Artistic pioneers, mavericks and rebels line up for Where Are We Now?

An incredible line-up of performers and musicians has been announced today for a brand new festival coming to Hull in June 2017 – Where Are We Now?

Curated by Scottish art collective and provocateurs Neu! Reekie!, the festival brings together a lively gathering of some of the most exciting cultural rabble-rousers, agitators, thinkers and luminaries from across Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

On sale now – Where Are We Now? (2-4 June 2017)

Through a programme of spoken word events, hip-hop, live music, film screenings, discussions, street theatre, poetry and visual art, Neu! Reekie! and their artistic collaborators pose the question: where are we now?

The three-day festival includes Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers; political activist, writer and singer Charlotte Church; rapper and poet Akala; artist, musician, writer and producer Bill Drummond; Hull music promoter Altu ‘Flowrex’ Collingwood ; 2016 Stanley Kubrick prize-winning filmmaker, writer and curator Mark Cousins; artist Jamie Reid renowned for his work with the Sex Pistols; A Love From Outer Space founders Andrew Weatherall and Sean Johnston; hip-hop group The Four Owls; soul singer Law Holt; singer and MC Eva Lazarus; spoken word artist Hollie McNish; Caught by the River co-founder Jeff Barrett; UK rapper Chester P; David Bowie aficionado and leader in provocative pop Momus; hip hop band Stanley Odd; poet and writer Sabrina Mahfouz; and legendary Scottish outfit Finitribe.

In their manifesto for the festival, Neu! Reekie! Explain:

“Where Are We Now? will be a summer festival like no other: a gathering of time-served trouble-makers, spoken word rebels, artistic mavericks & leftfield music pioneers. We’ll be converging on the city of Hull to ask of today’s counter-culture the soaring, searching question with which David Bowie kissed us goodbye.

“The UK has reached a crossroads. Where it goes next is anyone’s guess. Dark divisive forces of racism and prejudice are stirring across the UK (and Europe) in the wake of Brexit and across the Atlantic following the election of Donald Trump. We need to ask our artists, musicians & writers where they stand.

Come together. Ask questions. Listen & watch. Dance. Shake things up.

Neu! Reekie!

“Neu! Reekie! intend to take the pulse of the cultural resistance across the UK and its four nations. And have some fun involving the good people of Hull.

“Come together. Ask questions. Listen & watch. Dance. Shake things up.”

The festival’s opening event, Neu! Reekie! present Where Are We Now? will take place at Hull City Hall on Friday 2 June, when they will be joined by Young Fathers, Charlotte Church and Hollie McNish. In addition to the musical and spoken word guests, the evening will feature animation and short films.

On Saturday 3 June, Neu! Reekie! and Hull music promoter Altu ‘Flowrex’ Collingwood will invite the guiding lights of UK hip-hop to The Welly for an evening of live music. The line-up includes Akala, The Four Owls, Stanley Odd and Eva Lazarus. More details about the festival line-up will be announced next year.

Martin Green, CEO and Director, Hull 2017, said “Hull has a rich history of radical thinking and, as many events throughout the City of Culture year show, pushing the boundaries of convention. We’re delighted to welcome Neu! Reekie! and artists from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in 2017 for Where Are We Now? Given the changing global context, it’s more essential than ever for artists to offer commentary on current issues. It will be exciting to see what conversations, debates and thoughts this gang of artistic agitators inspire in this city.”

Where Are We Now? is one of four weekend festivals taking place during Hull 2017 that focus on contemporary political, social and cultural issues. The other three festivals are WOW Hull (10-12 March) focusing on gender equality; Freedom Talks (1-4 September), exploring freedom in a global context; and Substance (8-10 December) examining the cultural significance of the North.

Find out more about Where Are We Now? and book your tickets here.

Image © Jamie Reid