Manchester city centre’s iconic shopping street, King Street, is celebrating its new mix of premium retailers, luxury brands and upscale eateries and hotels with a long weekend filled with fashion, beauty, music, history and complimentary VIP experiences over the May Bank Holiday (28th – 30th May).
The King Street Festival, coordinated by Manchester’s Business Improvement District, the Heart of Manchester BID, is the perfect opportunity to rediscover Manchester’s premium shop, eat, stay destination and will combine exclusive in-store events, gifts and tastings with a glorious bandstand, roving musicians, lawn games and a pop-up bar and BBQ to ensure a fashionable yet fun weekend.
There are over 50 stores and restaurants taking part including Bem Brasil, Cath Kidston, Diesel, Diverso, DKNY, El Gato Negro, Hawes and Curtis, Hobbs, Jamie’s Italian, Jigsaw, Karen Millen, Kiehls, Kuoni, L’Occitane, Miller & Carter, Mint Velvet, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Pizza Express, Pretty Green, Quill, Rosso, The Body Shop, The Pen Shop, The White Company, The White Stuff, Trevor Sorbie, Watches of Switzerland, Waterstones, Whistles, Vidal Sassoon and Virgin Money.
Shopper and diners can enjoy a range of exclusive treats and special events throughout the festival, including shopping discounts, complimentary prosecco and nibbles, canapes and menu tasters, gifts with purchase, in-store DJs, skincare consultations and complimentary beauty treatments, children’s workshops, special cocktails and menus alongside giveaways and competitions to win prizes from some of the top names in fashion, food and travel.
The King Street Festival bandstand and Classic FM will provide the soundtrack to the weekend with performances from an eclectic range of musicians and bands including jazz and swing travelling band, Young Pilgrims, 1940s style band Bobbysocks, raucous folk and jazz band, The Rubber Duck Orchestra, DJ Thom Docking and cello duo, Cupid’s Bow.
King Street’s rich and surprising history will be celebrated via the festival’s Heritage Trail – a pictorial display throughout the street – in association with Manchester Histories Festival, alongside a taster of Imperial War Museum North’s new ‘Fashion on the Ration’ exhibition showcasing 1940’s street style. House of Fraser on Deansgate will be teaming up with Imperial War Museum North during the festival to host 1940s hair and make-up makeovers in-store, alongside swing dancers throughout the weekend.
A pop-up English country garden with stunning floral décor created by Frog Floral Artistry will offer the perfect setting for post-shopping respite while croquet, boule, badminton and swing ball will give festival-goers the chance to try their hand at a range of summer games.
For those wanting a bite to eat without missing out on the atmosphere, King Street’s upscale eateries Quill and El Gato Negro are creating outdoor seating areas specifically for the festival, while Grill on the Alley is hosting an on-street BBQ and outdoor bar.
Younger visitors will have the chance to meet Peter Rabbit and enjoy storytelling at Waterstones and get hands-on at Pizza Express’ outdoor dough corner and completing the line-up will be luxury and performance car brand Infiniti, which will be roaring into the festival showcasing a range of its premium vehicles.
Jane Sharrocks, Heart of Manchester Business Improvement District (BID) Chair said: “It’s no secret that King Street has struggled in recent years but with much collaborative working between the BID, landlords, agents and retailers, a new range of luxury brands, eateries and hotels has returned one of the UK’s most iconic shopping streets to its former glory.
“King Street is now one of the city’s premium shop, eat, stay destinations and it’s this diversity of tenant mix that has been the secret to the street’s new found success.”
“The King Street Festival will celebrate all aspects of King Street, from the wealth of brands available to its rich history as a retail destination since medieval times. More than 50 brands are involved and will be offering a range of complimentary experiences, tastings and offers and these combined with a fantastic programme of live music, food and drink mean it’s a not to be missed Bank Holiday event.”
For more information go to kingstreetfestival.com
King Street Festival Bandstand Programme
11am – 1pm Jazz and travelling band, Young Pilgrims
1.30 – 2pm Imperial War Museum North 1940’s make-up demo
2pm – 4pm 1940’s style girl band, Bobbysocks
6pm – 8pm Rawcus folk and jazz band, The Rubber Duck Orchestra
12-2pm Accordian and vocalist, Helen Mayer
2pm – 4pm Blues duo, Mat Walklate & Paolo Fusini
4pm – 6pm Soul and disco DJ Thom Docking (Drunk at Vogue)
6pm – 8pm Folkhop duo, Rioghnach Connolly & Ellis Davis
12-2pm Opera singers, Jordan Harding-Pointon & Kerry Firth
2pm – 4pm String duo, Cupid’s Bow
4pm – 6pm DJ Greg Thorpe (Off the Hook, Drunk at Vogue) TBC
6pm – 8pm World Jazz trio, CraB