Wing Fest, the world’s biggest chicken wing festival, is returning to Manchester this summer – bringing some of the best street food traders, restaurants and BBQ teams with it.
Serving up a whopping 200,000 wings over the course of two days, we’ve been looking forward to its return since the announcement was made in March.
But now that the festival has released its Manchester trader line-up, we’re even more excited – if that’s humanly possible.
Traders at this year’s Wing Fest will, as ever, be on hand serving up their signature bites – be they deep-fried, spicy, baked, sweet or sticky as all hell.
There’ll also be a number of bars selling different bourbons and beers, axe-throwing stations, fairground rides and live music to set the party atmosphere across the weekend.
Bringing together pop-ups from across the country with some established Manchester names, local chicken wing fans can get stuck into favourites from the likes of Kong’s Chicken Shop, Wing Dash and Yard and Coop, as well as discovering new eats from further afield.
Brighton’s The Bok Shop, Liverpool’s Japanese street food-inspired kushikatsu stall Sutikku, and Edinburgh’s Down the Hatch are all also down to attend, as is Nottingham’s Sri Lankan eatery Colombo Street.
Those traveling from further afield include London’s Covent Garden restaurant Chick ‘n’ Sours, whilst Bayou will come all the way from Tooting with their red hot wings to take part in the festival.
South-west London’s award-winning Mexican Seoul – where wings receive a Mexican-meets-Korean treatment – will also appear at the festival.
Just like Manchester hit Kong’s Chicken Shop, Mexican Seoul is another lockdown success story, first set up by founder Ashley Chipchase whilst on furlough.
Other traders confirmed on the line-up include Poor Boys, Eat the Bird, Uncle G’s, Filthy Wings, Wings ‘n’ Tingz, WingerzWingz, Tings n Wings and Mezani Grill.
Taking place this year at The Trafford Centre, the UK’s finest chicken experts will be showcasing their culinary skills by means of cooking demos and a festival-wide competition – all bidding to be crowned the Wing King or Queen.
This year’s competition is split into two categories: The Best Buffalo Wing and The Best Wild Wing.
The first, rather self-explanatorily, will see food traders battle to have their spicy sauce crowned the best, whilst the wild category will encourage chefs to let their creativity run wild with different flavours and toppings.
2021 champions Chicken George ft The Rib Man, The Bok Shop and Poor Boys, and local favourites Kong’s Chicken Shop and Yard and Coop, will be amongst those competing to win your vote.
In total, 8,000 lucky chicken wing fans will have the opportunity to cast their vote for their favourite wings across the weekend.
True wing aficionados should also consider taking part in the very saucy wing eating competition, where brave and hungry individuals compete against one another on the main stage to see who can eat the messiest wings.
The ‘Get Heated’ lava wing challenge hosted by, The Food Review Club and Clifton Chilli Club will be causing carnage, with only the brave entering the UK’s hottest wing challenge.
Taking place across Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September 2022, those heading down can expect a day full of chicken-eating, as well as plenty of music and entertainment.
To get your tickets for the giant Wing Fest, click here.
Feature image – Wing Fest
Manchester United issue response after banning Manchester Evening News and select journalists from press conference
The Manchester Evening News (MEN) along with a number of sports journalists have reportedly been banned from attending a Manchester United press conference after publishing a story on an apparent rift at the club, claiming that manager Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Citing the reason behind the ban as being due to Chief Man United Writer and well-known sports reporter, Samuel Luckhurst’s recent story, which claimed that ten Hag is “losing the confidence” of his players, he and at least three other journalists won’t be in attendance after Sky Sports went so far as to suggest as much as “50%” of the dressing room.
It is thought that Sky‘s chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, David McDonnell of The Mirror and ESPN‘s Rob Dawson are among the other individuals to have been barred from joining this afternoon’s presser as per instruction from United‘s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Andrew Ward.
Issuing a statement to The Manc and journalists across the country, the club said: “We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.
“We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.” It is unclear how long the suspension is set to be upheld but it is likely they will only serve a one-match ban — pardon the pun.
The MEN reiterated that the initial story was “multiply-sourced”, adding that they had not been banned as a result of previous stories that were largely seen as critical of the Man United head coach and/or his squad, including prior claims players were starting to “doubt” his tactics and managerial style.
Furthermore, the outlet goes on to state that several other journalists have claimed they were prevented from asking questions in press conferences by Ward in the past “over perceived negative coverage”, adding that the club have expressed their “regret” over having to issue the ban. The move has been welcomed by many fans, with several saying it is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hardline approach to the media.
Man United have made one of their worst starts to a campaign in decades and, despite winning their first trophy in six years under the Dutchman with an EFL Cup win last season, have unfortunately been breaking all manner of unwanted records of late.
ten Hag’s team suffered another disappointing loss against Newcastle at the end of November and now face another tricky task as they prepare to face a Chelsea side who are starting to gather some semblance of form.
Countless Reds and neutrals alike will no doubt now be tuning in for his pre-match press conference at 1:30pm ahead of the mid-week Premier League fixture against the West Londoners on Wednesday night (8:15pm kick-off).
The former Ajax manager has made no secret of the troubles he faced when he first arrived at Old Trafford but is clearly keen to avoid others from airing any of their rumoured dirty laundry.
Featured Images — The Manc Group/Manchester United
Adult film star and LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson dies aged 36
Adult film star and much-loved LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson has sadly died aged just 36, as confirmed by colleague, influencer and friend Rebecca More.
The recognisable UK porn star and internet personality, best known for being one-half of the viral online duo ‘C*ck Destroyers’ alongside More, was announced dead on Tuesday, 5 December following reports from numerous media outlets before being confirmed by her former co-star.
Sharing the news on social media, Rebecca wrote: “I’m devastated hearing the awful news of Sophie’s passing. We shared some amazing times together and that’s how I’m going to remember her.
She signed off by adding, “This is so tragic but I know you are now at peace. I will always, always love you and hold a special place in my heart”.
Her heartfelt sentiment was echoed online as countless people on social media have paid tribute to the viral sensation who was an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and all things queer culture, as well as sex positivity in general.
As mentioned, it was only on 17 November that her ex-partner Spedding himself passed away, but the former footballer was also disturbingly found to be the one behind previous claims she had died that turned out to be a hoax earlier this year.
Regardless, the news unfortunately appears to be genuine this time and it’s clear from the reaction online how saddened so many people from all walks of life are to learn of her passing.