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Hull celebrates its Roots and Routes for UK City of Culture 2017

Friday 17 Mar, 2017


After a successful opening season of Hull's year-long UK City of Culture 2017 celebration, programme details have been unveiled for its second season, Roots and Routes, running from April to June.

Following the first season, Made in Hull (January - March), Roots and Routes will explore Hull's maritime history as one of the world's busiest ports, plus its international links to Rotterdam, Reykjavik and Freetown in Sierra Leone. From art to music, theatre to film, dance to family friendly activities - plus new commissions by national and international artists - there is something for all tastes and ages. Here are some of the highlights.



24 March - 14 May 2017 (dates subject to change): Poppies: Weeping Window, at Hull Maritime Museum

In 2014, to mark 100 years since Britain's initial involvement in the First World War, thousands of handmade ceramic poppies cascaded from the Tower of London in the art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, created by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. This March, the poppies come to Hull with Poppies: Weeping Window at the Hull Maritime Museum.


1 April - 28 August: Offshore - Artists Explore the Sea, at Ferens Art Gallery and Hull Maritime Museum

This new exhibition features internationally renowned artists, writers, scientists and filmmakers exploring sea-related themes, including monster myths and climate change.


22 April - 13 August: SKIN, at Ferens Art Gallery

Major new exhibition SKIN explores the human body and how artists like Lucian Freud have depicted the nude form, plus the anticipated photographic work Sea of Hull by Spencer Tunick, created last year when 3,200 people stripped nude and were painted in shades of blue.


29 April - October: Cairns, at University of Hull campus

An exhibition of life size sculptures by Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir will be placed around the University of Hull campus, reflecting on the historic connection between Iceland and Hull. Steinunn's existing iconic sculpture Voyage overlooks the Humber estuary at Victoria Pier.



11 - 15 April: Flood: Abundance at Victoria Dock, Hull

Flood is a four-part story of what happened when the world was destroyed, and how the people who lived tried to make it new again. Each of Flood's four separate parts link to each other, but can also be experienced separately. This epic story will be told online, live in Hull and on BBC television over the course of the year, via a mix of live performance, special effects, film and digital elements. From 11 - 15 April, the live play Flood: Abundance will be performed at Victoria Dock. Tickets on sale now. 


12-14 May:  Transgression: Breaking the Rules, at various venues, including Humber Street Gallery

Hull Dance hosts a weekend of contemporary dance featuring local dancers.


6 - 17 June: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything, at The Welly Club

Critically-acclaimed Hull theatre company Middle Child transform one of the Hull's nightclubs into a new piece of visceral, immersive and anarchic theatre about a generation promised everything, but what happens when dreams don't become a reality.



1 - 30 April: The Height of the Reeds: A Sound Journey for the Humber Bridge, at Humber Bridge

Put on a set of supplied headphones and walk the epic span of the Humber Bridge, escaping into a unique sound adventure presented by Hull and Opera North.


6 - 8 April: Uproot at Hull Truck Theatre

Exploring Hull's rich folk music traditions. Uproot will feature a series of live concerts from one of the most recognisable faces in modern British folk music, Eliza Carthy, alongside international artists Warsaw Village Band and Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars.


28 April - 1 May: John Grant's North Atlantic Flux, Sounds from Smoky Bay, at various venues

Celebrating cultural ties between Hull and the Nordic states, singer-songwriter John Grant and arts organisation Curated Place present a journey through electronica, spoken word, avant-garde, rock and pop music, with headline sets at Hull City Hall from John Grant, GusGus, Susanne Sundfør and Lindstrøm.


27 - 28 May: BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend at Burton Constable in East Yorkshire

Set to be one of the music highlights of the year, Kings of Leon have already been announced as headliners for this festival. Ticket information will be released in late March or early April.


2 - 4 June: Where Are We Now? At various venues

Radical artists unite for a three-day festival curated by art collective Neu! Reekie! spanning hip-hop, film, animation, poetry, literature, visual art, street theatre and debates. The opening event at Hull City Hall on 2 June will feature Young Fathers, Charlotte Church and Hollie McNish. On 3 June, UK hip-hop artists will perform at The Welly Club, including Akala.


3 June:  Beauty in the East at KCOM Craven Park

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott perform a special one-off show, with support from special guests The Divine Comedy and Billy Bragg.


9 - 10 June: Tidal Waves music festival, at South Cliff Beach, Bridlington

Two days of music showcasing local talent as well headline acts including The Hoosiers and Toploader.


23 - 24 June: Various gigs at Zebedee's Yard

A series of shows from major music artists, kicking off on 23 June with Primal Scream and 24 June with The Flaming Lips. Tickets now on sale.  


16 - 18 June - Beverley Folk Festival, at Beverley Racecourse

The best of folk, acoustic, roots and Americana, with the likes of Eddi Reader, Jon Boden and Heidi Talbot on the line-up, plus literature, comedy, workshops, dance and children's activities.


30 June - 2 July - PRS Foundation's New Music Biennial, at various venues

A free festival celebrating new music with a series of short performances from Britain's most innovative composers in venues across the city, including specially-created commissions. Check the website for dates, venues, concert times and ticket information.


For press information contact ben.mcknight@hull2017.co.uk or alix.johnson@hull2017.co.uk.


For more information contact:

  • VisitBritain Media Team

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