In response to the Covid-19 crisis and following careful consideration, Freedom Festival Arts Trust has announced that the city’s annual Freedom Festival will not take place outdoors in September 2020 as planned, but with an exciting, wide-ranging broadcast and online programme which can be enjoyed at home.
Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, said: “While we’re deeply disappointed Freedom Festival 2020 will not be taking place in the streets and squares of Hull as it has done for the past 12 years, we’re excited to bring art and culture directly into peoples’ homes this September, through intimate, playful and thought-provoking experiences.
“We made the decision to move our festival for audiences to enjoy and experience online and via broadcast on the BBC because we recognise our role in the local and global fight against coronavirus and responsibility to protect our audiences, artists, team and city during what is an unprecedented time for us all.
“We take pride in the many ways we connect with communities, our internationalism and our ability to respond to what is happening in the world, proudly producing a festival where audiences expect the unexpected. With notions of freedom having to be re-examined at this time and in the pioneering spirit of William Wilberforce, who inspired the festival, we’re excited to be creating an alternative programme that takes on those challenges and will be presented online and via the BBC during what would have been festival weekend.”
From Friday 4 to Sunday 6 September2020, Freedom Festival will continue to bring audiences together through a lively and thought-provoking programme of regional, national and internationally renowned artists, including live music, spoken word and poetry, talks and interactive debates, digital installations and playful and artistic activities that can be experienced and enjoyed at home. This has been made possible thanks to a new two-year partnership with the BBC and its invaluable technological experience to showcase an interactive, digital programme of activity. More details about Freedom Festival At Home will be announced soon.
Although uncertainty remains as to the time when large-scale outdoor events will safely be able to take place again, Freedom Festival is continuing to plan and develop other projects for public space ready for when the conditions are right for audiences to gather together. Expect Freedom Festival at its finest, from intimate to epic moments where audiences and artists will once again meet.
Freedom Festival is working towards presenting outdoor work in early 2021 – public health conditions permitting – and a full festival in early September 2021. Since the lockdown commenced, the festival team has been publishing creative content online for people to enjoy at home, with free digital content for families to explore. Visit the festival websiteto download the free Freedom at Home resources.
To stay updated about news from Freedom Festival and plans for this year, visit www.freedomfestival.co.uk and sign up to the newsletter.