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 whose kindness, dignity and warmth matched his dedication to making sure other volunteers, audiences, artists and our core team had everything they needed to ensure they got the most from the festival, but most importantly from their visit to the city of Hull itself.

Jack was a mighty ambassador for the city, embodying its welcoming down to earth spirit and its unique sense of community, though his life had taken him on so many wonderful and inspiring adventures around the country and further afield, he was always the best of Hull.

Everyone involved in the festival will miss him dearly and we will hold his spirit to us closely and remember him well, but damn he will be missed.

Personally, I will miss Jack deeply. He was always the calming voice I needed at times of stress and worry. The inspiring things he said quietly in my ear and that mischievous glint in his eye made me remember to try and bloody enjoy it at least, life is too short, we were doing wonderful things and he reminded me of this at exactly the moments where it was needed.

Rest in peace dear friend. We will remember you well and we will create a ‘Jack Whileblood’ award for volunteering. We will struggle to develop a set of targets for this accolade, but we will ensure mischief and joy will rate highly along with hard work and dedication. I don’t think you’d want it any other way!

All of Freedom Festival teams and trustees thoughts and love reach out to all of the family and friends whose lives you made so much richer and so much more joyful. Along with them, we will miss you very much.

With sadness, fond memories and with love, you will be forever in our hearts.

Mikey Martins

Artistic Director/CEO of Freedom Festival Arts Trust