Mikey Martins on Freedom Festival 2022

Artistic Director & CEO Mikey Martins talks to Hull City Council about what to expect from Freedom Festival 2022. Back for its 16th year, the line-up features over 350 individual performers, artists, musicians, visual artists and creatives.

What inspired this year’s festival?

Every year is a challenge of looking for a different kind of performance that I know the audience of Hull will really love, and try to find work which talks about barriers to freedom.

There’s work which we are commissioning, developing, and producing ourselves. That work we just follow and then we present it.

Then theirs work that we find elsewhere in the world, which we think is brilliant and amazing and want to bring it to Hull for Freedom Festival.

What events should we watch out for?

I’m very excited about a couple of projects in there that I would really recommend. There is a French company called Company Dyptik which are doing a show called Mirage which is in Zebedee’s Yard.

Mo and The Ribbon is a big spectacle from L’Homme Debout, who we did invite in 2018 for another show called ‘Rise’. A big giant, beautiful big giant – the new piece from them is amazing, again, very moving.

And we’ve extended the indoor programme, it’s got more of an indoor offer. We open on 26-27 August 2022 with an extraordinary circus show in Hull New Theatre from a company called Gravity and Other Myths, and the show is called ‘Backbone’.

What local artists are involved this year?

Yeah, we commissioned a very nice piece with The Herd, a children’s Theatre company. They’ve never worked with a show in public space before, and wanted to do a headphone-based tour for families.

We’re very, very, very lucky to be able to support Life. Their album launch, their new album, which is happening over in Social on the 3rd of September.

Broken Orchestra, we’ve been working with them on a project called ‘Rescore’.

What we’re doing is we are working the Yorkshire film archives, working with Broken Orchestra, and then we’re commissioning local bands and musicians to rewrite the soundtrack for films, for older archive films, so there is a new series of those coming out as well so look out for them.

And loads of local artists involved, there’s loads of participation projects which I can’t say too much but do watch the visionary and look out for all the things that might happen in the background.

What local spaces are being used?

What we like to do is transform public space, that’s kind of how we how we see it. We put art in public spaces, and it transforms those areas.

I’d like to think that people who got involved in the Hull Vigil will never look at Hull College in the same way ever again, but always remember that shelter on the corner.

First, it’s about what show works where best, really, that’s part of it and then it’s about how can we use these brilliant parts of the city centre and how we can join them together.

Do get amongst it, see as much as possible. Please buy tickets early because I know everyone leaves it last minute, but they will sell so don’t miss out.

And yeah, I hope you enjoy Freedom Festival 2022!

Freedom Festival 2022 takes place on 26 Aug – 4 Sep 2022. Head this way for everything you need to know about this year’s festival.