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Hull Shares Northern Lights Stories


Urban Legends: Northern Lights, a newly commissioned outdoor event in Hull, is set to illuminate the winter nights later this month as moving animations and atmospheric music celebrate links with Northern Europe.

Combining large-scale sound and light installations with smaller, more intimate shows, Absolutely Cultured’s latest and most ambitious outdoor event will tell stories on the city’s buildings for four nights at the end of November.

Buildings, shop windows and winding alleyways will come alive as specially commissioned projections and soundscapes tell stories of the North in the free-to-see event from 29 November until 2 December 2018, between 5pm-10pm each night.

Alternatively, why not pop into neighbouring Beverley for its wonderful Festival of Christmas?

Artists from Norway, Finland and Denmark, among others, will draw inspiration from the connections between the countries of Northern Europe, Scandinavia and Hull to explore a shared northern identity.

From large and impressive to intimate and moving, the event brings together six leading national and international artists from the UK and Scandinavia, marking the return of many of Hull 2017’s celebrated artists.

Revealing the city at its dazzling winter best, Urban Legends: Northern Lights is the latest event organised by Absolutely Cultured, the new name and brand for the arts organisation behind last year’s internationally-acclaimed City of Culture programme.

Hull’s reign as UK City of Culture lasts for four years, until 2020, and the city aims to continue building on the success of last year.

For more inspiration of things to do in Hull, read, Hull: a Surprising City of Culture.

Along with culture, the light and sound event will also celebrate Hull’s centuries-old connections with Northern Europe – a proud heritage stemming from The Hanseatic League, in many ways the first European Union.

For 400 years, The League thrived as a trading block of seafaring merchants across the North Sea and the Baltic connecting around 200 towns and cities, including Hull, which by the end of the 15th century was second only to London as a trading port.

While it ended in the 17th century, a new HANSE was re-invented for the modern era as a cultural partnership bringing together towns and cities across Northern Europe that were originally part of the League, which Hull joined in 2012.

Now the only English city – alongside towns Kings Lynn and Boston – to rejoin the League in a cultural capacity, Hull celebrates its place in the history of the League and its heritage as a trading city. Hull’s historic Old Town – a highlight of any visit to the city – still retains its medieval footprint, with a surviving street plan around the original port area on the River Hull.

For more about the partnership, visit For places to stay and visitor information,

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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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