An image of an industrial style event space with benches, tables and bunting. With people mingling in the background.
Cultural Tides will take place at Princes Quay event space

Culture conference comes to Hull

A new conference dedicated to Hull’s cultural sector will take place in the city next month for the first time.

On Thursday 14 March, Cultural Tides will discuss Hull’s contribution to culture and creativity in the north, as well as kick-starting the conversation on a new city-wide cultural strategy.

An audience made up of Hull-based arts, cultural, voluntary, community, education and business sector organisations with interest in the cultural ambition of the city, will hear from speakers and panels throughout the day at the events space in Princes Quay.

Speakers include Professor John Holden, Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds, who will present his research and ongoing work on cultural ecologies.

The day will also include discussion panels, made up of industry experts Merlijn Poolman, Night Mayor for Groningen, Netherlands, Matthias Rauch, Head of Cultural Innovation & Creative Economy in Mannheim, Germany, Clare McColgan CBE, Director of Culture – Liverpool 2008/Eurovision/UNESCO and Erika Clark, Creative Programme Manager at Belfast UNESCO music city.

The panels will consider how to capture and maintain the energy of large-scale initiatives, how to develop audiences and empower communities, and Hull’s ambition to be a UNESCO Creative City of Music.

The conference will be opened by Leader of Hull City Council, Cllr Mike Ross. He said:

“I’m delighted to be hosting the city’s inaugural Cultural Tides conference. The city has a long and proud cultural heritage, making a mark on the industry here and beyond. Whether it is the long established organisations, or the more recent events and performers, Hull packs a mighty punch in the sector.

“The world got the see this when the city took on the title of City of Culture in 2017, but the cultural offering has long been strong. The task now is to firmly establish the city as a cultural beacon in the north, navigating the challenging issues faced by the industry.

“This event offers the opportunity to begin that city-wide debate on the sustainability of the industry in Hull, with the chance to learn from the experiences of others from the UK and further afield, helping ensure the culture offer stays strong in Hull for years to come.”

The conference will be majority funded by the UK Government-backed Levelling-Up scheme.

Following the event, the evening will a see celebration of maritime heritage with a large-scale public event. A flaming torch-lit procession featuring 500 community volunteers will make its way from Hull Minster to Hull Marina, where audiences will enjoy a spectacular performance of The Tower of Light – transforming Hull into a magical theatre of pyrotechnics, performance and music.  

Organisations and industry members wanting to attend the conference can book free tickets here.

Jason Wigmore, cycle mechanic, working on a bike