It may still be more than five months away, yet preparations for Freedom 2017 – the tenth Freedom Festival! – are in continuous motion, and we’re delighted to announce details of several ambitious festival projects that are already underway.
Freedom Festival 2017 will include a number of large-scale community projects, such as The Feast – a homegrown food event inviting festivalgoers to sit down and tuck in, while enjoying an afternoon of world-class outdoor arts and music, held at the new Festival Gardens, in the city’s Queens Gardens.
Additional collaborations currently in progress include a reciprocal street art project in Freetown, Sierra Leone; new work from artists The Ragroof Players, devised in collaboration with Hull-based migrants, plus work from Freedom Festival Arts Trust’s in-year literary programme, Beyond Words, which is hosting an exhibition at Hull Central Library this April.
As well as hosting The Feast, the Festival Gardens site in Queens Gardens will feature lighting installations, theatre and circus shows, a late-night Freedom Festival club, participatory workshops, interactive installations and an extensive, family-friendly outdoor arts programme.
Look out for the full Freedom Festival 2017 programme which will be launched in June.
Freedom Festival Arts Trust CEO and Artistic Director, Mikey Martins, said: “This is a very special year for us, in Hull’s year as UK City of Culture and our own tenth anniversary. The festival has evolved into something unique: it brings extraordinary international acts while having the DNA of the city running right through it.
“We never stop planning and working on the festival, and there are an increasing number of projects that rely on large-scale local community involvement – as well as international involvement – throughout the year.”
Taking place on the Sunday of the festival, The Feast – supported by Keepmoat and ABP – will be a culmination of months of collaborative work between Freedom Festival Arts Trust and Hull Harvest FEASTival, an organisation of networks including TimeBank and the Grower’s Network that encourage people to spend more time outdoors and grow their own produce.
Over the coming months, workshops will be held for those who would like to get involved in growing produce – stay tuned for further details coming soon.
Beyond Words is a Freedom Festival Arts Trust artist commissioning project curated by Book Works, which launched in 2016. A second event in April 2017 brings together three artists – Lubaina Himid, Helen Cammock and Hannah Dawn Henderson – who have been commissioned to create artists’ books that address themes of freedom. This impressive, free entry multi-media exhibition will be held at Hull Central Library from 7-27th April.
Spray Creative & Freetown
Hull-based graffiti/spray artists Spray Creative, with Freedom Festival Arts Trust’s Mikey Martins will visit Freetown, Sierra Leone on 22nd March to begin a new collaborative mural project with artists from Freetown. The first stage of the project involves skills-sharing workshops before a mural wall is created at the Freetown Music Festival on 25 -26th March. Two artists from Freetown will then visit Hull in September 2017 to create a ‘companion’ mural in Hull for Freedom Festival 2017, in celebration of Hull’s long standing relationship with Sierra Leone’s capital.
Additionally, an ambitious digital project with choreographer and digital artist Jennifer Irons (MAKEamplify), who is also joining the trip to Freetown, is underway.
The Ragroof Players, Bridges y Puentes
Bridges y Puentes, created by internationally renowned company The Ragroof Players, is a vibrant, engaging show about migration and the search for home, using a multiplicity of languages – spoken, sung, played, and danced. Interviews with migrants in Hull have informed its development, feeding into the creation of text, visual imagery, physical action, and a soundscape which fuses together live and recorded music from all corners of the world.