Dan Jones' Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans is part of this year's New Music Biennial.

A big free music festival is coming to Hull this weekend

A free music festival featuring some of the UK’s most exciting music creators returns to Hull this weekend.

PRS Foundation’s New Music Biennial, which takes place across two weekends in London and Hull, features contemporary music including exciting, newly commissioned works from established names and rising stars.

After entertaining audiences at London’s Southbank Centre last weekend, the groundbreaking musicians arrive in Hull on Friday.

Here is all you need to know:

What is it?

The New Music Biennial is a PRS Foundation initiative that supports and provides a platform for talented organisations and music creators who are pushing the boundaries of new music in the UK. It takes place every two years and struck up a relationship with Hull in 2017 during the city’s year as UK City of Culture. That relationship has continued with the groundbreaking commissions once again being performed in both Hull and London this year. Absolutely Cultured, the arts company created following Hull’s year in the spotlight in 2017, is hosting the performances in Hull and have also commissioned some of the pieces.

Who is involved?

New Music Biennial presents new music across all genres, from classical and chamber opera, to jazz, folk and electronic. 20 newly commissioned pieces of music will be performed across the two festival weekends. This year’s festival includes Hull-based Dan Jones’ Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans and a new piece about the city which has been created by award-winning clarinettist and composer Arun Ghosh, entitled AMBHAS.

The award-winning clarinettist and composer, Arun Ghosh, has been commissioned to create the brand-new piece of music for PRS Foundation’s New Music Biennial.

Why does it happen?

The aim of the New Music Biennial is to reach new audiences for contemporary music. The pieces can be no longer than 15 minutes long and every performance is free, but must be booked online to encourage as many people as possible to try the event.

Where is it?

As in 2017, the festival is taking place across a variety of venues in Hull. This includes the new performance venue under development in Humber Street, which is opening temporarily for the New Music Biennial before its full re-opening later this year. Other venues include Hull Truck Theatre, the Guildhall, Humber Street Gallery, Hull City Hall and Hull Central Library.

When is it?

The festival begins on Friday 12 July and runs until Sunday 14 July.

Book tickets or get more information here.

Charles Cracknell, Hull City Council youth enterprise manager