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Freedom Festival 2022 returns between Friday 26 August and Sunday 4 September. 

Sign up for our newsletter (at the top of this page) and keep an eye on our socials and here at our website for all the latest news.     

Freedom Festival Arts Trust is the producing house behind the international arts festival and all the work we do, welcome to our website.

We aim to harness Hull’s independent spirit and international outlook to become one of the UK’s leading cultural producing organisations for nurturing and presenting thought- provoking, playful, and powerful cultural experiences in public spaces.

The Covid-19 pandemic of course had a devastating effect on our festival plans over the last 2 years and was of course difficult for the company, but thanks to our core supporters and funders we're still standing and more creative and determined than ever.

We harnessed the challenges of the last 2 years as an opportunity for us to reflect and innovate.

In 2020 we presented an all-online model which reached in excess of 400,000 people and in 2021 we presented a hybrid festival over a 17 day period and introduced a free ticketing system to manage audience safety during social distancing.

We are bringing this learning into our plans for 2022, 2023 and beyond, extending the Freedom Festival period over 9 days and responding to the positive evaluation and feedback we received from audiences and local businesses in 2020 and 2021

This year we will present 2 extraordinary outdoor events for the city of Hull:

The Awakening - 18th and 19th March 2022

Freedom Festival - 26th August - 4th September 2022

Inspired by the reformist legacy of William Wilberforce we build local, national and international alliances to create cultural experiences that have something to say about universal values and the future we want to make together.

The Awakening -  Is a brand new International arts event for the city of Hull marking the last days and nights of Winter into Spring, empowered by the Maritime identity of Hull and the Humber and exploring elemental themes of nature, folklore and tradition throughout the program.

The event has been made possible with support from Hull City Council, VHEY and 'Welcome Back Funding' from government and the EU, it is also loaded with multiple creative partnerships, participatory acts and extraordinary local creativity for everyone to enjoy and to celebrate.

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 in public spaces that address the world we live in.

And have a look at our year long participatory project The Hull Vigil which began on May 3rd 2021 and is due to complete on may 3rd 2022, it has been an amazing snapshot in the life of this great city - check out the microsite in the links above and find out more about it. We will be publishing a book of the project and hosting an exhibition celebrating all who took part as 'the watchers' and also those who became  'the watched'. 

Have a look around. our website and see the many things we do and the opportunities to work with us, support us or just to come and enjoy our events and projects

We look forward to meeting you.

The Freedom Festival Arts Trust team, trustees and partners.

2-The Band At The End Of The World! Mark DawsonRamshackalicious - The band at the end of the world - presented as part of Freedom Festival 2019

Latest News

28th March 2022

Freedom Festival Arts Trust are looking for a General Manager

Freedom Festival Arts Trust are currently looking for a General Manager

22nd March 2022

Thank you for coming to The Awakening

We were thrilled to see thousands of people and particularly so many families back on the streets of Hull enjoying The Awakening this weekend.

10th February 2022

Welcome to The Awakening - a new event for Hull

Celebrating the movement from Winter to Spring, we welcome everyone to join us back in the City Centre on the streets and in our venues to experience a magical and entertaining experience as you explore the City Centre and Old Town into the evening.

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

Arts Council Logo

Funders and Supporters

In SItu Logo
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Creative Europe
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Creative Partners

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