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Freedom Festival Hull 2021, Yorkshire
August 20 - September 5
Held in late August ro early September, the Freedom Festival Hull is the flagship event in the former UK City of Culture’s festival calendar.
Now in its 14th year and celebrating the life of Hull’s most famous son, William Wilberforce, the 2021 festival will stretch over 16 days from 20 August to 5 September.
The city will abound with dance, street theatre, as well as music, debates, exhibitions and community events. There will also be a giant Earth surrounded by trees under the roof of Hull Minster.
Most of the events are free of charge, although some are ticketed, and held in theatres, museums, galleries, public spaces and empty shops around Hull. You can be assured that the festival will provide excellent entertainment for the whole family.
Highlights of the Freedom Festival Hull
Artists include Luke Jerram, who appeared at the 2018 Hull Freedom Festival with Museum of the Moon. This year he will exhibit GAIA, a stunning replica of the planet, created using NASA imagery of the Earth, surrounded by trees donated by The Woodland Trust (see main image).
‘C-O-N-T-A-C-T’, from Aria Entertainment and WEF Productions, will bring a new kind of street theatre to Hull. It will give you the chance to walk with performers while sharing their thoughts and sensations. Simply download the audio from an app, which will synchronize actors and spectators.
[email protected] will feature live performances in overlooking the River Hull, with views across the Humber. It will host Belgian circus group 15ft6 – League & Legend, and female-led dance group Rise – Tribe.
The Hull New Theatre, will host Passagers, from The 7 Fingers (Les 7 Doigts de la Main), (see photo above) contemporary circus company, combinind physical theatre, choreography, dance, multi-media, music and acrobatic skills.
The full programme can be found here.
History of the Freedom Festival Hull
The festival started as a celebration of freedom through creativity in 2007, which marked the 200th anniversary of the passing of William Wilberforce’s landmark act that abolished the slave trade, at least in the British Empire.
Since then, it has grown steadily with more than 130,000 people travelling each year to the Yorkshire city to embrace the festival’s core values and celebrate freedom.
Things to Do in Hull
While in Hull, visit the house where William Wilberforce was born in 1759. Now a free museum, it houses exhibitions that outline the story of the slave trade, its eventual abolition, and the vital role that Wilberforce played. There are also exhibits on modern-day slavery.
The Ferens Art Gallery is one of the leading exhibition spaces in the country, and this year it is displaying a portrait of Wilberforce by Sir Thomas Lawrence, for the first time.
For other ideas on what to do in Hull, read Mark Bibby Jackson’s article on the past UK City of Culture.
When is the Freedom Festival Hull 2021?
20 August to 5 September 2021
Freedom Festival Programme
The festival takes place in venues across the city, for a full Freedom Festival programme click here.
Festivals in Yorkshire
Getting to Hull
A flat city, Hull is perfect for walking or cycling. You can hire a bicycle at the Bike Hub, which is located at the city’s Transport Interchange. The festival hub, where you can pick up a programme or get direction from volunteers, is also located here.
Hull has trains from London, Leeds and Manchester. If driving Hull is accessible from the M62, M1 and A1, although you should note that several streets in the city will be closed during the festival, and you are advised to park at the King William’s car park. Parking can be pre-booked.
Hotels in Hull
If you wish to book accommodation for the festival, perhaps you could use our hotel booking page. It scours the major hotel booking sites so that you don’t have to:
For more details on the Freedom Festival Hull
For Things to Do in Hull
Cover photo: GAIA and Trees in Cathedral – credit Luke Jerram.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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