Freedom Festival 2018

On Friday 31 August 2018 Hull will come alive for a weekend of wonder with events and shows for the whole family to enjoy. Explore the streets and see what you find as this year’s three-day festival programme celebrates and explores the themes of empowerment, the importance of activism and the potential of community. All of which is artistically woven together through street theatre, dance and acrobatics alongside a community feast, debates, exhibitions and participatory projects.

Freedom Festival was launched in 2007 to commemorate anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce and has since established itself as the city’s annual festival celebrating creative expression and community.

More than a decade later, it continues to be the jewel in Hull’s cultural crown, with last year’s Freedom Festival hailed as the best and most diverse to date. Freedom Festival 2018 marks the 11th anniversary of the Hull festival and organisers have unveiled a truly beautiful and mesmerising line-up.



Join us on Freedom Festival Friday for RISE!, a very special, one-off show by L’Homme Doubut, especially adapted for Freedom Festival 2018. The large-scale processional performance will celebrate local and global stories of women, struggle and empowerment as we welcome a very special giant visitor to Hull.

Look up and be enthralled by the multimedia aerial spectacle Substratum. Combining acrobatics and vertical dance and 3D projection, Full Tilt take to the air and perform on the side of one of the city’s tallest buildings.

Circus ensemble Gravity and Other Myths will be pushed to their limits in A Simple Space, an intimate, magnetic and captivating show of breath-taking acrobatics.

In a powerful fusion of dance and circus that pushes the limits of both art forms, two Freedom Festival favourites, No Fit State Circus and Motion House Dance Company, return with their extraordinary collaboration, Block, using daring physicality, split-second timing and thrilling feats.

If you think you know juggling, think again. At the forefront of British circus’ quiet revolution, award-winning company Gandini Juggling continues to reinvent and reinvigorate circus with Smashed, a show like no other.

Walk in the shadow of the moon and take a moment to pause for thought in the mesmerising stillness of Museum of the Moon. A fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound, this new touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram is an awe-inspiring installation not to be missed at the beautiful Hull Minster.

Acclaimed international street theatre company Adhok will take you on a journey that explores the younger generation’s challenges as they transition into adulthood. With the joyful optimism of youth, Immortel – L’Envol is funny and poignant.

If you missed it last year, do not miss the chance to experience Hull’s very own Middlechild, who will be bringing their award-winning show All We Ever Wanted Was Everything back to the city after a hugely successful Edinburgh Fringe in 2017.

Mikey said: “This year’s festival is going to be a spectacular weekend, with huge new shows and more than 100 events taking place throughout the festival with performances, workshops and talks, not to mention great food and a great atmosphere.

“The festival feeling is infectious and brings the city to life. Wander through the city centre and marvel at what’s around the corner, you just never know what you’ll find. We want people to explore and stumble across something surprising.”


To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the female vote, Freedom Festival 2018 will explore change, struggle, equality and empowerment with spectacular shows, exhibitions and inspirational speakers.

In partnership with the Wilberforce Lecture Trust, Freedom Festival will welcome Dr Helen Pankhurst, women’s rights activist and great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, as the guest for this year’s Wilberforce Lecture. Helen will lead a participatory discussion on women’s lives, reflecting on the changes in the UK since the right to a parliamentary vote first granted to some women in 1918.

Building on the success of last year’s Freedom Talks, in partnership with the University of Hull, the festival’s debates and talks programme has been expanded for 2018 and will explore themes of freedom, equality, alternative futures and activism, and will ask the question, what does freedom mean to you?

Hear from many experts exploring issues of empowerment, alternative economic models, extra-terrestrial life and justice. Be part of the conversation, ask questions and join the debates.

Jenny Howard-Coombes, said: “One of the things the festival will be talking about this year is empowerment and if it inspires anyone, it’s working. Freedom Festival offers incredible possibilities and is a great platform for conversation as thousands of people come out into the city together.”


Join in a gastronomic event like no other as Freedom Feastival, Hull’s biggest, homegrown community feast returns for its second year. Following its debut at last year’s Freedom Festival.


From homegrown musical talent to legendary New York hip hop bands, it would not be Freedom Festival without the music. Showcasing the best of local talent to upcoming international artists, this year’s music offering includes Hull’s very own 16-year-old musical prodigy Yasmin Coe, who first play at the festival in 2014. Following sell-out shows in London, Hull gets lucky the Daft Punk Orchestra rework the music of the electronic duo, Daft Punk.

Freedom Festival 2018 is generously sponsored by: Cranswick, Smith and Nephew, Hull College, KCOM, University of Hull, Wykeland, Keepmoat Homes, Coletta and Tyson, RSM, William Jackson Food Group, ABP and Rollits.

A weekend of wonder most certainly awaits so join us to hear perspectives, be part of the debate, be challenged and have a voice. It’s going to be pretty special.


Pride In Hull 2018

Like the idea of a celebration where everyone has the freedom to show off their true colours? Then this is the place to be!

Starting with a spectacular parade starring street artists and specially commissioned performances from Back to Ours alongside  everyday heroes from local organisations, this spectacular LGBT+ festival is a true gem of Hull’s summer calendar.

The parade leaves Hull College at midday and winds its way to Queens Gardens for 1pm where the party really starts. Head to the Pride market for all your essentials to customise your Pride experience, whether that’s drinks and snacks from the street food festival or finishing off your look with glitter.

Then on the main stage, you can look forward to performances from Eurovision icon SuRie, pop genius Bright Light Bright Light, a very special appearance from drag royalty Adore Delano, plus a whole host of other surprises you won’t want to miss!

Pride in Hull is a family-friendly celebration of the LGBT+ community and is open to everyone who wants to embrace the diversity of our city. Just bring your dancing shoes, your own true colours and have a day to remember!

Then on the main stage, you can look forward to performances from Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle, Eurovision icon SuRie, pop genius Bright Light Bright Light, a very special appearance from drag royalty Adore Delano, plus a whole host of other surprises you won’t want to miss!


Humber Street Sesh 2018

The award-winning grassroots music festival returns to Hull Marina in 2018, bigger and better than ever with hundreds of artists – covering all music genres – playing across multiple stages.

Rediscover your favourite acts and stumble across new ones while enjoying art exhibitions, family entertainment and the ever-popular silent disco.

Humber Street Sesh celebrates the excellence and diversity of regional musicians and artists, providing a powerful platform for homegrown creative brilliance.

Big Malarkey Festival - Chris Pepper

The Big Malarkey Festival

The Big Malarkey Festival  returns to East Park on 23rd and 24th June with a second helping of festive fun to celebrate children’s books and stories.   Produced by Hull Libraries, the festival  brings together  authors and illustrators, poets, storytellers, musicians, makers and animators, and  provides loads of opportunities for young people to get creative.

This year the Festival features a Big Top and new tents for poetry, music and writing workshops. Highlights include Katy and Chris Riddell, Sarah McIntyre, Jess French,  Steve Webb and Chris Mould, and David Long with his fabulous ‘Pirates Magnified’ stories.   Join in with a Poetry Slam on Saturday or the Insect Parade on Sunday. And did we mention Moomins? Frankenstein?  Detective stories?  With special events for Under 5’s and a new  programme for 13+ years on our amazing Blundabus double-decker bus  –  there’s something for everyone, and it’s all about to start again.  Find out more at www.thebigmalarkeyfestival.com

Tickets are £5 for adults, £2.50 for children, £14 for a family of four, available from the website.



Hullfest, the UK’s biggest Free Tribute festival, comes to Bude Park with over 40 live acts on two stages on 16-17 June.

Tickets for the festival are completely free, with a booking fee of £3.50.


The Feel Good Fest

Feel Good Fest promotes well being and diversionary activities, offering new ways of thinking and tasters of new activities not considered before as an alternative to socialising with alcohol and improve mental health.

The event will host a wide range of activities including yoga, street art, meditation, dance massage and even a family FAVE (family rave), and is completely free to attend.

Dark Winter

Heads Up Festival – Spring 2018

Heads Up Festival returns for a tenth time this March at venues across the city, including Kardomah94, Hull Minster and Hull Central Library.

The festival will include the world premiere of new E52 production Dark Winter, award-winning British artist Victoria Melody’s latest show Ugly Chief, which also stars TV celebrity antique dealer Mike Melody, and dance company Turned On Its Head’s show for babies, young children and families, Sponge.

The festival will also see the return to Hull of Bill Drummond (The KLF, The K Foundation) with a double bill of new plays titled Daffodils & Death. Drummond was last in Hull in 2017 when he presented Your Darkest Thought and shined his audience’s shoes as part of Substance Live.

Other programme highlights include a multi-disciplinary arts experience by What Is? Collective, the latest Heads Up Introducing event with singer Lyn Acton, Russ Litten’s From Liverpool With Love as well as the usual heady mix of events, panels and workshops that has cemented Heads Up Festival’s reputation as the home of brave and brilliant performance.





Fri 2 – Sat 3 Mar, 7.30pm (£12-£15)
Hull Minster



Tue 6 Mar, 7.30pm (£5)



Wed 7 Mar, 6pm (£3-£10)
Secret location



Thu 8 Mar, 8pm (£10-£12)



Fri 9 – Sat 10 Mar, Various times (£5-£10)
Hull Central Library



Fri 9 Mar, 7.30pm (£7.50)



Tue 13 – Sat 17 Mar, 2.30pm & 7.30pm (£10.50-£12.50)
Hull Truck Theatre

Hull Yoga and Holistic Health Festival

Hulls only festival of it’s kind, the third Yoga and Holistic Health Festival celebrates a growing holistic health community, raising awareness for The Yoga Therapy Foundation to provide yoga for people living with Cancer and respiratory health issues, neurological rehabilitation and mental health support.

Providing free yoga, pilates, meditation and health talk sessions, with various holistic health treatments available from aromatherapy, acupressure, indian head massages, spiritual healing, reiki and much more.

British Science Festival

British Science Festival

The British Science Association, which showcases the best of British science, is pleased to announce that the British Science Festival will take place in Hull in 2018, hosted by the University of Hull. The four-day event is one of Europe’s longest-established science festivals, which each year travels to a new part of the UK, bringing a vast array of events, performances and exhibitions with a scientific twist.

Working in partnership with the University of Hull and other organisations from the Humber region, the British Science Festival will be a flagship event as part of Hull’s City of Culture legacy, focusing on three key areas – energy and the environment; health and the medical sciences; and exploration, movement and discovery.