Hull City Of Culture (We F*cking Did It)

So, Hull or (no matter how everyone ignores it’s real name) Kingston Upon Hull is the United Kingdom’s City Of Culture 2017, following the previous City Of Culture, London-Derry. But what does this magnificent title actually mean for Hull? Well not only does it mean 16,000 events including 25 festivals throughout the time the city has this status, it also means a lot of work opportunities, and make people say ‘I like living in Hull’. This status will also give local musicians a great chance to make it in the industry, as there will be a lot of focus for musicians in Hull during this time. So if you’re thinking of making your creative prowess known to the public, now would be the time to do it.

Now admittedly Hull has never had the best reputation with well, anything except for this preconception that everyone in Hull works at the docks...and that we have good fish and chips, but before everyone jumps on the bandwagon and does Hull a disservice, look at how this city has developed over the last few decades. Hull went from the nightlife ‘place to go’ in the eighties to the capital of unemployment in the nineties and so forth. This dramatic change though, I feel, made people realise that the city needed a change. In the mid-ninties Hull appointed PR agency Wolff Olins to help revive people’s perceptions of Hull (this was the first consultancy to ever brand a city, some Hull history for you there). Working as part of initiative dubbed ‘CityImage’ they ran a, well, they pretty much ran an MOT on the so seen desolate city and decided that Hull’s new aim should be ‘to be pioneering’ (playing on the city’s maritime past) and even though they have taken their time, more than a decade later they've done it.

Did you know at one point Hull was named the happiest place to live! Maybe because everyone is off their head, but still! If there’s one thing I have realised about Hull, it’s that everyone sticks together. Yeah there may be the odd scuffle, but there’s always a connection between people if they are from Hull . Hull would have never won city of culture if there wasn't so many people in Hull believing in it. Even the Hull poet, Phillip Larkin (who once said when talking about Hull ‘very nice and flat for cycling – that’s about the best I can say’) featured in the back the bid video. The point I’m trying to get across is that everybody in Hull wanted this to happen whether it was subconscious or not, everybody knew that the city of culture would bring only good things for Hull.

During one of the free festivals (that’s right, free) that Hull provides called Humber Street Sesh this year I interviewed a renowned Hull based music act, Nineties Boy. When asked about what he thought about the what the festival does for Hull he had this to say: ‘I think it brings all the creative together at once and it brings people who wouldn’t usually invest in this down and I think no matter what city you’re in, I don’t think anywhere is offering something as good as this, it might be bigger, but here everybody comes together and everybody is on board’. I feel that is the best description anyone could have given about this festival and everything Nineties Boy said is undeniably true.

Now that Hull is the ‘City Of Culture’ it would be great for more of these festivals, but I’d also love to have Christmas 5 times a year. I think if these kind of things are promoted more though, more people were on board and more money being backed into it, all of these artists (over 160 acts), at the fruit nights, the Adelphi nights, (venues in Hull for you who have never been) are playing all year round, it’s if people want to come and support it and support these artists whether it happens more often. Festivals like Humber Street Sesh are a great eye opener to the creativity Hull has to offer, not just for music, but for dance, art, theatre. I think because Hull knuckled down and got this festival running, it was definitely a milestone into the decision of city of culture. 

If you’re thinking of visiting the City Of Culture, and thinking of things to do, you can visit the Hull New Theatre which featured the Russian State Ballet performing Don Quixote in January 2014. There’s also Hull’s Old Town which houses the Street-life Museum, the Wilberforce House, the Hull & East Riding Museum and the Arctic Corsair, which is a fishing boat by the way, obviously it couldn't be Hull without an old fishing boat. Of course for all you people who don’t like museums there's a lot of unique pubs and bars in the cities old town and by some chance if like music, you can visit Hull's more infamous venues: The Adelphi Club, Fruit, and The Polar Bear which hosts 'Sesh' weekly. Recently, Hull City Hall have had some pretty big people turning up to play in this forgotten city: they've had  Frank Turner, the punk poet John Cooper Clarke, the infamous Robert Plant of the late Led Zeppelin. They've got the legends that are Placebo playing in March 2015 and many more I presume that are sure to blow many a Hullite's mind.

If you’re not from Hull I 100% recommend you to come and see what this city has to offer. Even more importantly, people in Hull, go see what’s on your doorstep. There’s an unlimited amount of culture here in Hull and it’s down to you to come and see it for yourself.

You can see what Fruit and Welly have to offer on Giveitsomewelly.com and Fruitspace.com




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