In 2018, Freedom Festival once again played host to the Freedom FEASTival – Hull’s biggest, homegrown community feast.
Reminding us that connectivity is as vital as the food we eat, this volunteer-led, free feast encouraged strangers to come together to meet, talk, eat and remind one another that feasting is not just all about filling our bellies.
The 2018 FEASTival was even more rooted in community collaboration with Freedom Festival sponsors not only coming together to support this year round project but through the provision of produce, volunteers, seeds and compost.
Over 2,000 participants came together to share a free gastronomic feast in Queen’s Garden’s, with strangers sitting together to share in the delight of locally grown and cooked produce, eaten as part of a true community feast.
A culmination of a year’s work, over 100 volunteers, growers, community groups and allotment sites across Hull and the East Riding worked to grow and harvest produce which was then prepared by local chefs.
This year, working in partnership with TimeBank Hull and Eat Riding, Hull Harvest Feastival and Artlink alongside multiple community groups across the city, the Freedom FEASTival and has emerged as an enduring long-lasting programme rooted in a broader discussion around food equity, empowerment and community cohesion.
Like many of Freedom Festival’s projects the FEASTival was truly collaborative, with 23 organisations, including charities, social enterprises and businesses supporting this ambitious project, rooted in the exploration of food equity.
Jenny Howard-Coombes, Executive Director and Joint CEO at Freedom Festival Arts Trust, explained: "For the 2018 Festival we worked with our friends at Hull Harvest Feastival and Artlink to put on the feast, alongside a host of other fabulous community partners.
“This year we worked to sow, grow and nourish festival audiences with an even more audacious theatrical feast. With support from Keepmoat, who are allocated a number of allotments for use by FEASTival partners, William Jackson Food Group, ABP and local garden centre and grower Coletta & Tyson, we built an incredible project that had partnership at its heart and had something valid to say regarding food equity, sustainability and empowerment."
Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and Joint CEO of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, said: “By bringing people together our aim was to inspire people to grow food, cook it from scratch, make friends and explore new projects.
“Creativity is powerful and we’ll continue to nurture it here in this great city. Food is a great way to bring people together, Freedom Festival and the FEASTival are both great examples of what is possible when communities come together to produce something truly incredible.”
The 2019 FEASTival was delivered in partnership with Hull Harvest Feastival, TimeBank Hull and East Riding, Artlink and Sustainable Food City Hull.
Supported by Keepmoat Homes, ABP, Colleta & Tyson & The William Jackson Food Group.
Community groups involved included: The Growers Network, TimeBank Hull & East Riding, Open Doors, Humber All Nations Alliance, Frith Farm, Myers Beck, East Hull Community Farm, Humber Centre, Pickering Road Community Centre, Sikh Temple, EMS, East Hull Community Allotment, The Goodwin Trust, Rooted In Hull and Humber Centre.
As part of the project artist and podcaster Jerome Whittingham was commissioned to capture the journey of the feast, exploring local growing, food sustainability and urban gardening through connecting with grassroots groups in Hull and the wider region. This culminated in a publication which was distributed at Freedom Festival."
You can listen to Jerome's podcasts here:
The 2018 Freedom FEASTival