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Community Correspondents

Michelle Dee, Community Correspondent

Michelle graduated with a First in Interactive Media (BA Hons) 2012 after retraining mid-life, and for more than ten years has talked up the arts and culture sector in Hull. She is now a self-employed journalist, writer and blogger. Michelle has worked within the charity and voluntary sectors here in Hull, acting as PR blogger for numerous arts organisations, artists and start-ups and working in direct partnership with other creative minds, including photographers and visual artists.

Freedom Festival is Here

By Michelle Dee

It is time for Freedom. It is time for Hull to become a stage and welcome performers from around the world to join us, as we celebrate our annual Freedom Festival.

This year, 200 acts from 20 different countries will make Freedom Festival a truly global event, in what promises to be the best in its nine year history. The 2016 festival programme is jam-packed with highlights: highflying spectacle, engaging, thought-provoking performances, wondrous circus shows and incredible home-grown talent.

The Festival will open with the thrilling sound of the Freedom Chorus, performing two brand new pieces written especially for the festival. Sparks will fly on Humber Quays as it is transformed by pyro-musicians Les Commandos Percu and Basque company Deabru Beltzak for the incendiary Clash of Drums.

Albion Street in the city centre, a new festival location, will provide the backdrop for the aerial spectacular, As The World Tipped, on the Saturday night. Sunday promises to be very special with live music on the main stage from the award-winning London Bulgarian Choir. Be further inspired and moved by Voices of Revolution, performed by an all-female line-up of twelve musicians from Colombia to the Ivory Coast, performing with the UK’s first black female Proms composer Errollyn Wallen.

This year there is a move to make the festival even more interactive, people from the local community will take part in a colourful umbrella procession by Cirque Bijou. Everyone can put their construction skills to the test, to help build The People’s Tower in Queen’s Gardens. Audiences will enjoy free performances by Soweto Kinch, David J Vocal Pugilist and John Hegley inside the new Speak Out Tent. Meanwhile younger festivalgoers will love whipping up cow pat cakes and rocking baby marrows, at Plunge Bloom featuring CBeebies Mr Bloom.

Freedom Festival was borne out of the city’s connection to William Wilberforce and his pivotal role in the anti-slavery movement, persuading parliament to abolish the trade in human misery. During the past nine years Freedom Festival has recognised and celebrated the lives of other great revolutionary figures, including that of Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King.

Amidst the whirl of excitement and exhilaration, there will also be time for peace, time to be thankful for all the freedoms we are fortunate to enjoy here in Hull.

Preview: Revisit Hull Marina in the nineties with Non Applicables

By Michelle Dee

Dance company Non Applicables are inviting audiences to remember the nineties, nightclubs and lad culture, as they present newly commissioned work Going Out Out.

Dancers Fen and Sian have created a brand new work which they hope will connect with audiences and trigger memories and nostalgia from the scene.

Going Out Out is for anyone who remembers waltzing through the doors of Pepi’s Blue Banana or Waterfront in the early nineties, when the Marina was the place to go for a night out.”

Sian and Fen began dancing at a young age, graduating from Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance. They have worked together since 2010 and are known for creating light-hearted, straight-talking work that involves a degree of audience participation.

“We love getting the audience engaged in our work by being directly involved, it makes the show real.”

Non Applicables have performed at Freedom Festival many times over the past few years and are excited to be part of something that shows off the city and its thriving culture.

“We are super proud and excited to be performing alongside many other exceptional acts from across the world.”

Going Out Out is one of three brand new commissions from Freedom Festival Arts Trust and Hull Dance at this year’s festival (also check out work by Jon Beney & Freddie Garland and the Hull Dance Collective). Going Out Out is a free show that will be performed twice on both the Saturday and Sunday of the festival: see programme for show times.