Booking Tickets:

mjf at Escape to Freight Island is entirely free to book; you are just required to reserve a table (similar to if you were visiting a pub or restaurant). Your table will be booked for 2 hours for parties of up to 4, and 2 hours 30 minutes for parties of 5+.

All our events are free, but you’ll be asked to give card details at the time of booking as Freight Island will charge a £10 cancellation fee if you don’t cancel your table within 24 hours notice of attending your chosen booking.

You can reserve a table for a specific area, date and time. Tables are booked on a first come, first served basis and we can’t guarantee where you’ll be seated within each area.  You will NOT be allowed to float around between venues, so make sure that when you book you are booking for the venue and time corresponding to the acts you wish to see. You are allowed to book multiple time slots across the days and weekend, for example you could book for Saturday from 12.00 – 14.30 in The Ticket Hall, 14.30 – 17.00 in The Round and then 17.00 – 19.30 in The Pavilion if you wished!

Be sure that wherever you sit and when, it will be an amazing three days of unmissable music, great food and drinks in one of Manchester’s most exciting new venues.

In line with COVID-19 restrictions, table service will be available for food and drink during the event.

The Ticket Hall is the main large indoor space at Freight Island, with a raised stage area and a variety of seating locations.
The Pavilion is a smaller, covered marquee situated in the outside area, with a smaller stage and seating in a more intimate setting.
The Round is an outdoor covered bandstand area surrounded by covered seating, tables and booths.

How to book 

  1. Make a note of what day and time you want to come along and the area of the venue you want to sit in and click the booking link at the bottom of this page.
  2. Once you’ve selected the day, time and size of your party, click ‘find table’, then select the available times you want.
  3. For gigs in the Ticket Hall, when selecting seating type, select ‘Standard’, then ‘A seat on the platform’ to sit near to the band, or select ‘Manchester Jazz Festival’ to sit elsewhere indoors.
  4. For gigs in The Pavilion or The Round, select ‘Outdoor’, then select ‘Manchester Jazz Festival’ to sit near The Round, or ‘A seat in the Pavilion’ to sit in The Pavilion.

Find details on the different stages and performances below:

The Ticket Hall (select ‘standard’ on your booking and then ‘The Platform’ for the best view)

Mali Hayes x The Untold Orchestra
10.30 – 11.00, 11.30 – 12.00, 12.30 – 13.00 

Manchester’s soulful songbird Mali Hayes is joined by the strings of The Untold Orchestra in a unique collaboration for mjf, debuting special arrangements of her original music. 

 Handpicked for support by Gilles Peterson’s Future Bubblers, and one of Clash Magazine’s Artists Set to Rise, Mali’s music is perfumed with vibrant real-life stories and coloured with honesty and soul. With radio airplay on all the nationals and support slots for Alfa Mist and Sons Of Kemet under her belt, Mali continues to establish herself as an artist of real vision, dedication and drive. 

 The Untold Orchestra, also Manchester-born, redefines the role of an orchestra in the 21st century. Founded upon a spirit of openness and adventure, they’ve already worked with DJ Paulette, Bill Laurance, and The Lottery Winners, and have established residencies at NIAMOS and Escape to Freight Island. They’ve been keen to work with Mali and are thrilled that this collaboration can happen thanks to mjf.  

14.00 – 14.30, 15.00 – 15.30, 16.00 – 16.30

Ubunye unites singers from South Africa with jazz players from Leeds in an inspirational blend of styles and cultures. High energy beats and traditional African vocal sounds combine with jazz, township and gospel and morph into new contemporary styles.  

Led by pianist Dave Evans with the unmistakable vocals of Thanda Gumede and Nokuthula Zondi-Kamudyariwa amongst others, this is joyful music to uplift the spirits. At times energetic and big, at other times delicate and quiet.  


Binker Golding Band
17.30 – 18.00, 18.30 – 19.00, 19.30 – 20.00 

Binker Golding is a multi-award winning saxophonist & composer from London. He is known for his work with Binker & Moses, Elliot Galvin & his own quartet. His recent album “Abstractions of Reality Past & Incredible Feathers” was a combination of classic hard-bop jazz & contemporary soul, was met with great critical acclaim and was nominated for album of the year at the Jazz FM Awards. He is also the winner of the 2020 Jazz FM instrumentalist of the year award.     

He is currently working towards his 2nd solo release with a new quintet that performs here, which features Billy Adamson (guitar), Sarah Tandy (piano), Daniel Casimir (bass) & Sam Jones (drums). 

The Round (select ‘outdoor’ on your booking)

Twisted Tubes 
13.30 – 14.00, 14.30 – 15.00. 15.30 – 16.00 

The Twisted Tubes sound is an explosive, energy-packed romp through refreshingly broad repertoire of pop gems and classic tracks given the brass-over as only they know how. 

With a trail of dazzling performances all over the globe, from Paris to Milan to Bermuda, the band returns to their hometown for a Sunday afternoon spectacle that’s destined to be treat for the ears and the soul.  


Break Out Brass
17.00 – 17.30, 18.00 – 18.30, 19.00 – 19.30, 20.00 – 20.30 

Break Out Brass are the UK’s first female led brass band playing disco & pop brass floor fillers. If you want to Strut Your Funky Stuff to tunes guaranteed to make Everybody Dance then don’t miss out! We promise you’ll want More, More, More… Let’s Groove! 



The Pavilion (select ‘outdoor’ on your booking and then ‘Pavilion’)

Nishla Smith Quintet 

13.00 – 13.30, 14.00 – 14.30, 15.00 – 15.30 

Nishla is a singer and songwriter who defies easy categorisation. Her live sets include a breathtaking variety of material, from celebrated originals to dark jazz standards and devastating ballads. Her often dreamy and melancholic aura is offset by an energetic and imaginative band of Manchester’s finest young contemporary improvisers.  

Nishla Smith Quintet is a Jazz North northern line ambassador band, supported by Jazz North using public funding from Arts Council England.

John Pope Quintet
17.30 – 18.00, 18.30 – 19.00, 19.30 – 20.00 

Open-hearted improviser and composer John Pope leads his all-acoustic quintet of Northern players through a set of dynamic, free-wheeling compositions. Drawing on hard-bopavant jazz and the sounds of modern Europe, this energetic band kick up a joyous racket, full of surprise and celebration for the adventurous listener. 

John Pope Quintet is a Jazz North northern line ambassador band, supported by Jazz North using public funding from Arts Council England.



From MCR With Love Jenna G
13.00 – 19.00