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Freedom Festival starts in Hull this week – here’s the full line-up

Hull’s famous international arts festival starts this week, so we’ve compiled a list of every artist and piece of work coming to the festival this year!

The festival starts on Wednesday 30 Aug and runs until Sunday 3 Sep with new and different events each day, so mark your calendars and have a great festival!

This year, Freedom have provided a number of different guides that you can access and download.

There’s a printed festival map/guide, which you can pick up from various places around Hull city centre, or you can view online here. We’ve included venue numbers in brackets for the key events we’ve picked out below, so you can easily find them on the map inside (page 70).

This year, there’s also a printed Family map/guide to help those who are bringing children to the festival. You can view the digital version online here.

There’s also the new Freedom Festival app you can access here which is an easy way to make your way around the festival.

For now, we’ve put together the complete list of events taking place at Freedom Festival 2023 in Hull, so take a look below, see what you like, then use the app or printed guide to help you get there.

INSTANT LONELINESS – by VIA BERLIN & CELLO OCTET AMSTERDAM (NL)

Hull Truck Theatre (23) – Wednesday 30 Aug 19:30, Thursday 31 Aug 19:30, Friday 1 Sep 19:30 (Live captioning, touch tour and audio description available) (Tickets)

“A BEAUTIFUL HEART-BREAKING QUEST FOR CONNECTION”

Instant Loneliness is a musical theatre production that takes us from loneliness to connection. A remarkable guide leads you through a landscape of dreams to an intimate musical concert of life, performed by eight cellists, an actor, and a dancer.

RÉSISTE – by LES FILLES DU RENARD PÂLE (FR)

Secret Car Park Location – Friday 1 Sep 20:30, Saturday 2 Sep 20:30 (Tickets)

“A DISOBEDIENT REBEL HIGH IN THE AIR. SHE’S BREAKING THE RULES AND PLAYING WITH BORDERS.”

French circus company Les Filles Du Renard Pâle – Résiste is an evocative fusion of experimental tightrope performance and live music.

A truly extraordinary circus artist performs on a high wire, but the wire is unstable. Accompanied by a multi-talented musician, the show is a carefree and humorous contemporary circus show but also a unique live gig where neither artist must fall.

Each performer resists the risk in their own way, and it becomes an absurd ferocious yet beautiful battle, a shared call for liberty and for freedom. The work of Les Filles Du Renard Pâle is truly exceptional, this show is not to be missed!!

UNITY – by GORILLA CIRCUS (UK)

Albion Street Car Park (24) – Friday 1 Sep 20:30, Saturday 2 Sep 20:30

“…POWERFUL POLITICAL THEATRE AND EXTRAORDINARILY SKILLED CIRCUS”

An immersive aerial spectacular combining acrobatic performances, music and poetry with a political message highlighting the underserved in society.

UNITY is a reflection on community, an act of protest, a call for change and a dream for the future.

UNITY is a large-scale contemporary circus production that merges immersive theatre, circus and community stories in a powerful but intimate way. This aerial-spectacular features dance trapeze, wire walking and hair hanging accompanied by a poem that is adapted for each performance’s location.

Performers are accompanied by a ‘cast’ of mannequins who floating up from ground level represent a generation of underserved people.

OTTO & ASTRID’S JOINT SOLO PROJECT – by OTTO & ASTRID (AU)

Social, Humber Street (21) – Friday 1 Sep 20:00, Saturday 2 Sep 20:00 (BSL Interpreted) (Tickets)

“OTTO AND ASTRID ARE A TRIPLE THREAT: CONSUMMATE MUSICIANS, COMICS AND ACTORS… TOGETHER THEY ARE PHENOMENAL.”

Berlin’s art rock royalty, Otto & Astrid, spent years arguing about which songs should appear on their much-anticipated fifth album.  Unable to come to a consensus, the dysfunctional brother/sister duo decided to tour separately with their own musicians. Unfortunately, nobody else wanted to play with them so they are stuck being each other’s backing band in a… Joint Solo Project.

This multi-award-winning teutonic twosome have played everywhere from Soho Theatre London, Joe’s Pub – New York, The Roxy – Los Angeles and opened for Amanda Palmer in Europe, USA and Australia.

A lipstick-smeared sonic collision between The B-52s, Pixies, Kraftwerk and early Ramones, this is one of the most irreverently side-splitting gigs you are ever likely to see. With ridiculously infectious songs and sublime physical comedy, Otto & Astrid are truly one of a kind.

FAST FOOD MEGAVERSE – by THE HERD THEATRE (UK)

Humber Street (20) – Saturday 2 Sep 12:00 (BSL Interpreted), Saturday 2 Sep 14:30 (BSL Interpreted), Sunday 3 Sep 12:00, Sunday 3 Sep 14:30 (Tickets)

“A MILLION OUT OF 10, I HAVEN’T BEEN TO THEATRE LIKE THIS BEFORE, IT WAS AMAZING!!”

Mo is a takeaway delivery rider. Mo is stuck in a parallel universe. Mo needs your help.

Put on headphones, grab a map and join Mo on an adventure through the multiverse. Packed with wild characters, unruly technology and a few tasty surprises, this interactive audio walk is a delicious treat for humans aged 7+.

Commissioned by Freedom Festival in 2022, brought to you by critically acclaimed local theatre company, The Herd. Written in collaboration with children from Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University’s Letterbox Club, Fast Food Megaverse is an epic celebration of young imaginations.

The Herd brings children, young people and families together in playful spaces to share exceptional experiences. We believe in the transformational power of family arts and create experiences that children and adults can share together.

KELI: A WORK IN PROGRESS – by MARTIN GREEN AND EMMA RICE (UK)

Hull Truck Theatre (23) – Friday 1 Sep 18:00 (Tickets)

WARNING: Strong Language

Ivor Novello-winning composer Martin Green (Lau) and Director Emma Rice (Wise Children, Kneehigh) are spending a week in Hull with a small cast transforming the audio drama KELI into a work for stage.

The story follows a prodigiously talented, but highly volatile teenager who plays in a brass band. A modern-day story of the power of music, our communities and post-industrial realities.

Keli might be the best player, but can she keep a lid on her very real challenges of life long enough to make it to the top?

This performance is like an open rehearsal, a ‘work in progress sharing’ where the team will present sections of the play, and be followed by a Q&A allowing audiences to really step inside the creative process of a very exciting work in development which we’re hugely excited about being supporters of… a convivial theatrical moment not to be missed.

CIRCLE/دایره – by SQUIDSOUP & VILK COLLECTIVE (UK)

Princes Quay Events Space (5) – Wednesday 30 & Thursday 31 Aug 12:00 – 18:00, Friday 1 & Saturday 2 Sep 12:00 – 13:00, 14:00 – 16:00, 17:00 – 19:00, Sunday 3 Sep 12:00 – 18:00

A 45-minute live performance will take place at the following times: Friday 1 Sep 13:00 (Relaxed performance) 16:00, 19:00, Saturday 2 Sep 13.00, 16:00, 19:00 (Tickets)

Circle/دایره is a new immersive performance work grown out of an artistic collaboration between light artists Squidsoup and musicians Vilk Collective. With sold-out shows at Trinity, The Egg Theatre, Bristol Beacon, Arnolfini and St Mary’s Fratton,  the show is now coming to Freedom Festival!

The 45-minute sensory experience combines original music, mesmerising lights and unique choreography to explore themes of identity and migration.

Alongside the live show, there will also be an immersive sound and light installation called ‘Lullabies’ which allows you to experience lullaby heritage songs in many languages from across the diverse communities and cultures that make up the UK.

THREE MINUTE MONOLOGUES – by THE WARREN YOUTH PROJECT & MIDDLE CHILD THEATRE (UK)

Social, Humber Street (21) – Thursday 31 Aug 19:30 (BSL Interpreted) (Free Tickets)

Three Minute Monologues

A creative project combining the voices of young people with local script writers to make new and exciting live theatre, covering subjects like relationships, mental health and pesky recurring haemorrhoids.

With writings from Kerrie Marsh, Maureen Lennon, and Jim Norris peppered with live music from artists signed to Warren Records.

Quotes from young people who experienced the writing workshops:

“Would recommend to friends!”

Has had a positive impact on my mental health.”

“Helpful and thought-provoking.”

ENCORE UNE FOIS – by TRIPOTES LA COMPAGNIE (BE)

Zebedee’s Yard (1) – Saturday 2 Sep 12:30 (Audio Description available), Saturday 2 Sep 16:30, Sunday 3 Sep 13:30, Sunday 3 Sep 16:30

It is above all a meeting. An invitation to us all to witness a friendly moment between these exceptional and fun circus performers.

The Circus, for them, is risk-taking; So let’s mess it all up and start again!

‘Encore une Fois’ or ‘Again’ is based on the idea that errors are allowed.

A show of acrobatic discovery and playful danger

The simplicity of absurd ideas and acrobatic games that they play together, full of improvisation which also allows the audience to enjoy the same emotions as the artists at the same time.

All supported by a musical creation made of the sounds of ping-balls pong (yep!) and looped by a sampler/sequencer that accompanies the stage. This music box creates the soundtrack to the show live…

A unique and playful circus show full of acrobatic surprises and games, one certainly not to be missed!!

EXIT – by CIRCUMSTANCES (BE)

Stage @theDock (17) – Friday 1 Sep 15:30, Friday 1 Sep 18:30, Saturday 2 Sep 13:00, Saturday 2 Sep 17:00 (Audio Description available)

“Circus is not about achieving, but challenging the impossible. The search for the limits of balance, gravity, time and endurance creates a unique dance.” – Piet Van Dycke

Choreographer Piet Van Dycke invited four circus artists to create this unique show. Each artist specialised in a different discipline (bascule, belts, trapeze and acro-dance). Four individual disciplines were merged through impressive choreography into one new collective language.

EXIT shows the meeting of four individuals walking one collective path. In a big, impressive installation with a revolving wall and floating doors, they move in and through space. They propel each other, walk, collide, climb, carry, balance and transform. They meet and leave, appear and disappear. As people, we are always on the go, but what if you do not arrive home anywhere? And what about the tension between the individual and the group? In their quest for independence, they realise that they need each other more than ever. They balance each other out, but also bring each other out of balance.

WE AGREE TO DISAGREE – by COLLECTIF MALUNÉS (BE)

Trinity Square (12) – Friday 1 Sep 19:00, Saturday 2 Sep 15:00, Sunday 3 Sep 15:00

A unique, fun and interactive Circus spectacle, you’ll find yourself right in the middle of the show as it plays out all around the audience. A spectacular, heartwarming and truly original piece of circus from this extraordinary Belgian Circus collective.

This show is a participatory show where the audience has their say. You may even have the chance to be centre stage (just be careful not to get locked up in prison!) We Agree To Disagree speaks of the absurdity of the current state of affairs. Insolence, divergence, Belgian humour, and political challenge are the ingredients to fight conformity and help ‘the seeds of madness’ grow. 

This show is a reflection on a utopian idea of democracy, showing the potential good and bad, the potential for greater inequality and even extremes of dictatorship. It is an attempt to answer the question that we may ask ourselves as citizens and members of this society: Can we find a way, on this great human adventure, to live equally and in harmony?  

“Step into our world and become actors in our interactive circus experience. Adhere to our values, respect our rules, admire our leaders. Receive your orders and you will be able to participate in the making of the show itself.” 

REFUSE – by COMPANY CHAMELEON (UK)

Princes Dock Street (3) – Saturday 2 Sep 14:00 (Audio Description available), Saturday 2 Sept 16:30, Sunday 3 Sep 11:30, Sunday 3 Sep 14:00

’BEAUTIFULLY REVEALING…UNFORGETTABLY GOOD.’

Refuse is a powerful and moving dance performance, which follows the journey of six people seeking refuge.

A play on words, the performance brings home the brutal reality of how people are refused and treated like refuse, when they leave their homeland in search of a better life.

Inspired by the painting, The Raft of the Medusa (1819) by Théodore Géricault, Refuse explores the relevance of the artwork, in relation to the plight of asylum seekers today.

The choreography is physically powerful and emotive. The dancers use their bodies, props and the set to explore different feelings, experiences and scenarios.

The set imaginatively transforms the landscape, and the dancers move emotively through each scene, on a harrowing journey where it’s hard to find hope.

Through dance and movement, Refuse shares the raw reality of asylum, migration and displacement, and encourages you to reflect from the place of a human being.

PRIMUS – by 15 FEET 6 (BE)

Zebedee’s Yard (1) – Saturday 2 Sep 14:30, Saturday 2 Sep 18:30 (Audio Description available), Sunday 3 Sep 15:00

We are introduced to two outrageous students on their way through the school of life, totally blasé and clearly way too cool for school. Playground circus games turn into target practice as the battle for supremacy hots up on various sets of wheels and with exceptional trickery.

The incredible rollerskating finale of this high-octane circus duet is not for the faint-hearted, and whatever you do after watching them don’t try this at home!

HIPPOS – by ZUM-ZUM TEATRE (CAT)

Princes Dock Street South (3) – Saturday 2 Sep 12:00, Saturday 2 Sep 15:30 (Audio Description available), Sunday 3 Sep 13:00, Sunday 3 Sep 15:30

HIPPOS is a street theatre show that challenges the appearances and stereotypes imposed by society. A physical tour that could be a fable, a metaphor, or simply a proposal for all audiences in which to meet and be a little more alone, but in company.

Three hippos dance, live and interact with people, but beyond the fun, a message is hidden, that of respect for difference.

In a world where animals and people live together, we encounter hippopotamuses that choose a middle path. Are they humans disguised as the animal they wear? Or are they hippos that are searching for themselves inside of the individual that inhabits their body?

BEAUTIFUL BONES – by SURGE (UK)

Walkabout (2, 3, 7 & 8) – Saturday 2 Sep & Sunday 3 Sep 11:00 – 15:00

Beautiful Bones is a large-scale street spectacle and musical pandemonium that reframes the rituals of death as a celebration of life.  Western contemporary culture appears spectacularly disinterested when it comes to the subject of death, especially our own. We leave the mechanics that surround it to others.

In Beautiful Bones a theme of general celebration, comedic irreverence and blissful acceptance challenge our own dour and often miserable rituals.

A 3 part walkabout performance with a grand finale in Queen Victoria Square.

PARASITE CIRCUS – by TÊTES DE MULES (FR)

Princes Dock Street South (3) – Friday 1 Sep 19:00, Saturday 2 Sep 12:45, Saturday 2 Sep 18:00, Sunday 3 Sep 16:30

All you have secretly wished to see in a circus and never had the chance to! The best of the worst will finally happen here tonight! Quench your thirst of haemoglobin and be ready for great sensations. Come close to the stars! En piste mes artistes, death is awaiting!

Parasite Circus is a collective act of liberation. A desecration of common sense, a freedom cry against the daily burdens of life. Fairground theatre is back, and poetry invades the streets, with two Shakespearian buffoons, the magic of traditional circus, burlesque music and hideous puppets, which make the impossible possible.

The Parasite Circus brings on stage all the magic of old-timey circus, covered by a thick coat of black humour. This show is not for the faint-hearted.

FUNNY BUSINESS – by FRASER HOOPER (UK/NZ)

Various locations (1, 11, 17)Saturday 2 Sep 12:00 & 15:00, Sunday 3 Sep 12:00

There is also a free-ticketed Clown workshop on – Sunday 3 Sep 10:00 (Tickets)

”OUR FESTIVAL FAVOURITE” – THE TIMES UK

Guaranteed giggles galore from internationally award-winning funny man Fraser Hooper. This hilarious show features a stunt duck, a human fish and the silliest boxing match you have ever seen. So get a ringside seat for a belly-aching knockout performance.

After a glittering career in menswear, Fraser Hooper gave it all up to become a clown. Thirty years on, his award-winning comedy has delighted thousands of audiences worldwide.

There’s also an All-Ages Clown Workshop! Through improvisation, rhythm and play learn how to develop your timing and build comedy routines. This fun practical workshop is for the whole family to enjoy together. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

You’re welcome to secure your tickets in advance or if you’d prefer, you can turn up on the day and we’ll admit based on availability of space. 

APUS PRODUCTIONS (UK) – ORCHESTRA DE LA MENAGERIE

Walkabout (3, 11, 12) – Friday 1 Sep 18:00, Saturday 2 Sep 12:45, 14:15, 16:30, Sunday 3 Sept 13:00, 15:30, 17:15

The Orchestra de La Menagerie aims to entertain, provoke, and cause chaos through any crowd of people or busy street, with their music and dancing.

Their larger-than-life, deconstructed appearance, is at odds with most urban or green field site surroundings. They could have stepped out of a computer game or be children’s toys that have come to life for the day.

They are reminiscent of Commedia Dell’Arte, roving vagabonds, and wandering minstrels.

With an alchemic music box and various percussion instruments, they are having fun enjoying their own party procession. Join them winding through the festival, and be infected by their enthusiasm and joy.

JONES AND BARNARD (UK) – VARIETY SPECTACULAR

1, 7, 11, Various Locations – Saturday 2 Sep 12:00, Saturday 2 Sep 17:00, Sunday 3 Sep 12:00 (BSL Interpreted), Sunday 3 Sep 18:00 (With special guests)

Escapology and Juggling comedy show including danger, peril and a pint of beer.

Family-friendly entertainment for thrill seekers of all ages. Jones and Barnard are street entertainment old-timers, having learned their trade on the cobblestones of London’s Covent Garden many moons ago. Since then, they have toured Britain and the world with various shows, always with a knockabout comedy edge, hilarious stunts and some quick-witted repartee. They have been part of Hull favourites Slightly Fat Features, and have played in the streets of Hull and at Hull Truck Theatre many times. And if they lose any of their props, they are sure Dinsdales will still have the originals in stock…

Come along to their last Sunday show at the end of the festival weekend for some surprises and special guests.

FREEDOM MUSIC STAGE with WARREN RECORDS

This year, Zebedee’s Yard comes alive for the full weekend. We’re calling this the heart of the festival, where you will experience performance side by side with live music and DJs. Info here.

Heading up the music stage is Warren Records, celebrating their 40th anniversary, showcasing the finest, freshest, young up-and-coming talent releasing through the label and making a splash on the local music scene. All artists performing on Friday 1 September will have BSL interpretation.

For the list of artists performing over the Festival’s duration, visit here!

HANNABIELL & MIDNIGHT BLUE COLLECTIVE (UK)

Zebedee’s Yard (1) – Saturday 2 Sep 21:00

Led by multi-instrumentalist Hannabiell Sanders, this high-energy ensemble is nothing less than exhilarating as it fuses together Afro-Caribbean & Latin percussion, Jazz, Afro-beat, and Funk to create their unique sound.

The music created from this fusion is an organic blend of powerful and upbeat drums, brass, vocal chants, and mbira compositions which not only produces an invigorating party atmosphere, it also summons audience participation.  This fusion they call “Afro-psychedelic funk.”

TRIBUTE – by KINETIKA BLOCO (UK)

Various Locations (1, 7, 12)Saturday 2 Sept 16:00 & 20:00, Sunday 3 Sept 12:30 & 14:15

Tribute: A gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration​.

Kinetika Bloco’s Tribute takes us on a journey to explore the movement of people into London and what impact this has had on music. Like the river flowing through both our great cities, they gather and create new streams flowing forwards. People bring their music, stories and experiences and, as they connect to where they are and who they meet, new sounds emerge. Kinetika Bloco pays tribute to cultures and traditions and celebrates the resilience people have shown on their journeys and find solidarity in our differences. Evolving and moving forward, taking parts of each other with us towards a better future. This is their Tribute.

BRASS SPECTACULAR – by CITY OF HULL BAND (UK)

Queen Victoria Square (7) – Saturday 2 Sep 13:00, Sunday 3 Sep 13:00

The City of Hull Band will entertain the crowds with a program of popular brass band music. Whether you prefer traditional brass band marches, film music or something a little more modern, there will be something to suit whatever your musical taste may be. Stick around for a very special performance as they move to Queen Victoria Square!

The City of Hull Band are the only Championship Section Brass Band in East Yorkshire, performing and competing at the highest level. The band was formed in 1989 as there was at that time no adult Brass Band within the City boundary.

Beginning as a 4th Section band, it progressed in almost consecutive years through the sections, achieving Championship status in 1996, where it regularly competes against the likes of Black Dyke Band, Brighouse and Rastrick and The Grimethorpe Band. The band, which is a registered charity, performs throughout the UK and has undertaken foreign tours. The band regularly supports other local organisations providing concerts to raise funds and is very excited to be involved in The Freedom Festival in 2023 for the first time.

THE SKIBAND (UK)

Various Locations (11, 3)Saturday 2 Sep 12:00, 14:30, 16:45, Sunday 3 Sep 11:45, 14:30, 16:00

A five-piece acoustic, brass-based band featuring sousaphone, saxophone, trumpet, accordion and shouty vocals!

Engaging and irreverent, they’re five professional musicians out to have fun, spread a smile and play great music. Their aim is to get in with the audience and to entertain.

A delightful mix, the best in spontaneous street performance. The Skiband came into being when the Brasshoppers and  The Real Macaws, both successful street bands in their own right, came together to play winter seasons in Alpine skiing resorts.

Ali Wood, accordion player, spent some time with the Welfare State International Theatre Company. Well-known for parade-based spectacle,  Ali has brought this experience to the creative direction of the band.     

Daz Jones, sousaphone player and also a Macaws member, spent several years as a resident performer at Cabaret Heaven, where both his musical skills and his performance skills came to the fore.

Brasshoppers member Anthony Peers and sax-wielding Macaw Tony Burcherello brought an exquisite horn sound.

Back all of this up with the super loose rhythms of Chico “Sambaman” Volante, and what you have is, possibly, The Best Street Band in the World…Ever.

TOMORROW – by FREEDOM WOMEN COLLECTIVE

Ferens Art Gallery (6) – Wednesday 30 Aug – Friday 1 Sep 10:00 – 16:30 (last entry 16:00) (Audio Description available Friday 1 Sep 11:15), Saturday 2 Sep 10:00 – 15:00, Sunday 3 Sep 11:00 – 16:00 (last entry 15:30)

Panel Discussion – Saturday 2 Sep 15:00-16.30 (last entry 16:00) (BSL Interpreted) (Free tickets)

Meet the Artists – Saturday 9, 16, 23 Sep 11:00

For this studio exhibition by Freedom Women Collective, Tomorrow is an enduring reference to hope, belief and self-determination. In every language, tomorrow can be a promise, a practical arrangement or a philosophical proposition. It is always a way of looking to the future, together.

An IWM 14-18 NOW Legacy Fund commission in partnership with Freedom Festival Arts Trust, the artists weave stories from Ethiopia, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Sudan using visual and textile art, sculpture, performance, poetry and photography. At the heart of the exhibition, their slideshow film Tomorrow is an exploration of ownership of representation and memory of displacement. During the festival and on Saturdays, the collective invite you to special events in the studio to share experiences of loss, resistance, resilience and survival.

Freedom Women Collective are women who survived war, conflict and persecution: artists Arafa Gouda, Nisreen Barazi, Gaida Dirar, Shuke Halake Aeroro and Faisa Omar, with Lee Karen Stow and curator Sarah Perks.

INVISIBLE CITY – by VIA BERLIN (NL)

Murdoch Bridge (4) – Thursday 31 Aug & Friday 1 Sep 12:00 – 14:00, 15:00 – 17:00, Saturday 2 Sep 12:00 – 14:00, 15:00 – 17:00, Sunday 3 Sep, 12:00 – 14:00, 14:30 – 16:00

Invisible City is a brand-new audio theatrical installation, that takes you from a sense of loneliness to one of connection and community.

This city is home to hundreds of thousands of people.

And all those people are bubbling over with millions of memories. Some good, some of course also sad.

And those last ones, we bury deep inside us, because we can’t let them go, because they still hurt. Perhaps part of them come from something someone once said, that has always stayed with you. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a list of such phrases of which we now think: That should never be said again! To nobody.

What phrase would you put on this list? Is it time to let them go?”

WALKING IN THIN PLACES – by ANNIE LUKE TURNER (UK)

Bond 31 (13) – Wednesday 30 Aug – Sunday 3 Sep, 12:00 – 18:00

A series of abstract paintings which have evolved from time spent at Julian’s Bower medieval turf maze, Alkborough in North Lincolnshire. Annie’s work is based around her interest in landscape, history, archaeology and myths. The turf maze and the landscape around it, have a special, timeless atmosphere. The convergence of three rivers add to the feeling that this place has been important to our ancestors for hundreds of years. The idea of ‘Thin Places’ is often applied to places where there is a sense of something that transcends the everyday world.

Annie spends time in a landscape, sitting and walking to experience the whole ‘feel’ of a place. She listens to the sounds, walking with bare feet and sketching. Then it’s back to the studio and the development of the larger paintings which can take weeks or months. There is no plan, just the knowledge that elements of the chosen landscape will find their way into the work.

A SERIES OF EXHIBITIONS – by THE WILBERFORCE INSTITUTE (UK)

The Wilberforce Institute presents a series of exhibitions across the city that supports efforts to tackle modern slavery, coercion and human trafficking, both at home and abroad. Info here.

Since 2006, the Wilberforce Institute has been producing world-class research that supports efforts to tackle modern slavery, coercion and human trafficking, both at home and abroad – continuing the legacy of William Wilberforce. In 2007 Freedom Festival was established to mark the 200th anniversary of Wilberforce’s law, the Slave Trade Act 1807, to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire.

Follow the trail of important pop-up exhibitions from the Wilberforce Institute. All the info here!

BRINGING BREATHLESSNESS INTO VIEW – by HULL YORK MEDICAL SCHOOL (UK)

Hepworth Arcade (10) – Wednesday 30 Aug – Thursday 31 Aug 12:00 – 16:00, Friday 1 Sep – Saturday 2 Sep 12:00 – 18:00 (Audio Description Available Fri 1 Sep 15:15), Sunday 3 Sep 12:00 – 16:00

Workshops – Wednesday 30 Aug & Friday 1 Sep 13:00 – 15:00, Thursday 31 Aug & Saturday 2 Sep 13:00 – 15:00

In collaboration with local people living with breathlessness and artists Anna Bean and Rob Mackay, researcher Ann Hutchinson from the Hull York Medical School has created the multimedia Bringing Breathlessness Into View exhibition.

People with breathlessness often feel poorly understood and stigmatised. As a result, they can feel lonely and isolated.

We aim to raise awareness of what it is like to live with breathlessness, and enable people to access support to manage their breathlessness well.

Find us in the Hepworth arcade near Dinsdale’s Joke Shop (access from Trinity Indoor Market, Silver Street or from Market Place).

SHORELINES: THE PERFECT STORM – by RIGHTS COMMUNITY ACTION (UK)

Whitefriargate (2, 18) – Wednesday 30 Aug – Sunday 3 Sep 12:00 – 18:00 (Audio Description available Fri 1 Sep 14:00)

Shorelines – The Perfect Storm is an exhibition of work created with Hull communities about the impact of climate change on Hull.

We invite the people of Hull to come and join the conversation about climate change and its impact on our city. Through a range of activities including creative workshops, talks and interviews you can learn about how rising sea level will affect you and how you can take action now!

In 2023, working with artists Lauren Saunders, Lydia Caprani, Emma Garness, Saffi Brown, Hannah Van Green and Joe Hakim we have created 2 murals, 1 enchanted garden, an exhibition and a manifesto which we will be sharing at the Freedom Festival. This work joins our existing 7 murals by Gustavo Chavez Peron, Andy Pea and Calvin Innes.

GOOD THINGS MARKET

Undercroft Car Park (22) – Sunday 3 Sep 10:30 – 16:30

Good Things is a curated makers market bringing around 50 ace makers, crafters and creatives to the Fruit Market.

Expect the gravy-de-la-gravy of artists, bakers, creators, painters, movers, shakers, heart breakers from across Hull, The North and even further than that, just for you!

For a few days a year, we transform a dark car park into a bustling market hall, with a well-chosen variety of traders so that there’s something for everyone. We promise you’ll find something to make you smile, whether that’s locally-roasted coffee, a big squidgy baked good, a handmade item or a one-of-a-kind vintage find.

FREEDOM CHESS CHALLENGE – by HULL AND DISTRICT CHESS ASSOCIATION (UK)

Princes Dock Street North (2) – Saturday 2 Sep 10:00 – 18:00

Step right up! An opportunity for festival-goers of all ages to come and play street chess, on a giant chess set or on public tables – helped (if needed) by experienced chess players.

A great way to make new friends, learn some new skills or just have a fun time – competitive spirit not essential, but if you’re feeling up for it, come take on the experts.

SCIENCE BUSKING – by HULL STREET SCIENTISTS (UK)

Princes Dock Street North (2) – Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 Sep 12:00 – 18:00

The Hull Street Scientists are hitting Freedom Festival to show off some of our favourite magic tricks.

But magic is science that you don’t understand yet. So they aren’t going to stop at just showing you the magic, they’ll reveal the hidden maths, science and psychology behind some amazing tricks (just don’t tell the Magic Circle!). Find them roaming the festival with their box of tricks!

LET’S MAKE AN OPERA IN A DAY – by THE EVERYMAN PROJECT (UK)

Stage @theDock (17) – Sunday 3 Sep 15:30

Workshops – Sunday 3 Sep 10:00 – 14:15 (Register for workshop)

Is it really possible to create an OPERA IN A DAY?! Come along and find out in these fun workshops in singing, making, circus and dance and then take part in a sharing celebration of Everyman by Tim Brooks at Stage @TheDock.

The workshops are led by Tim and Em Whitfield Brooks, North East Opera, opera singer Sandeep Gurrapadi, designer Naomi Parker, York Dance Space and circus troupe Earthbound Misfits. This top team has worked with groups and communities across NE Lincs, East Riding and Hull all summer, many of whom are also participating in this ambitious event.

FESTIVAL CLUB

Social, Humber Street (21) – Friday 1 Sep 21:30, Saturday 2 Sep 21:30 (Tickets)

Welcome to Festival Club, a relatively new tradition of Freedom Festival, where audiences and artists come together to unwind, socialise, and celebrate into the night.

What is Festival Club? We encourage artists who are joining us at the festival who may have a musical, DJ, or cabaret-style talent to sign up to perform at Social on Humber Street. We dance, sing, and laugh together as a cross-cultural and multi-national audience to celebrate international arts and artists coming together in Hull City Centre.

Saturday night will feature DJ Marco, presenting a celebration of club music from the Afro-Caribbean diaspora with live musicians from London’s Kinetika Bloco. The perfect combination of Afro-dance music with live horns & percussion! Check the website for lineups ahead of the festival…. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Tickets £5 on the door, or via ticket link above. 

KALEIDER – LET’S TWIST

Princes Dock Street (2) – Saturday 2 Sep 12:00 – 18:00, Sunday 3 Sep 12:00 – 18:00

A landscape of cardboard sculptures invites the public to change their form. Made out of interconnected prisms, each sculpture can be twisted into thousands of different shapes. Members of the public can work together, or witness others playing. Every time someone changes the sculpture, they inherit their starting point from the people before them. By transforming the shape, they add to the sculpture’s story.

The big geometric sculpture is about 2 metres tall and made out of 24 interconnected cardboard prisms.

Kaleider’s Let’s Twist is made possible by an original commission by Children’s Capital of Culture for Rotherham Show.


This information is taken from the Freedom Festival Arts Trust website, which you can visit for more info. This information is correct at the time of publishing, but keep an eye on Freedom’s socials for updates just in case!

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