– The Spring Festival of Markets will run for 16 days having been relocated to New Cathedral Street from St Ann’s Square.
– The festival takes place from Friday 22 May to Thursday 7 June.
The Spring Festival of Markets has now opened in Manchester city centre bringing a 16 day creative extravaganza to New Cathedral Street.
The markets were originally planned to take place in St Ann’s Square. However after the homeless protest in St Peter’s Square moved earlier in the week it was necessary to find a new location for the festival.
The festival hosts a selection of some of the region’s best independent food and drink producers and the finest artisan and craft traders. The market provides a great opportunity for small businesses and postponing or cancelling the event would have had serious financial consequences for everyone involved.
The market will be offering cup cakes, cocktails and afternoon tea all served in chic surrounds – making New Cathedral Street the prefect place to relax in the city centre, grab a gourmet lunch or simply meet up with friends after work.
The focal point of the festival will be The Orangery, a massive marquee which will house a variety of table top stalls selling crafts, books, pottery, retro clothing and a huge selection of handmade gifts and other treats.
The markets will be transformed throughout the duration of the festival embracing different themes and creating a unique experience for shoppers even if they have previously visited.
Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council executive member for culture and leisure said: “The new location will not diminish the vibrant, lively atmosphere of the festival and with everything from poetry readings to vintage fashion and a cornucopia of delicious treats and drinks the market will be a must visit destination.
“The Spring Festival of Markets proved incredibly popular last year and the expectation was to recreate that success by working with the North West’s finest traders.
“A festival of this type takes a great deal of planning and organisation from both the council and everyone running stalls. Cancelling the market at such a late stage would have had serious repercussions for the small independent traders the festival aims to help.
“The market’s traders have been preparing for this festival for months and many of them have bought perishable stock, such as food and drink, that would have simply gone to waste had the markets not gone ahead. It has been far from easy moving a festival of this scale at such short notice but it would have been unfair to all those participating and disappointing for the thousands of visitors we expect to attend if the whole thing was called off.
“I’d encourage everyone who is in the city centre over the next three week to stop by New Cathedral Street, they won’t be disappointed the festival is genuinely enchanting.”
Joe Harrison, Chief Executive of the 25,000-strong National Market Traders Federation, said:“Many of our members will be standing markets over the Manchester Spring Festival and on their behalf I would like to express my thanks for the way in which the Manchester markets team has overcome what has been a difficult situation.
“Whilst we obviously sympathise with the genuinely homeless it has to be equally accepted that micro-businesses have to be able to trade to survive, and we hope New Cathedral Street will be as successful a series of events as we were envisaging for St Ann’s Square.”
The Spring Festival of Markets features a selection of distinct themed markets across three weeks:
– Designers & Creators Market | 22 – 26 May 15
Artists, designers and craft specialists showcase their products in the city centre, whilst offering customers an exceptional opportunity to find unique gifts directly from the experts.
– Eats & Treats Market | 27 May – 1 June 15
Food producers and retailers come together in a traditional shopping experience, bringing fresh home-grown and artisan produce into the heart of the city and onto the plates of Mancunians.
– Crafts & Gifts Market | 2 – 7 June 15
From jewellery, to homewares and fashion, the Craft & Gift Market brings the perfect mix of locally crafted items and speciality gifts from all corners of the world.
– Garden display: 21 May – 7 June 15
Paving the entrance to the square, a colourful display of flowers and garden furniture will take over Exchange Street.
The focal point of the festival will be The Orangery, a marquee which will house a variety of table-tops markets aimed at new and small-scale independent traders selling crafts, pottery, retro clothing and a huge selection of handmade gifts and other treats.
Vintage Fashion Boutique
23 to 25 May
10am – 5.30pm
The bank holiday weekend brings the Vintage Fashion Boutique to the Orangery, where north west’s best vintage traders are ready to style you with genuine vintage clothing, plus hair & make-up experts.
Independent Arts & Crafts Table-tops
21 & 22 May, 28 to 31 May and 4 to 7 June
10am – 5.30pm
Every Thursday to Sunday you will find a selection of talented, independent crafters with their lovely handmade products for sale.