Sep 12

Hull is ace: The Freedom Festival

by LifeLoveLaura on September 12, 2013

Last weekend was Hull’s Freedom Festival for 2013. The Freedom Festival is a free arts festival that has taken place in Hull for five years and it’s great to have something so exciting going on in our city. People moan about Hull but most of the people that do have never been. I have to admit, about 10 years ago I wasn’t a fan either but in recent years it has really upped its game and has become a top place to live. It’s just a shame that we’re stuck out at the end of the M62 or we’d get a lot more visitors and a lot more appreciation for the city. Big T came from Wakefield to Hull in 2003 for university and he loved it so much that he has never left! Now that the city has fun things like the Freedom Festival going on, I hope we get more recognition for being a great city. Hull has even made the short list to become the UK’s city of culture in 2017 (you can back the bid on twitter by following @2017Hull) and if we win, it will be well deserved, especially after such an amazing showcase at the Freedom Festival last weekend.

To kick start the festival on Friday night Big T, Little T, my mum, brother, sister in law, 5 month old niece and three year old nephew – more or less the full Family Pops, took part in a torchlight procession through Hull’s cobbled Old Town. It’s a part of Hull that I don’t often visit so I forget the beauty of this part of the city. It has a fabulous museum quarter and looks like something out of a Charles Dickens novel with lots of picturesque alleyways, narrow bumpy streets and untouched dark and dingy old pubs. It is also where the house of William Wilberforce still stands. Hull’s Freedom Festival is a celebration of the lasting legacy of William Wilberforce and his success in the abolition of slavery. On Friday night, during the torchlight procession we had a minute’s silence outside the house where Wilberforce lived, which is now a museum. With over 1000 people taking part, the procession and the silence was very poignant.

The procession finished near the main stage of the festival where Lemn Sissay recited Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream‘ speech. It was spectacular and we were all so glad that we got to take part in such a big moment for the city. Even Little T enjoyed it and he was rocking out to a few bands afterwards late into the night! A one off, I promise.

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Waiting for the procession to start

Waiting for the procession to start

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

 

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

 

On Saturday we went back to the festival and spent the afternoon mooching around, listening to music, browsing the stalls and eating and drinking. Big T had some uni work to do so this time Little T and I went with my mum and dad, sister in law and my niece and nephew again. We got the train into town which was a novelty in itself as it’s something we never really do but it was good not to have to drive and struggle to find somewhere to park. We found a beer tent so plonked ourselves firmly there for an hour or so whilst my nephew had a dance to the fab jazz band that were playing and us adults got some grub. That suited Little T and I as he decided to have a mammoth nap whilst we were there, God knows how with all the noise going on!

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

After Little T had woken up and had his lunch we went for another walk towards the main stage again where a band called The Struts were playing. My former NME freak self is ashamed to say that I’ve never heard of them but my nephew LOVED them, spending the whole of their half hour set air guitaring away with his own little audience. Little T also had a little rock out on grandad’s knee after figuring out how to get his ear protectors off. In the end it just wasn’t worth the fight as he was determined to throw them on the floor!

Outside The Deep

Outside The Deep

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

Hull Freedom Festival 2013

There were plenty of other fab artists and events going on at the festival, way too many for me to mention here but you can read more about them here. The weekend came to a close with an rocking set from The 1975. Baby duties called for Big T and I so we couldn’t go but I’ve heard it was ace!

The Marina area of Hull has been a bit abandoned for the past 15 years or so by people other than market traders. With it’s many clubs and bars back in the day, it used to be the hub of night-life when my brothers, who’re now in their late 30s, were in their clubbing hey day. It’s recent revival with Fruit and the Humber Street Market, amongst many other things going on in the area, have made it the place to be again and it’s great to see. More of the same, if not better, next year please Freedom Festival!

Laura x

Please note: I have not been paid to write this post, I just had a great time and wanted to let people know!

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