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The Awakening is back in 2023!



The Awakening is set to return to Hull City Centre from 17 to 19 March 2023, following its successful launch year in 2022. The event celebrates Hull’s maritime identity, heritage, folklore, and mythology, marking the change of seasons from winter to spring. Visitors can explore the city centre’s history-rich streets, from Queens Gardens to Zebedee’s Yard, and experience magical and entertaining installation experiences as the sun sets into the evening.

Supported by the Shared Prosperity Fund, HM Government Levelling Up Fund, Hull Maritime, and the Heritage Action Zone, Freedom Festival Arts Trust is partnering with Hull City Council to bring the event back to Hull city centre again in 2023. The free-to-attend event across two evenings brings opportunities to explore world-class installations and performances, with Hull’s historic areas lit up with giant figures and forms like never before. Venturing indoors, visitors can also enjoy musical offerings from local favorites, including a special edition of Trinity Live in partnership with Trinity Market and Sesh Events.

Whilst exploring, visitors can expect city centre businesses to have their doors open later than usual, offering food, drinks, and entertainment.

Freedom Festival Arts Trust’s Artistic Director, Mikey Martins, says, “We are so excited to produce The Awakening again in 2023, we are working hard with our partners to establish this as an annual event on the city’s cultural calendar. We’ve designed a very family-friendly event with something for everyone to enjoy, so we look forward to welcoming and seeing families of Hull enjoying the city centre and celebrating the changing of the seasons in our great maritime city.”

To close the weekend, there is a ticketed gig at Social, Humber Street, from Hack-Poets Guild performing their album Blackletter Garland. This will be a folklore-rich, captivating evening from three of the UK’s most innovative and prestigious folk artists. Tickets are available on Freedom Festival Arts Trust’s website.

The event will feature international artists from Australia and Liverpool, as well as local artists like Andy Train, alongside popular performers like Worldbeaters’ Spark! Drummers, An Act Above’s Lightwalkers, and returning favorite from last year, Sound Intervention’s Projector Bikes. Visitors can also experience Unfurl, the world’s largest and softest robots, and Groupe LAPS’ light, sound, and interactive games in Trinity Square.

Ferens Art Gallery will open its spaces later than usual and offer another chance to see the fascinating film and music projection piece, RE:SCORE by The Broken Orchestra, in their studio space, as well as a brand-new immersive music performance called Riparian on 18 March at 20:00.

The Awakening is an invitation for everyone to come together and enjoy this spectacle across the city centre, celebrating the change in seasons from winter to spring and Hull’s maritime links. Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said, “The line-up of international installations and performers is world-class, and I am sure people will be inspired by this spring festival as well as appreciate our wonderful spaces, art gallery and collections.”

The event promises to be a lively and eventful weekend, with plenty to see, so join the city centre for a weekend to remember and welcome in spring. Visitors can download the on-site guide and the #FreedomFox mask pack from The Awakening’s website, and expect more resources and information to come out this week.

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