19 and Sunday 26 September will bring the Flat Cap Brass, then on Sunday 19,Fine Lines will play exquisite roots infused Americana with echoes of Dylan and The Band.
What about the app?
For the very first time the entire programme of what’s happening will be available via a brand new MFDF App – bringing the Festival to your fingertips like never before.
App users will be able to browse the full festival programme, reserve a table at the Festival Hub and vote in the MFDF awards too. The app can be downloaded by IOS users here or at this link for Android users.
As part of this year’s Manchester Food and Drink festival, there is also a number of fringe events taking place around the city. To find out more and for full details, head to their website here.
The 24th Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place this year from 16 – 27 September, 2021.
Liam Fray is playing a one-off charity gig to raise money for Manchester’s homeless community
Liam Fray is playing a one-off charity gig to raise money for Greater Manchester’s homeless population early next year.
Hosting just the second ‘Raise the Roof’ fundraising concert in over three years – the pandemic having put a pause on the initiative – the money generated will go towards providing a safe place to sleep to thousands in around the Manchester area.
The Middleton-born musician confirmed the date on Tuesday.
While Fray is currently the only name confirmed to be playing this year’s gig, his popularity in the city alone is sure to drive thousands to iconic Manchester venue for this great cause.
Most importantly, not only will all ticket sales go towards the A Bed Every Night drive, but so too will the proceeds from the re-release of the band’s debut album, St Jude, dropping on the same day as the gig.
The Mayor’s Charity has held a number of hugely successful campaigns already this year, including their annual 24 Run Against Homelessness as well as Mayor Andy Burnham‘s second night DJing at the one and only Warehouse Project.
Speaking in an official press release, Burnham spoke about the spoke about “the power of music to get people together and raise vital funds” for causes like combatting homelessness.
He went on to say that despite all the money already raised this year, “there’s more still to do and we know the cost of living crisis has started to impact on people’s housing”, adding: “We’re a musical city, so what better way to help those who need it but with a night with the incredible Liam Fray.”
Responding to Burnham’s thanks on Twitter, Fray had a simple message:
Over 4,000 unique individuals have been supported by A Bed Every Night since 2019, with more than 600 people now supplied with accommodation across the region who would otherwise be at risk of sleeping rough.
The Mayor’s campaign works with 21 different organisations across Greater Manchester helping provide a safe place to sleep to the homeless and those in needs on a regular basis. Wonderful stuff.
How to help in Manchester if you see someone homeless in the freezing cold
Whilst much has been done over the past few years to improve options for people who find themselves homeless in Greater Manchester, it’s still a huge problem – felt especially hard when the temperature drops.
The Met Office has forecast lows of -3 that will last across the weekend into early next week, whilst health officials have told people to put their heating on, despite rising costs. But some don’t even have the option to do that.
In the UK last year, 1,286 people died while homeless according to the Museum of Homelessness (MoH) Dying Homeless Project.
As a general rule, there are no legal protections for people sleeping rough in England. Most councils offer extra beds when temperatures are forecast to drop below 0ºC for three consecutive nights.
Fortunately here in Manchester, there is more support at hand.
What support does Manchester offer homeless people in freezing weather?
Manchester is the first major metropolitan area in the country to promise help as soon as the temperature drops below 0ºC.
Shelters are opened up in and around the city centre as soon as one night of freezing temperatures is forecast, and stay open until temperatures rise back up above zero, giving everyone a warm place to rest.
Accommodation varies from hostel ‘sit up’ spaces to an emergency shelter run by local charity Coffee4Craig for the council, where people are provided with sleeping bags, mats, armchairs and even a TV. And when space runs out in the hostels, people are given a hotel room for the night.
There is also the Mayor’s flagship A Bed Every Night scheme, which looks to offer a bed, hot meal and support for anyone sleeping rough in Greater Manchester at any time of year – regardless of the weather.
What can I do to help someone?
If you’re concerned about someone, you can contact your local authority via one of the numbers below.
Alternatively, you can use this tool to view the services on offer in your area.