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Freedom Festival is Hull’s award-winning international arts festival. From epic spectaculars unfolding in the city centre to intimate moments where audiences and artists meet, we present thought-provoking, playful, and powerful performances that address the world we live in.

We bring thousands of people together through our annual festival and year-round artistic and creative programme of performances, installations, and community participation to excite, inspire, challenge, and provoke.

We celebrate Hull’s independent spirit and extraordinary heritage working closely with artists, creative organisations, the private sector, academic partners, third sector organisations, families, individuals, and community groups to deliver year-round creative activity and a world-class yearly arts festival.

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Latest News

2nd December 2021

Project Manager applications close on 8 December

Freedom Festival is looking for a Project Manager to lead on key projects within Freedom Festival Arts Trust’s year-round programme.

3rd November 2021

The Hull Vigil reaches the 6 month mark

Today ( Wednesday 3 November,) at sunset The Hull Vigil reaches the half-way point. Starting on 3 May 2021 and finishing on 3 May 2022, every day at sunrise and sunset a vigil keeps watch over Hull from a bespoke structure located on top of the Hull College building.

19th October 2021

For Jack Whileblood

It was with huge sadness that we heard of the passing of Jack Whileblood, a core member of Freedom Festival’s volunteer workforce and a huge character.

Our work

Each year over 100,000 people come together in Hull to experience and participate in a bold and radical programme of arts in public and civic spaces. We collaborate not just with the arts sector but also academic partners, human rights organisations, educationalists, scientists, designers, engineers, manufacturers, conservationists, environmentalists and the general public. We commission new projects within the festival and increasingly outside the festival, working with partners to enrich Hull’s cultural offer, attract more visitors and contribute to the local and regional economy.

Since 2013 we have commissioned or presented 105 new, bold and ambitious works, supported 424 artists to enhance their practice, and contributed over £25m to the local economy. We work with artists we believe in - mentoring, commissioning and producing their work for presentation in Hull and beyond. We champion the city of Hull, nurturing local talent, and evidencing a tangible and enduring contribution to the social wellbeing, cultural offer and economic standing of the city.

Since 2013 we have supported over 11,000 local people as participants in year-round participatory projects. The Pandemic gave us the chance to challenge and evolve our perception of participation by developing our of engagement. This included creating and presenting work that instilled a deep sense of engagement in participants such as The Vigil and Portraits Without Borders.

Freedom Festival is globally connected, outward looking and committed to learning from partners. We operate within creative, touring and commissioning networks including InSitu, Global Streets and Digital Democracies. We are a gateway to international makers, cultivating opportunities for the city to network, collaborate and be inspired.

Established as part of the 2007 William Wilberforce commemorations, celebrating the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade, Freedom Festival has become one of the UK’s leading international arts festivals. We bring thousands of people together through our annual festival and year-round artistic and creative programme of performances, installations, and community participation to excite, inspire, challenge, and provoke.

At Freedom Festival we believe in collaboration and partnership with our public funders, corporate supporters, grant-making trusts and donors. We believe that working in partnerships is about benefitting the vibrant community of Hull, the East Riding and beyond. We work locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally to create, produce, tour and present extraordinary work. Since 2007, Freedom Festival has brought world-class art and performance to the city of Hull to be celebrated and enjoyed on our streets and in our venues.

Core Funding Partners

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