Building up a fantastic foodie hotspot reputation, Festival Square will have a carefully curated and an eclectic line up and promises to become not just the heart of the festival but the city throughout July.
The Festival Square will also have a large new stage hosting plenty of live acts, DJs and other performances from funk to punk and gospel to electronica.
Festival Square is free to visit and open from noon until late each day from Friday 5 to Sunday 21 July.
Local family brewery, JW Lees will be the watering hole for the square with wines, beers, champagnes and limited-edition raft beer from The Boilerhouse. They are even collaborating with Manchester Gin for an exclusive Festival Brew for MIF. The drink has a complex flavour profile from the gin resulting in a citrusy pale ale, a Manchester masterpiece on sale at JW Lees MIF Bar throughout the Festival.
The bar also has a special beer brewed as part of MIF”s commission “Drunk Pandemic”. The pandemic stems from an unusual inspiration from the city centre, taking place in the 1830s the city was advised to drink only beer to avoid infected water. It has resulted in the first UK project by Japenese art collective Chim↑Pom who are building a temporary brewery in the tunnels beneath Victoria Station. They are even holding secret tours of the venue.
Coming from Mackie Mayor & Altrincham Market, Honest Crust will be serving their famous sourdough, wood-fired pizzas and summer salads. They are serving up their classics plus a special collaboration pizza with Ramsbottom food stars – Levanter. The two pizza brans are good friends and have joined forces to create a Spanish pizza especially for MIF.
One of this year’s most anticipated restaurant openings, Kala by Gary Usher, is coming to Festival Square. They’ll be serving a bespoke collection of ‘on-the-go’ food, especially for MIF, giving everyone the chance to check out Kala’s understated and exceptional cuisine in a laid-back Festival setting. Visitors can expect a wide menu from Truffle and Parmesan chips to Chickpea Panisse and Smoked Haddock Fishcake, Soft Boiled Egg to Braised Pork Shoulder.
Inspired by his grandmother’s recipes, Manjit’s Indian vegetarian and vegan street food and snacks are an award-winning team serving up classics and their well known Mumbai Burger and Chilli Panner Wrap.
Serving up the best free-range chicken and vegan ‘chckn’ burgers and even creating a special Festival Square menu with free-range chicken thigh and homemade seitan.
Idle Hands Coffee
Independent coffee experts, Idle Hands, are hosting MIF’s first full-time coffee residency, opening up Festival Square’s very own artisan coffee house. They’ll be serving up fresh coffee every day and espresso martinis by night using their own home-made coffee liqueur. The team’s famous tray bakes and vegan cherry pie will also be on the menu as well as a special MIF-inspired deal – “A Slice of Cherry Pie and a Damn Fine Cup of Coffee”.
Gingers Comfort Emporium
Inventive and irresistible artisan ice cream will be served up from the Ginger’s Comfort Emporium van. Special flavours include drawing on Ginger’s favourite Director David Lynch, whose work is one of the festival highlights. There’s also Bob’s Big Boy Chocolate Shake with Blue Velvet Cake – the perfect MIF sweet treat!
Manchester International Festival
When: 4th – 21st July 2019