Manchester Food & Drink Festival is going ahead for 2020.
The famous event has been given the green light to return for its 23rd edition – with a new programme being held partnership with the city’s restaurants, bars, cafes and chefs across 12 days.
The Festival Hub will be situated at Cathedral Gardens this year, with the site consisting of two key areas – The Feasting Quarter and the Festival Market.
Entry price will be free, and an MFDF app has also been designed to provide a digital version of the Festival programme.
Brand new safety measures, such as social distancing, table service, ordering via mobile, and capacity restrictions have also been introduced to make the event COVID-secure.
Organisers have confirmed the fest will take place from 24 September to 5 October.
Much of the event will all be undercover – with enough seating for all guests to eat and drink at tables.
Orders can be placed via screens.
Among the attractions will be MFDF’s famous Manchester beer bar – showcasing and supporting the region’s very best brewers (every brew will be available on tap).
The Festival’s live music stage will also provide an acoustic soundtrack to the event with some of Manchester’s best bands and artists invited to perform stripped-back versions of their usual acts for an easy-going, outdoor live music experience – the first of its kind since the outbreak of the pandemic.
This year will also see MFDF’s biggest food market yet.
The foodie shopping experience will feature over forty traders – offering the best local, independent and sustainable food and drink from around the region.
The MFDF team said they are “delighted to be able to stage the event this year, supporting jobs across a huge range of sectors decimated by the pandemic – from event production to hospitality – and, of course, celebrating our incredible food and drink scene and night-time economy.”
Alexa Stratton-Powell, Director of the Festival commented: “We’re thrilled to be planning a 2020 Festival, particularly at such an incredibly challenging time for our hospitality industry.
“It’s great to be staging a positive event for the city’s food and drink lovers too – we all need something to celebrate and look forward to right now. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to our headline sponsors, Just Eat.
“Without their support, and that of Manchester City Council, we simply wouldn’t be able to do this. It has been, and continues to be, a difficult and distressing time.
“We know that COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere fast – and neither is our city’s love for good food and drink.
“Our Festival this year will provide a safe setting in which to indulge in the pure joy of great gastro experiences.
“Watch this space for more announcements and we can’t wait to see everyone in September”
For a reservation fee of £5, guests can guarantee a table at the event and skip any queues to get onto the site.
Man arrested after Stockport homes were evacuated due to ‘suspected hazardous materials’
A man has been arrested after the discovery of “suspected hazardous materials” led to several homes being evacuated in Stockport.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) explained that the discovery of the so-called “suspected hazardous materials” was made by police yesterday (Thursday 1 June) during a search of a property on Middleton Road in the Reddish area of Stockport.
Officers attended the property in response to intelligence about the manufacturing of illegal fireworks.
No injuries have been reported following the discovery, GMP confirmed, and a 100-metre cordon is currently believed to still be in place around the area.
Residents of the several homes that were asked to evacuate yesterday have been relocated, either to the homes of their family and friends, or directed by Stockport Council to Houldsworth Village and Broadstone Road if they had no alternative accommodation.
The residents were told by GMP that, although they would be kept regularly updated, it was “unlikely they will be able to return home,” yesterday evening.
Following the discovery, GMP declared a major incident and instructed specially-trained representatives from relevant agencies to conduct the “timely and safe recovery” of the hazardous materials, all while asking members of the public to “avoid the area” so this could be carried out.
The arrested suspect, a 50-year-old man, is currently being held in police custody under Section 4 of the Explosive Substances Act.
“We understand this news will have caused some concern in the community, not just amongst the residents who have unfortunately been displaced,” Chief Inspector Jamie Collins admitted in a statement addressing the ongoing situation yesterday.
“Our highest priority is keeping people safe, which is why we have put a cordon in place, evacuated properties, and warned members of the public to avoid the area.
With it being the first time the two Manchester clubs have battled it out for the trophy in the final in the 151-year-old football competition’s illustrious history, tens of thousands of fans are expected to make the journey down to the capital.
But with this influx of excitable rival fans, admittedly, comes a set of challenges.
This is why The FA and TfGM have decided to introduce some measures, and issue travel tips and guidance, in a bid to make sure everyone stays safe, while still soaking in all the atmosphere of the historic day at the same time.
Due to what TfGM has called “significant” coordinated strike action by rail unions RMT and Aslef on Saturday, all supporters heading to the FA Cup final are advised to avoid trains and “consider alternative travel arrangements” instead – making sure to allow “additional time for travel” and planning their journeys “ahead of time”.
Fans are also being asked to check the road network carefully, as it’s also highly likely that traditional routes to Wembley will be “busier than normal” as a result of rail strikes.
The FA has confirmed that it will be providing 60 coaches for both Manchester clubs to help supporters get to Wembley and return to Manchester once the game has finished, but aside from this, TfGM has suggested that “anyone without an official match ticket should not travel to the game”.
The two Manchester clubs have been advised to encourage fans to use separate travel routes to each other to avoid clashes, and a list of service stations for each team has now also been published – confirming all the rumours to be true.
Allocation of motorway service stations
Manchester City supporters
Manchester United supporters
When it comes to the travel routes supporters of each team are advised to take, TfGM is urging Manchester City fans to take the M62/M1 as the first port of call, or taking the M6/M1 or M6/M6 Toll/M1 as a back-up option.
Manchester United supporters are encouraged to take the M6/M42/M40.
On top of information on travel routes and service station allocations, TfGM has also shared tips for matchday parking, tube travel around London, and more.