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Manchester Jazz Festival is coming to Escape to Freight Island for three days of music this summer

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 15th April 2021

Manchester Jazz Festival has announced it will be bringing three days of music right to Escape to Freight Island this summer.

With the government’s “irreversible” roadmap for lifting England’s current national lockdown now set out, the team behind the region’s longest-running music festival will bring the very best in contemporary jazz to three stages – ‘The Ticket Hall’, ‘The Round’ and ‘The Pavilion’ – at the highly-popular Depot Mayfield venue this June.

mjf @ Escape to Freight Island will be taking place from 11th – 13th June.

The event will be free to access, and audiences can book tables across the venue throughout each day of the extended weekend.

On Friday 11th June, audiences can catch sets from soul artist and favourite from the Manchester scene, Yemi Bolatiwa, storming sets from Mr Wilson’s ‘Second Liners’, and one of the brightest and boldest jazz talents in the UK, Rebecca Nash.


DJs Pablo Blanquito and Danielle Moore will also be providing some tunes.

Saturday 12th June will kick off with Ain’t Misbahavin’ – an interactive concert for 6-11 year olds and their families – followed by sets from fast-rising, global-infused Leeds band Yaatri, MOBO-nominated saxophonist Camilla George and nine-piece afro-beat collective Nubiyan Twist. 


Saturday audiences can also enjoy Manchester-based singer songwriter Marco Woolf, the synthesised soundscapes of Rafe’s Dilemma, pounding brass parades from Back Chat Brass and Young Pilgrims, and DJ sets from Debra Richards and Harkirit Boparai.

Sunday 13th June will see The Untold Orchestra ft special guest Mali Hayes, high-energy beats and traditional African vocals from Ubunye, the Binker Golding Band led by the multi-award-winning saxophonist and composer, and sessions from Jazz North’s northern line bands Nishla Smith Quintet and John Pope Quintet. 

There’ll also be high-energy brass covers of pop gems from Twisted Tubes and Break Out Brass, along with a DJ set from Jenna G and her Freight Island favourite, From MCR with Love.


A selection of street food and open-air bars will complete the festival vibe.

mjf @ Escape to Freight Island

Speaking ahead of the event, Steve Mead – Chief Executive and Artistic Director at Manchester Jazz Festival – said: “As it became apparent we couldn’t stage our usual festival across the city in May, we wanted to do something that still embodied the spirit of Manchester Jazz Festival, and our weekend at Escape to Freight Island will do just that in what will be one of the first live music events with an in-person audience this year – three days full of unmissable, surprising musical moments teamed with a relaxed festival vibe and the best food and drink.  

“Whether you’re first in line to book a table to see a new band or you simply want to surround yourself with live music again, the weekend promises great music and a good time all from the comfort of your own seat. 

“We’re so excited to work with the team at Freight Island and can’t wait to show audiences what’s on offer”. 

Fancy booking tickets?


Audiences can book socially-distanced tables with their household bubble free of charge for up to 2.5 hours in the different areas of the venue in advance, and there’ll be no entry on the door during the festival without a table booking.

In line with COVID-19 restrictions, table service will be available for food and drink during the event.

Audiences must not roam around the venue.

You can book your tickets for mjf @ Escape to Freight Island here.

Featured Image – Escape to Freight Island