A celebration of arts, community and humanity. This year’s Freedom Festival celebrates the 40th anniversary of the civic relationship between Freetown in Sierra Leone and Hull.

The Freetown Society was formed in 1981 to strengthen links between Freetown and Hull. A UK registered charity its sister society, The Hull Society, is located in Freetown. Through these societies members develop a range of projects, partnerships and activities which keep our partnership active and vibrant.

Why Hull, why Freetown?

The two cities share a strong common bond in their links with William Wilberforce, the Hull-born member of parliament who was a leading light in the slavery abolition movement.

Freetown was established in 1787 as ’The Province of freedom’ a British colony for the re-settlement of freed slaves. After a troubled start the settlement grew, as the slavery reform movement gained strength, with further freed slaves building the colony. A large suburb of Freetown, on one of the city’s highest peaks, is named after Wilberforce.

The work of Wilberforce in promoting freedom is the foundation of Freetown Society’s aims and the Society is proud to play a role in developing civic, cultural and economic partnerships between the two great cities.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Civic relationship between the two cities, we will be joined by Drizilik at 6.30pm on Friday night (this is a change from the printed programme) named one of the 50 most influential young Sierra Leoneans in 2018 and Best New Artist at the first National Entertainment Awards of Sierra Leone, he will bring his unique combination of hip-hop, acrobat and dancehall featuring multilingual lyricism and indigenous sounds to Hull.

On Sunday at 12.30pm one of the most recognised live music groups in Sierra Leone, Freetown Uncut will continue the party ahead of the international carnival take over of the city, as bands from Freetown and the Rio samba master himself, celebrate the communities of Hull and the joyfulness they create, with carnival at its finest.

Join us for a celebration of people, place and community!