This year’s King Street Festival welcomed record crowds to the area with 50,000 visitors making the most of the two-day event.
Coordinated by Manchester BID, Manchester’s Business Improvement District, the festival celebrates the city’s most iconic shopping street, with events extending across both Upper and Lower King Street including live music, outdoor dining, historical tours, pop-up bars, VIP shopping experiences and The Manchester Flower Show.
Since 2016, the event has consistently brought around 20,000 extra people to the area, with this year no exception, with Saturday seeing a 15% increase in footfall compared to 2018.
Visitors enjoyed a whole host of activities, exclusive discounts and competitions from King Street’s shops, restaurants and bars including alfresco dining at Tast and El Gato Negro and an I Love Manchester street bar showcasing their very own limited-edition Strawberry Jam Gin.
The festival’s popular King Street Cocktail Trail also returned with summer drinks created especially for the event at Grand Pacific, El Gato Negro, Mash Tun, Kala, Sam’s Chop House, Chaophraya, Miller and Carter, Mrs Sarah’s Chop House, Arcane, Rosso, Tast and Flight Club Social Darts.
The Manchester Flower Show was back for a second year and transformed the street with pop-up gardens and green installations including the ‘Best in Show’ botanical VW Beetle, created by La Beau Fleurs and Birdie Photobooth, blooming window displays at DKNY and Kuoni by Joseph Massie Flowers, a floral bedroom by Real Food Wythenshawe, a red rose carpet decorating Ship Canal House by Slate and Grey and a Votes for Women garden inspired by the Suffragettes by DLA Design.
This year’s festival also included a special focus on Peterloo, 200 years on, with historic tours by Jonathan Schofield and talks, poetry and storytelling at the Manchester Histories Festival Soapbox.
A whole range of leading brands took part including Patagonia, Virgin Money Lounge, Jigsaw, Kiehls, Tag Heuer, Loake Shoemakers, Framed Opticians, Cath Kidston, Castle Fine Art Gallery, Boodles, Rapha, Pretty Green, Jones and Co. Styling Opticians and this year’s festival travel sponsor, Kuoni.
Jane Sharrocks, Manchester BID Chair, said: “Over the last few years, the King Street Festival has established itself as one of Manchester’s key calendar events, offering visitors to the city centre a chance to experience a real array of one-off events, performances, food and drink, and retail offers. Collaboration with partners has grown year on year, to strengthen and extend the offering across both Upper and Lower King Street and that has once again been reflected in the increase in footfall during the weekend.
“It’s become a must visit event on this iconic street, and allows all the operators a chance to showcase their brands and engage with the public in a creative and dynamic way.”