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Freedom Fest 2021 Kicks-Off with Two Astonishing Displays

2021 will see Hull’s famous Freedom Festival showcase two internationally celebrated performances prior to its yearly September festival, with an elevating and exciting spring project starting in March.

As a surprise to the city, Hull’s beloved Freedom Festival will offer two intimate yet eye-opening performances, presenting audiences the opportunity to review and reflect on today and future world events.

The performances include a UK premiere of The Vigil, a 365-day unforgettable project beginning on March 20th, the spring equinox, which tells the story of a city coming back to life, and Luke Jerram’s celebrated installation Gaia, at Hull Minster from March 10th.

The Vigil

Every day for a year at sunrise and sunset, a vigil will look over the city from a bespoke structure situated on top of the Hull College building. Through the year over 700 people will partake in a silent performance and contribute to the vigil, originally designed by choreographer Joanne Leighton.

This will be a historic moment for the city, as Hull will be the first in the UK and 10th host of this immense and inspiring project, previously held in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. 

The work and support of national arts programme Global Streets, Hull College and Hull’s Esteem Group has enabled the performance to come to the city. Anyone over 18-years-old is invited to take part in The Vigil, it is free to participate and bookings will open on 20 January 2021. The solitary of this performance means the project can continue should lockdown restrictions remain in the new year. 

Gaia Earth

After the formidable success of Luke Jerram’s eye-opening project, Museum of the Moon, which saw a record number of people visit Hull Minster in 2018, together, Freedom Festival and Hull Minster will bring Gaia (Earth) to Hull in the new year.

The installation measures seven metres in diameter and is made from 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth. The artwork offers an opportunity for people to view our planet elevated in three dimensions.

The installation will be at Hull Minster from 10-30 March 2021. Strict Covid-19 safety measures will be in place with a limited number of tickets available. Free tickets will be available from February 2021.

Anthony Baker, Executive Director and Joint CEO of Freedom Festival Arts Trust said: “We wanted to bring the city together to promote optimism and hope. We’re incredibly grateful to our partners for their continued support as we bring communities together again, in a safe and considered way with these intimate yet powerful performances.

“If you’re interested in participating in these events, sign up to our newsletter so you can be the first to hear from us. We’re also currently recruiting volunteers to help manage these events, visit our website to register your interest and get involved.”   

Keep up to date with ticket and participatory opportunities by downloading the Freedom Festival App or sign up to the Freedom Festival newsletter at

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