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A new festival celebrating the culture, creativity and future of the North.

Creative visionaries, mavericks and the next generation of artistic iconoclasts descend on Hull to ask questions about the future of arts and culture and the role they play in places like Hull.

Venues across Hull city centre play host to discussions, music, film screenings, debates, unique installations and the next generation of artworks and performances.

Substance Future Forum

Thu 7 Dec, 9.30am – 7pm. Früit, Hull Minster & Humber Street area.†£20-£25. Bursaries available.

Does arts-led regeneration exist? What exactly are the creative industries? Why do the arts matter?

This new one-day creative enquiry explores how culture and creativity are redefining the image of the North, and how the North is leading the way in showing how culture and creativity can provide answers to everything from public health to Brexit.

Substance, Hull 2017 and an array of partners, including The Guardian and Arts Council England invites creative industries, organisations, artists, digital pioneers, social commentators, and change makers of the future to a day of active debate and discussion on the culture, creativity and future of the North.

Substance Live: The Future Of The North

Sat 9 Dec, Doors 5.30pm, Hull City Hall. £10-£12.

Substance Live celebrates the future of the North through the music of some of our most innovative and forward-thinking artists.

From the politically charged post-punk of Nadine Shah to psychedelic dream pop of Jane Weaver via an electronic/brass band intergalactic odyssey courtesy of Hannah Peel, the performance art punk of Lone Taxidermistall female five-piece outfit PINS and homegrown freak folk of The Dyr Sister and the two-piece sister doom band ChambersAll hosted by 6Music and Radio 3’s Elizabeth Alker this is a celebration of the diverse and ground-breaking talent that the North always has and always will produce.

An Evening with Reece Shearsmith (SOLD OUT)

Wed 29 Nov, 6pm, Middleton Hall. Free.

Writer and performer Reece Shearsmith, born and raised in Hull, found fame with the comedy sketch group The League of Gentlemen alongside Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, and Jeremy Dyson, which was the basis of the highly successful BBC television show. This evening takes the form of a conversation with University of Hull lecturer Dr Kevin Corstorphine, and explores Reece’s creative influences with a focus on elements of the Gothic and grotesque, probing the relationship between horror and comedy.

Substance Film Festival in association with Aesthetica Magazine

Fri 1 Dec – Tue 5 Dec. Vue Cinema. £4.

We’re looking at the North through a new lens as a globalised world changes the definition of location. In post-industrial cities, we constantly reinvent ourselves. The Aesthetica Short Film Festival is a BAFTA-recognised event and this showcase presents four curated programmes from award-winning films to narratives that present intimate stories with wider global themes.

Award-winning Films

Fri 1 Dec, 7.30pm.

Award Winning Films is programme of films that looks at some of the Winners from the Aesthetica Short Film Festival from Best Drama and Best Documentary to Best Comedy and Best Music Video. Some of these films have gone on to win Oscars and BAFTAs. A delightful programme of shorts all with connections to the North of England.

Each Substance Film Festival programme will include a hosted Q&A and panel discussion around the theme of the films. At the Award-Winning Film night, this includes Robert Hackett, the Director of Night Mail.

Place Is A State Of Mind

Sat 2 Dec, 7.30pm.

A collection of shorts that challenges the notion of place. From a Dutch businessman on the verge of a breakdown and an elderly couple recalling their youth to understanding how sound accentuates a place. This collection of films reminds viewers that place can be physical or abstract and is defined by a series of memories. Ultimately place is what you make of it.

At the Place Is A State Of Mind night, the Q&A session includes Ismar Badzic, the Director of A Long Walk To Grimethorpe.

Human Stories

Mon 4 Dec, 7.30pm.

A selection of films rooted in the shared human experience. From the oldest married couple in the world to a portrait of a life, these narratives look at communal rights-of-passage that transcend place and remind us of our humanity and how individual stories help us to relate to one another in a complex world.

At the Human Stories night the Q&A session includes Hannah Pike, the Director of Hit & Run.

Complex Relationships

Tue 5 Dec, 7.30pm.

Complex Relationships features stories about fathers and sons, the last colliery in Yorkshire and a young girl struggling with her upbringing. These films look at the breadth and dynamic nature of family relationships. They also offer a glimpse into the intricacy of the domestic whilst underpinning identity in the modern age from a northerner in London to a family in crisis.

At the Complex Relationships night, the Q&A session includes each of the directors of the four films on show – Chris Shepherd, Harry Sherriff, Ruth Grimberg and Ashley Dean.

Pub Corner Poets and Bill Drummond

Sun 10 Dec, Doors at 7pm, The New Adelphi Club. £5-£8.

To close Substance, Hull’s legendary New Adelphi Club will play host to a double bill of new writing featuring Hull’s critically acclaimed Pub Corner Poets and a new play written and partly performed by Bill Drummond.

Pub Corner Poets present their new work Artis & Sol an absurdist play where two blokes sit in a boat and hate each other for an hour. The second half of the double bill sees artist Bill Drummond present a new work  Your Darkest Thought, a three act play by Tenzing Scott Brown.

Marshmallow Laser Feast present: A Colossal Wave!

Friday 1 Dec – Sun 10 Dec, TBC. Humber Street and Hull Marina.

Virtual reality is usually a solitary affair but here you can share the immersive experience with others. Witness an explosion of colour after a real ball is thrown from a great height and hits the ground to create a huge virtual wave.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Fri 1 Dec – Sun 7 Jan 2018. Free.

Jason Bruges Studio shines an enquiring light through Hull’s Old Town. Where Do We Go From Here works to engage everyone in arguably the most important questions of the year for Hull and the nation: what kind of place do we wish to live in? What role should culture play? Where do we go from here?

Heinrich and Palmer present The Deep

Fri 8 Dec – Sun 10 Dec. From dusk. Free.

A spectacular, large scale projection event and soundscape by artists Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer, that will ëvirtuallyí transform and remodel the architecture and facade of The Deep.

This ambitious work will be a dramatic, monumental, expression of the geological forces and biological processes which originally inspired the appearance of The Deep. It will reflect a sense of the rich aquatic life contained within the building as the light penetrates and shafts through the depths of its maritime environments.

This project created by Anna Heinrich and Leon Palmer, two UK based artists, is the final co-commission between The Deep and Hull 2017 as part of Look Up.

Hull, Portrait of a City

Fri 13 Oct – Sun 31 Dec, 10am – 6pm. Free.

International photography co-operative Magnum photos’ bespoke exhibition sees Martin Parr and Olivia Arthur explore the culture and creativity of Hull. The exhibition highlights the qualities that have made the city stand apart in an unforgettable year of culture. The exhibition owns the discussion about where, what and how. How might we define Hull? How has culture changed our landscape and regenerated our city? What impact has it had on everything from economy to civic pride? How do we record it?

Steve Cobby presents City of Vultures

Sat 9 Dec, 9.30pm. £8-£10.

To celebrate nearly 30 years treading the DJ boards, Steve Cobby has dug into his address book and invited an assortment of comrades and old collaborators that he’s befriended down the years to join him celebrating Hull’s historic year of culture.

Richard Dorfmeister (Kruder & Dorfmeister, Tosca)
+ Bobby Beige / Porky
+ Steve Cobby (back to back with all headliners and bringing the night to a close.


If you have purchased a ticket for an event/activity at this venue through hull2017.co.uk, please do not contact the venue direct with enquiries for that purchase as they will be unable to help.

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