Our Team

Meet the Freedom team

Literally thousands of fantastic people make Freedom Festival happen each September. At the heart of the wider Freedom family are our core team:

Mikey Martins, CEO and Artistic Director
Jenny Howard-Coombes, Executive Director
Lindsay Stockley, Producer
Nesta Nelson, Administrator

Mikey, Jenny, Lindsay and Nesta are all based at Freedom Festival HQ in Hull’s Fruit Market, and work full-time for Freedom Festival Arts Trust to co-ordinate all aspects of the festival as well as year-round programming.

The team works with freelance directors and artists, our Trustees, community groups, sponsors, volunteers and everyone else involved who helps make our festival such a success each year.


Mikey Martins, CEO and Artistic Director

Mikey has worked in the arts festival industry for more than two decades, across Europe, Canada and Australia. He has worked on numerous high-profile national and international cultural events and organisations, including Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Winchester Hat Fair, Out There Festival, Casus Circus (Australia) and Theatre Bristol. Mikey is also on the steering group for the IN SITU network and sits on the Board of Surge (formerly Conflux) in Scotland. Mikey moved to Hull after taking up his appointment as CEO and Artistic Director; Freedom Festival 2016 was the first with Mikey at the helm.



Jenny Howard-Coombes, Executive Director

Jenny began her career in the arts sector before making the transition into publishing/events where she worked for over 16 years, developing skills in event management, stakeholder engagement, sponsor development and marketing. She has extensive experience in conceiving and taking to market large-scale events. Having witnessed first-hand the positive impact that cultural events and experiences can have upon people and places, Jenny is passionate about developing a sustainable event that touches and inspires all those in attendance.



lindsayLindsay Stockley, Producer

Lindsay has previously programmed and produced circus and theatre for Shambala Festival and has managed several projects at Glastonbury, Bestival and City of London Festival. With more than fifteen years’ experience in the industry, Lindsay has a background in dance and circus performance, a BA in fine arts, an MA in Cultural Policy and Management and she founded her own successful production company, Sideways Arts, to create circus, theatre, events and festivals.



nestaNesta Nelson, Administrator

Before joining Freedom Festival, Nesta worked at Hull University Union as Volunteer Co-ordinator, and has a background in charity administration. A Film and TV Design graduate, Nesta has worked in TV production and on various national and international Film Festivals, including Hull’s former international Short Film Festival, ‘Glimmer’. Nesta is a trustee of Hull Independent Cinema, which aims to secure better provision for the showing of independent, art and world cinema in Hull.



Images courtesy of Anete Sooda and Alison Robinson.