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A weekend of wonder awaits as Freedom Festival 2018 programme revealed


In a world of endless possibilities, get ready to fuel your imagination and rediscover yourself and the incredible city of Hull as Freedom Festival Arts Trust reveals its 2018 programme.

In a world of endless possibilities, get ready to fuel your imagination and rediscover yourself and the incredible city of Hull as Freedom Festival Arts Trust reveals its 2018 programme.

On Friday, 31 August, Hull will come alive for a weekend of wonder with events and shows for the whole family to enjoy. 

Among the highlights announced for the three-day festival, which KCOM supports as an official business partner, are a huge parade performance called RISE! which will travel through the streets of Hull with some very special giant guests and Substratum – a multimedia aerial spectacle that combines acrobatics with vertical dance and 3D projection.

The show is performance by aerial display company Full Tilt who will take to the air and perform on the side of one of the city’s tallest buildings.

Mikey Martins, artistic director and Joint CEO of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, said: “Beautiful, hopeful and wonderful, that’s how I would describe this year’s Freedom Festival programme. Last year’s festival was incredible, we put on a huge programme that so many people watched, participated in and enjoyed and we want this year to be just as special, but different.

“I’m really excited to reveal this year’s programme, we’ve been working hard for over a year to get things ready and we’re delighted with what’s in store later this summer. The themes woven through the programme have grown organically and work wonderfully together.

“In our 11th year, we’ll continue to bring the city to life with incredible street theatre, dance and circus. We’re a world-class outdoor arts festival and that’s what people should expect later this summer. I think they’ll like what they see.”

Other highlights of the festival include circus ensemble Gravity And Other Myths, who 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, will return with a collaboration called Block using “daring physicality, split-second timing and thrilling feats”.

And if you think you know juggling, think again. At the forefront of British circus’s quiet revolution, award-winning company Gandini Juggling continues to reinvent and reinvigorate circus with a performance called Smashed.

An art installation that promises to be out of this world will also be wowing audiences at Freedom this year with Museum of the Moon.

A fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound, this new touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram is described as “an awe-inspiring installation not to be missed” and will transform the inside of Hull Minster into a moonscape.

If you missed it last year, there will be another chance to experience Hull’s very own Middlechild theatre company, 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.

As always the festival will also host an eclectic range of musical performances from New York Hip Hop brass bands to local rising star Yasmin Coe and the Daft Punk Orchestra.

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