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Should Manchester Food & Drink festival have relocated to Spinningfields?

Should Manchester Food & Drink festival have relocated to Spinningfields?

Published on October 7th 2008.

Should Manchester Food & Drink festival have relocated to Spinningfields?

The Manchester food and drink festival has moved its focus and its main event spaces to Spinningfields, we asked is this a good idea or a bad one?

The Results..

Yes: - 29%
No: - 71%

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31 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ChickOctober 7th 2008.

All gone wrong. Simple

BaffledOctober 7th 2008.

It's gone completely to pot this lot. That trendy tent has turned out to be a wind filled nightmare that smokes too much and the restaurants who have taken part must be spitting feathers.

ChickOctober 7th 2008.

Two 'celebrity' guests cancelled their appearence on Monday I believe, Robert Owen Brown was 'won' by two other chefs at the chef auction and to top it all the event at Juniper has been cancelled. Bit of a wash-out so far and I'm not talking about the weather

LouOctober 7th 2008.

I see why they've done it - Spinningfields is pretty dead most of the time and could do with some pepping up. But at the expense of those who participate? I dunno...Personally this is the first time I've been to the MFDF and I've had some great evenings in the tent already, but then I live in Spinningfields so it's unbelievably easy for me. But no - MFDF will ultimately suffer because few people actually know spinningfields exists and they're not going to get passing trade. Bad call...

I'm Loving itOctober 7th 2008.

I'm humming the McDonnalds theme tune in my head as I look at this new polling system. The festival shouldnt have moved, its not practical, its not in the busy streets of the city and therefore attracts less people. Was it just a matter of new sponsorship which moved it to the windy streets of Spinnigfields. On another point can you not make it so we know the amount of people entering the poll? And when will we see the next poll?.... dada da da daaaaa I'm loving it, P.s I dont work for McDonalds

becksOctober 7th 2008.

It's a good idea because it's a better space, spatially! But it needs to be advertised better. Plus, there seems to be a food and drink festival every week so i think in general it would be much quieter because of this.

Baffled as usualOctober 7th 2008.

I can see this one being a complete let down. The whole idea of this festival is flawed by commercial aspects, we should be treating it as a showcase not rying to charge a poxy three quid for bits of food. But, Manchester Confidential, why haven't you backed it more? I see City Life and MEN all over it, you should have joined in as well, or is it you people being churlish?

Jonathan Schofield - editorOctober 7th 2008.

Baffled....we would have loved to put our money where our mouth is and backed it more obviously but unfortunately media groups get jealous and City Life and the MEN really won't allow the Festival to allow us to sponsor an event they're involved with, simple as that. Maybe next year we can take over the headline sponsorship and let City Life stand aside. Otherwise we've focussed on several events which is about all we can do...and question decisions over whether it was right to go to Spinningfields. We're very pro the festival but feel that some lessons need to be learned about compromising the occasion over a sponsorship deal which takes you to an unfrequented part of the city.

burt CodeineOctober 7th 2008.

I went down over the weekend with the kids to take a gander (a rare bird apparantly, lovely with fermented garlic and pan fried shallots) and it was a little disappointing. It's unlikely (for some time at least) to see the footfall of Albert Square, but despite it's clinical feel and I rather like Spinningfields (a futuristic Albert Square if you will). It's a very expensive, modern quarter that I can't imagine any other city outside London comes close to having in their own backyards. The view of the CJC is just great imo. Perhaps Manchester still doesn't have the population to utilise the infrastructure and as such outer parts of the central area such as this will be a little threadbare. But Manchester is getting (thankfully) busier all the time. I remember when (and not at all that long ago) 'millenium' (is it still known as that??) square around the Triangle was absolutely barren and windswept...very different today. Perhaps a feeder arm from Albert Square for these festivals could situated in Spinningfields...just don't go moving the Xmas Markets, wholesale at least.Agree with the charges for 'sample' bits of food, but the Ale selection was fantastic. Ultimately I felt that the wind was taken out of it's sails with this relocation unfortunately.

LauraOctober 7th 2008.

Being a resident in Spenningfeilds, i am very excited to see the, MFDF make the move from Albert Square. However like others the lack of footfall to the area has left this year's festival missing the 'buzz' that is required at this type of event. I guess good attempt organisers, thank you for trying to tempt people to Spinningfeilds but sadly it doesn't seem to have been noticed by enough people. I was also disappointed to find that the Beer t-pi closed to the public a couple of nights during the festival. I suppose tho for the restaurants involved the garanteed revenue (from what i can only assume are 'coporate' type customers) is probably essential given the poor attendence otehrwise!

Ali McGowanOctober 7th 2008.

I think SF is a pretty well executed business district - but that's all it is. I am not sure why the festival's here, except that of course it'll bring people to an otherwise quiet part of town. Don't get me wrong - there are some decent public spaces and well executed offices here [plus the amazing court bldg] but having a food n drink festival here is a bit clinical. It's be like Tarmaccing the fields at Glastonbury ;)

SueOctober 7th 2008.

I can understand the thinking on moving the MFDF to Spinningfields but there's no doubt that it has missed out on a lot of 'through traffic'. Perhaps also not a good idea to have tents on grass at this time of the year - essentially tents on mud! I was at the MFDF on the first Sunday and it was going reasonably well. However I arrived there to eat on Tuesday evening - the 'Dine' facility having been advertised as available 5pm - 10pm - and at only 7.20pm two out of the 5 restaurants were completely absent and a third was packing up to go home - leaving only 20% of the advertised offering available. On top of this 10 minutes later the tea and coffee tent shut up shop - meaning there was no possibility of getting any kind of hot drink. I think the Tipi is a great and unusual idea - both times I've been its been reasonably busy - shame that (some of) the restauranters/sellers can't be bothered to turn up or stay open - to support this. The argument from them seems to be that 'we're closing early because its dead' - well perhaps if you bothered to turn up and stay open it wouldn't be!!

AnonymousOctober 7th 2008.

Sue, the restauratuers won't pack up and go home for the sake of it - it costs money to particiapte in the MFDF. This is an appaling venue for such an event and having been involved in the past, I made a conscious decision not to take part this year. The MFDF has lost its focus over the last few years and is nothing more than a money-making operation representing the chain restaurant. They have simply spread themselves far too thinly

FrecklesOctober 7th 2008.

MFDF shouldn't have moved. In principle it was a good idea but not enough people know about the location. When I went on a Friday evening and Sunday afternoon it was pretty much dead. A lot of people find out that events are on by chance when passing by. Spinningfields is unfortunately located where that it does not have this advantage. I have to admit it was pretty dismal. The highlight for me was that they had placed all the food stalls on the grass after a particularly rainy night and my boyfriend had sandles on and got really wet muddy feet. :o)

LemonOctober 7th 2008.

Very disappointing. Went Saturday, queued at bar to get a pint, when I got to front he said 'I can't serve you from this side.' So I had to go outside in the rain to the other side of the same bar, where the same bloke then served me, and I walked back into the teepee to drink them. Crazy! Went again Tuesday night 8.30pm. Whole site looked abandoned, all food stalls closed already and bar closed at 9pm, depspite programme saying all were open til 10. Each visit left feeling underwhelmed and pissed off.

Ex-MFDF FanOctober 7th 2008.

I hope Phil Jones is taking note of these comments

AnonymousOctober 7th 2008.

I can only agree with the above comments. Such a waste. Our directors did not get involved simply due to the choice of venue. By the time you've walked down there your practically in Salford and there is very little to advertise that there is actually a festival going on. I'm just glad I don't have to pay staff wages to stand outside trying to look enthusiatic all day from 11-10pm in mid-october and then re-compensate them for the tips they would lose from not being in the restaurant. Besides 10 days is far too long.

ChickOctober 7th 2008.

Oh dear, not very positive so far is it? Anyone going to the 'Gala' dinner on Monday? After last year's shambles, I'm not bothering - 3 bottles of warm wine for a table of 12 at a cost of £100 per head (plus VAT). Love to hear what will be said - will it be MFDF 'most successful' event to date, as it is every year?

espionagemanchester.comOctober 7th 2008.

Too much of a trek to get there, plus I'm sure the construction that is still going on in that area would perhaps deter some people, who may have thought "well, it can't be down there, it's still being built!"

AnonymousOctober 7th 2008.

I work for a wine company who blagged...er...arranged support for the Gala Dinners from Laurent-Perrier Champagne & Brown Brothers Australian Wines for several years, expecting some sort of high profile adverts, etc, plus some sort of exclusivity which could have enhanced our business in return, but last year they asked us again, expecting us to provide free wine again, plus asking for cash for us to be featured in brochures and programmes. Well, guess what our reply was?

AnonymousOctober 7th 2008.

I can't believe how negative people are being - I went to Spinningfields last night and there were 2 fantastic events on - Co-op wine tasting and cocktail world record attempt and it was packed out… The atmosphere in the tipis was great and the venue unique and we ended up staying all night. It’s important for events to evolve and experiment with venues – we should be a forward thinking, innovative city - where’s the fun in things being the same year on year?!

cathOctober 7th 2008.

Went to festival twice thisweek. Never been to Spinningfields before.Didn't realise it was so central Really liked it. Loved the tipis, especially having the fire. Saturday we ate from restaurant stalls and went to 2 chef demos which were packed and very good. On Thursday night, went to coktail tasting and got snacks from restaurant. Again packed and great atmos and music. Is it because you ask for rants you get such negative comment? Can't believe anyone at the events we attended would be making these kind of comments.

rob-the-repOctober 7th 2008.

I work in the trade and have been down to spinningfields three times this week,between 12 and 3.I was amazed at the lack of people.Surely the whole idea of the festival is to let the public know what fantastic and wonderful cusine there is in and around Manchester. I was disappointed with all the restaurants because they all missed a huge opportunity to pass around business card or mini menu, or even discount vouchers.In the current climate that was a serious own goal. Would love to know what everyone else else feels about this.

steveOctober 7th 2008.

What a great modern space for the MFDF and right next to the canal. I told friends about the great atmosphere in the tipi tent at Spinningfields, the cocktail making record attempt the variety of food and drinks. I am sure the spacious Spinningfields venue is the ideal spot for next year.

tankgirlOctober 7th 2008.

I thought it would initially be a good ideal but heh ive been down nearly day this week and it been empty apart from yesterday (friday) the demos have been cancelled the grass has turned into a mud field. albert sq is not very 'high heel friendly with the cobbles but who wants muddy feet. It souless down there. Even Yo Sushi seem to be struggling as they appear to have a'technical fault' all this week

AnonymousOctober 7th 2008.

For 'technical fault' read 'closed for refurbishment' That old euphemsim. Real shame if Yo Suhsi has closed for good - what is to become of other SF restaurants? Yo Suhsi was one that actually did seem to have cutomers

lisaOctober 7th 2008.

With Manc weather I have not made it that far!

ChickOctober 7th 2008.

Yep, seems Yo Sushi has closed for good

SharonOctober 7th 2008.

Bad idea putting it down SF, I live 5 minutes away and I didnt know it was down there! As usual for Manchester, advertising wasnt eye catching enough and especially around SF there was nothing to indicate what was happening! People with flyers should have been on hand

tankgirlOctober 7th 2008.

I got this reply from Yo Today ........Many thanks for your email regarding our restaurant in Spinningfields Manchester.As you rightly point out we are currently closed due to technical issues and have been so now for over a week. We are working as fast and as hard as possible in order to get the restaurant re-opened.In the mean time we are directing all of our customers to our other city centre branch in Selfridges Exchange Square, only a short walk from Spinningfields. Many thanks for your time and we look forward to seeing you soon.Simon ParkinsonOperations Manager

AnonymousOctober 7th 2008.

I heard Yo Sushi is not opening they have closed for good a problem with the rent I heard! Maybe they should have done a swat analysis before they opened. The company musn't be doing very well. It wasn't really value for money wagamama is much better and a better atmosphere.

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