This year sees three full days of entertainment throughout the city of Hull, as well as more chances for the public to join in and take a place amongst art and theatrical installations.
Each day will feature the usual collection of music across a variety of stages, theatre performances along the street as well as in the Big Top, art installations both indoor and outdoor, the Digital Funfair and night markets open until 11:30pm. There is something for everyone, and no excuse not to find something which can interest and inspire you, whatever your age.
Nelson Mandela is this year’s focus and inspiration, with The Long Walk to Freedom showing artwork based on the man himself and the origins of the Freedom Festival.
Friday will start in the evening, as the daytime consists, as I am sure it does for many, work. At dusk on Friday and Saturday, the Long Walk to Freedom will feature various light installations alongside commissioned artwork from a range of artists. This would be the perfect time to wander from Nelson Peace Gardens to the Tidal Barrier, where there will be access to the various music stages. Not to be missed are Streaming Lights, an electrifying indie band who are kickstarting the night for the new Bridge Stage, showcasing local bands. At the Yellow Bus Stage I aim to see the Spark! drummers who have featured as the main image on a lot of the promotions material for this year.
Saturday will feature twelve hours of music, the Bridge Stage opening with Breeze at 11am and concluding with headliner Kate Tempest from 10-11pm. I’ll be heading there throughout the day, ensuring I conclude the night in front of Life, a fave from the Humber Street Sesh, and Kate Tempest, playwright, novelist and poet who is headlining Saturday night.
I will spend much of the daytime wandering around the various attractions, including the Sheds, returning after their success last year, and the World Music Stage down on Princes Quays for some Kingston Swing. I also plan to make a bone china flower in Studio Eleven which will feature in a piece of artwork along the Long Walk to Freedom trail.
At 8pm, I will be partaking in the Spellbound Procession with a friend who obediently joined me at the lantern-making masterclass in preparation. Similar to the torchlight procession and Trans Express who lit the marina up in 2013, this procession will feature local people leading the way to the Spellbound performance, taking place at 9pm on the Humber Quays. Each of us will proudly display our handmade lanterns and banners depicting the story of Rama and Sita, lighting the streets of Hull alongside Jellish who will help ignite Humber Street.
Sunday, usually the wind-down – will be as big and wonderful as both previous days. All theatre and music performances will continue, with the Bridge Stage opened by Emily Moulton at 11am and closing the festival with the fabulous Hillbilly Troupe from 5:40-6:10. As I’ll probably be a bit tender from the packed events of Saturday, I will be spending most of the day by the bands on this stage. That said, I am tempted by Ready Steady Colour an interactive theatre experience where you are served in a mock café.
Starting at 3pm on the High Street, I will be helping once more to transform Hull; this time into A World of Colour. For this, we have been warned to wear clothes which we do not mind being stained, including that of a white top to show off the bright powder paint which will be cast into the air.
It’s going to be a very busy weekend, but one I am really looking forward to.
See ya there.
For more details and specific times, visit www.freedomfestival.co.uk
For ticketed events visit www.hullboxoffice.co.uk/