Hull UK City of Culture 2017

Hull UK City of Culture 2017 have unveiled details about Seasons Two and Three of their year-long cultural programme with 42 new commissions and world premieres, 24 festivals and 13 new exhibitions amongst hundreds of events and activities taking place from April to the end of September 2017.

Freedom Festival 2012, Hull East Yorkshire, Saturday 8 September 2012. Pictured: Terrarium - Dance in a bubble
Freedom Festival © Neil Holmes

Highlights include:

  • Hull New Theatre re-opens following £16m transformation with a visit from The Royal Ballet led by its Hull-born director, Kevin O’Hare.
  • Philip Larkin’s life and work celebrated with major exhibition New Eyes Each Yearand Grayson Perry as The Philip Larkin Society Distinguished Guest Lecturer.
  • Slung Low’s year-long epic adventure Flood by James Phillips told online, live in Hull and on BBC television.
  • International pioneers of site-responsive performance dreamthinkspeak premiere ONE DAY, MAYBE in Hull.
  • The Ferens Art Gallery hosts the Turner Prize and presents a major exhibition exploring Skin, including works by Ron Mueck, Lucian Freud and the first showing of Spencer Tunick’s photographic work featuring 3,200 local people in the nude and painted blue for Sea of Hull.
  • The 10th Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate will be announced in Hull prior to the first ever children’s literature festival in the city.
  • New work by artists including Bob & Roberta Smith, Tania Kovats, Chris Dobrowolski, Claire Barber and Claire Morgan in shopping centres, car parks, streets and public squares as part of the visual art series Look Up.

Hull’s New Theatre re-opens with an exhilarating evening of classic and modern dance presented by The Royal Ballet. Specially curated by the Company’s Hull-born Director, Kevin O’Hare, Opening The New brings together artists from Hull with a selection of Royal Ballet Principals and Soloists. Joining The Royal Ballet on stage will be some of the exciting dance talent emerging in the city today, as well as Hull’s own Xander Parish, Soloist with The Mariinksy Ballet and Joseph Caley, Principal with Birmingham Royal Ballet.

The two seasons, Roots & Routes (April to June) and Freedom (July to September), continue Hull 2017’s commitment to inspiring and entertaining residents and visitors alike, as well as asking questions and raising debate. From art to music, theatre to film, and dance to family-friendly activities, there is something for people of all tastes and ages, with more reason than ever to visit Hull.

The aim is to build on the success of opening season Made in Hull, which since January has drawn hundreds of thousands of people, including to the opening event, the Look Up public art installations Blade and The City Speaks, and successful exhibitions at Ferens Art Gallery, Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull and the newly opened Humber Street Gallery.

Spring and summer bring 24 festivals, from the 10th anniversary of the acclaimed Freedom Festival and Humber Street Sesh to Radio 1’s Big Weekend, and Hull Jazz Festival to Tidal Waves. Fifty years after the start of decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK began, Pride in Hull stages the first ever UK Pride, kicking off week-long LGBT50 celebrations in July.

The major partnership with the BBC continues, including the Uproot festival in April and Contains Strong Language, a major new national spoken word and poetry festival, launching on National Poetry Day in September.

For more information on what’s happening in Hull this year:



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