29 June – 16 July 2017

Festival Square

The home of the Festival in the heart of the city

Albert Square will again become Festival Square this summer – and it’s getting a new look for MIF17. We’ve commissioned Paloma Gormley of Practice Architecture and Nicolas Henninger from the Office for Crafted Architecture, two of the country’s most exciting young designers, to take a hands-on approach to Festival Square – they’ll design and build a range of new structures where you’ll be able to eat, drink and take in the Festival buzz.

Students from Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, will again be designing the Square’s interiors, seating areas and furniture, working together with local design and making agencies OH OK LTD and Ferrious.

Throughout MIF17, you can come to Festival Square for great food and drink, free live music, nightly DJs, the Festival Box Office and free copies of The Guardian’s MIF17 Guide.

Festival Square will be open from noon till late, every day from Fri 30 June to Sun 16 July. Admission is always free.


BBC – live in Festival Square
The BBC will be broadcasting to the nation from Festival Square during MIF17, with special guests from the Festival, CBeebies and beyond. We’ll post a full schedule here in the run-up to the Festival.


Live music
Festival Square’s outdoor stage will showcase some of the best local acts every day during MIF17 – check these pages for a schedule nearer the time. And at 5.30pm on Sun 9 July, The Sunday Boys, Manchester’s male voice sensations, emerge from their Gay Village headquarters for a free Pavilion show.


DJs
In the Festival Pavilion, our hand-picked selection of DJs will be spinning tunes nightly from 10pm until late – all for free. Along with residents Dave Haslam, Justine Alderman, Hattie Pearson, Greg Thorpe and Andrea Trout, there’ll be one-off sets from Tim Burgess and other special guests. Check this page and social media in the run-up to MIF17 for line-ups.


Food & drink
Four bars, four resident kitchens, four Supper Clubs and an ice cream wagon: you won’t go hungry or thirsty in Festival Square. To drink, pick from wines, soft drinks and beers including exclusive Festival Ale and Festival Lager from great local brewery JW Lees, the Square’s official beer supplier. Hungry? You’re in luck…

Paul Heathcote & Co
Lancashire legend with a signature menu of reinvented British classics

Honest Crust
Terrific wood-fired pizzas plus salads from the Altrincham Market favourite

Hispi
A unique take on fast food from Gary Usher’s new and hugely acclaimed Didsbury bistro

Manjit’s Kitchen
Superb vegetarian Indian street food and snacks inspired by Manjit’s grandma’s home cooking

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
Inventive, exotic and irresistible ice cream for grown-ups