Tell The World: Festivals


Following in the footsteps of WOW – Women of the World and Where Are We Now?, Hull 2017 presents thought-provoking new festival Substance (7-10 Dec). Join artists, commentators, businesses and pioneers as they tackle key issues in a weekend of debate, music, art and performance, with a film programme by Aesthetica in partnership with the BFI and Film Hub North.

The theme? A reflection on the future of Hull and the North as a dynamic creative and cultural powerhouse. We’ll be kicking things off with the Substance Future Forum (7 Dec) so come along, speak your mind and let the weekend go from there.


Our show-stopping neighbourhood festival Back To Ours returns this October half-term (27 Oct-5 Nov) with a jam-packed line-up promising belly laughs, spectacles and surprises aplenty. The first confirmed shows are on sale now, including Upswing Aerial’s Bedtime Stories (4-5 Nov), a family fable told with acrobatics and projections whilst the audience is tucked up in bed, and Once Upon A Pillow Fight (31 Oct-1 Nov), the company’s smaller-scale acrobatics piece.

Also on the line-up is Drip (1-3 Nov), a one-man musical comedy by local playwright Tom Wells, telling the story of a boy who signs up for Hull’s first ever swimming team, despite being unable to swim. And Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape will perform tracks from their first new album in 20 years at North Point Shopping Centre (3 Nov). This intimate show sold out within hours, but we’ll release a limited number of additional tickets in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.


The popular Hull Jazz Festival celebrates its silver anniversary in style with a special nine-day edition (11-18 Nov) headlined by Grammy award-winning guitarist Pat Metheny as part of his world tour. Other highlights include GoGo Penguin who will perform a new live score to Godfrey Reggio’s acclaimed film Koyaanisqatsi and they’ll be joined by a host of jazz stars from around the world.


Music from some of the world’s leading orchestras will fill Hull City Hall as part of its Classics Season, featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Last Night of the Proms (5 Oct), conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton, along with Myths and Fairytales (9 Nov), with conductor Alexander Shelley leading a performance of Tchaiokvsky’s Sleeping Beauty Suite and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.

Hull Philharmonic Orchestra also presents Revolution! (25 Nov), an all-Russian programme to mark the country’s revolution featuring Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12.


Over at the University of Hull, acclaimed pianist Yegevny Subdin (5-6 Oct) and pianist Matthew Bourne (12 Oct) will take to the stage at Middleton Hall, while jazz fans will not want to miss the Whirlwind Recordings Residency led by musician and producer Michael Janisch (16 Oct). The venue also features Hull Chamber Music presenting Tell The World (23 Nov), a recital from the Ellipsis Ensemble and internationally renowned tenor James Gilchrist that includes pieces by Bach, Handel and Vaughan Williams.


Hull Comedy Festival (2-22 Nov) rings in a decade of entertaining the city with barrels of laughter from Greg Davies, Katherine Ryan, Joel Dommett and more at Hull City Hall, Ken Dodd at Hull New Theatre and plenty more to be announced.

Discover more about our full Tell The World season, or explore the  art and installationstheatre and performance; and literature programme.