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This weekend, wonder awaits

“Beautiful, hopeful and wonderful” that’s how Mikey Martins, Artistic Director of Freedom Festival Arts Trust is describing this year’s Freedom Festival, which takes place this weekend.

This year is the festival’s 11th year and its freedom roots and the legacy of William Wilberforce have never been stronger.

This year’s festival celebrates and explores themes of empowerment, the importance of activism and the potential of community. All of which are artistically woven together through three days of world-class street theatre, dance and circus, a community feast, and programme of exhibitions and debates.

As ever, the city of Hull, will undergo a metamorphosis as it provides an extraordinary backdrop for the festival. The programme will compel audiences to explore new spaces, rediscover the familiar and come together for a weekend of celebration – a celebration of people.

Mikey explains: “Music in Zeb’s Yard, powerful exhibitions in the city’s streets, an aerial spectacular on the side of Hull College and a pop-up art studio in an empty shop in Whitefriargate, these are just some of the incredible things that you will be able to discover and experience this year.

“We’re also going to continue talking, debating, challenging and listening with a programme of inspiring speakers including Dr Helen Pankhurst, as we explore notions of freedom.

Sunday will culminate with the international carnival, a community feast and a specially commissioned concert (Modern Rituals) under the moon.

“To everyone who plays their part in Freedom Festival – our sponsors, funders, creative partners, artists, board members, volunteers, team and audience – I would like to say thank you! Freedom Festival would not be possible without you.”

“In a world of endless possibilities, get ready to fuel your imagination and rediscover yourself in this incredible city of Hull. Get ready to enjoy Freedom Festival 2018. “


At what other event could you celebrate both the 100-year anniversary of the female vote alongside 250 years of circus? Freedom Festival is a world class arts festival, rooted in Hull.

Here’s six shows Mikey recommends you don’t miss:

Gravity & Other Myths – A Simple Space (ticketed)

Tickets are still available to see Australian circus ensemble Gravity & Other Myths perform A Simple Space in our Festival Big Top in Queens Gardens.

In this captivating and unforgettable show of breath-taking acrobatics, you’re brought in close as seven acrobats are pushed to breaking point in an awe-inspiring display of strength, skill and creativity.

L’Homme Debout – RISE!

The festival’s Friday night opening spectacular. This large scale, processional performance celebrates and meets local and global stories of women and their continuing struggle for equality and human rights.

Gandini Juggling – Smashed 

What happens when you mix nine jugglers, 100 apples and four crockery sets? Find out by joining a tea party that you’ll never forget. This funny, inventive and characterful work will challenge your perception of contemporary juggling.

Adhoc – Immortals – L’envol

A promenade theatre and dance performance exploring what it is like to be young today and the challenges that lie ahead.

No Fit State Circus and Motionhouse – BLOCK

A powerful fusion of dance and circus that pushes the limits of both art forms. With its daring physicality, split-second timing and thrilling feats BLOCK will leave you gasping.

Jungle Brothers

New York hip hop royalty The Jungle Brothers will perform in Zeb’s Yard. A free performance, not to be missed.

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