First acts announced as Hull’s Freedom Festival to return with a bang

The first series of live shows has been announced for this year’s Freedom Festival as it returns for the first time since.

Hull’s hugely-popular annual arts spectacular was forced to go online last year.

But now a more familiar mix of indoor and outdoor shows return for this year’s extended festival which spans 16 days from Friday, August 20.

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The majority of events will be free and in line with government guidance.

Most will be ticketed to manage capacity and ensure audience safety with bookings both online and by phone opening from July 2 at midday.

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Mikey Martins, artistic director and joint chief executive of the Freedom Festivals Arts Trust, said: “We remain a festival powered by people, that’s what Freedom Festival is and what fuels us.



Mickey Martins, artistic director and joint chief executive of the Freedom Festival
Mickey Martins, artistic director and joint chief executive of the Freedom Festival

“We believe bold, exciting and insightful artistic experiences are fundamental and a necessary part of our modern society.

“We work with artists who are brave, innovative and hugely talented and we are incredibly excited to have expanded the festival across 16 days this year to allow as many people as possible to attend events that may have a limited capacity due to government guidelines.”

Now in its 14th year, the festival will see artists appearing in galleries, museums, theatres, empty shops and public spaces across the city with music, performance, visual arts and talks all featured.



Luke Jerram's Gaia will feature in Hull Minster
Luke Jerram’s Gaia will feature in Hull Minster

Among the confirmed events is a return to Hull for Luke Jerram who was last at the Freedom Festival in 2018 with the popular Musuem of the Moon installation in Hull Minster.

This year he will again transform space at the Minster with Gaia, featuring a giant globe of the Earth suspended in the air.

The installation is is association witrh the Woodland Trust and will include a specially-commissioned performance by Hull-based The Broken Orchestra, work on climate change produced by pupils at Westcott Primary School and a series of special events, concerts and talks throughout the festival.

Other installations lined up for the festival include SquidSoup/ArtReach’s stunning Where There Is Light at The Ferens Art Gallery and Yara+Davina’s Arrivals+Departures, whic has previously appeared at festivals in New York and London.

Outdoors, festivalgoers can plug into C-O-N-T-A-C-T, a series of 50-minute audio adventures based on walks through different streets in the city created by Aira Entertainment and WEF Productions.



The interactive show C-O-N-T-A-C-T is part of this year's Freedom Festival line-up
The interactive show C-O-N-T-A-C-T is part of this year’s Freedom Festival line-up

Interactive art group Blast Theory also return to Hull with Rider Spoke, which encourages people to jump on a bike and record stories about their lives while listening to other people’s.

More al fresco offerings will be featured at [email protected], the outdoor amphitheatre close to the Hull Tidal Barrier next to the River Hull.

Acts due to perform there include Belgian circus skills outfit League & Legend, all-female dance company Tribe and a solo family show by Hull Truck featuring Daryl Beeton.

This year there will also be a festival encore on September 28 when the festival co-presents renowned Canadian modern circus company 7 Fingers in their new show Passagers at Hull New Theatre.

Anthony Baker, executive director and joint chief executive, said: “In this challenging Covid-19 environment, we are so pleased to be able to bring this exciting and relevant programme of events.”

Tickets for selected events can be booked from July 2 via the festival website or by calling 01482 390410.