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Hull is the UK City of Culture 2017 - an award given every four years to a city that demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture as a tool for regeneration. And what a year it is delivering so far!

With four seasons featuring 365 days of ambitious and extraordinary cultural activity and events, Hull is delivering a programme worthy of a world-class destination.  

Season one, Made in Hull, brought the year in with a bang as the city threw its doors wide open and invited the world to the biggest celebration Hull has ever seen, celebrating what it means to be made in Hull. A city like no other, a city that is poetic and fiercely independent; telling the inspiring stories of the city’s revolutionaries, the thinkers and innovators who broke the rules and made their mark on the world.

In the first week of activity alone the city saw 340,000 visitors, making it the most visited attraction in the UK. This extraordinary start set the tone for this epic year.

The second chapter, Roots & Routes, builds on this momentum and will explore Hull’s unique place as a gateway to Europe, its maritime history and global connections, and the arrivals and departures that create the stories of the city.

Hull is a place of migration and transitions, connected to a globalised, digital world. In this next action-packed season, the contribution of the brilliant people and ideas travelling in and out of Hull will be underlined.

The city’s international links from Rotterdam to Reykjavik will be celebrated, where paths cross and journeys begin, as Hull embarks on the next stage of its journey and takes its place at the centre of UK culture.

The team behind the planning and delivery of the year are an independent company and charitable trust, Hull UK City of Culture 2017 Ltd. Working with national and international artists, alongside the very best local talent, the year is celebrating the culture of the city and its place in the wider cultural offer of the North. Every young person of school age is being given the opportunity to participate and an enthusiastic team of volunteers are helping to deliver this exciting year.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform perceptions of the city and tackle head on some of the serious economic and social issues facing cities such as Hull. It is also a key milestone in the delivery of a huge cultural capital programme being led by Hull City Council as part of City Plan to energise and stimulate the local economy in order to create jobs and further investment.

This wouldn’t be possible without the significant public and private partners that have come on board to support the year, including trusts and foundations, businesses and individuals.

Join us for a year of game-changing arts and culture, featuring exciting world premieres, breathtaking installations, world-class exhibitions and live music as the remaining seasons; Roots & Routes, Freedom and Tell the World continue this legacy.  

Discover more and book your tickets online: 

Season one

Made in Hull January - March 

The first season will begin on 1st January with a spectacular opening event over seven days. The first chapter will challenge preconceptions of Hull and show people what the city is really made of.

Opening events included ‘In With A Bang’ – a firework display attended by 30,000 people in Hull’s marina and ‘Made in Hull’ – a week-long celebration of Hull, where the city's most iconic buildings told stories of Hull's history through large-scale projection, soundscapes and illuminations. 

Following the first week of celebrations, Queen Victoria Square in the heart of Hull was transformed by one of the first major art commissions for Hull 2017; the Blade – a 75 metre rotor blade which was made by hand at the Siemens factory in Hull and turned into an art installation by Nayan Kulkarni.

Season two

Roots and Routes April - June

Season two will explore the city’s unique place in a constantly changing world. With a distinctly international flavour, this chapter celebrates Hull’s position as a gateway to Europe and its connections with the rest of the world.

​Season three

Freedom July - September

With the year’s celebrations in full swing– Freedom is a platform for people to create, debate, reflect and reimagine. This chapter will explore the pivotal role Hull played in the emancipation movement, as well as broader interpretations of equality and social justice.

Season four

Tell the World October - December

As 2017 draws to a close, we’ll start looking to the future and exploring what’s next. A Hull redefined within the Northern Powerhouse, but with a voice and confidence of a people on the up – this is the start of something special for the city. 

View the Made In Hull: Season Guide for January - March

Key events for Hull 2017

World Premiere of Richard Bean’s The Hypocrite

Hull Truck Theatre 25 Feb – 18 March

A riotous comedy from award-winning Hull-born playwright Richard Bean.

What would become a defining moment in Hull’s history is, quite frankly, the worst day of Sir John Hotham’s life.

Charged by Parliament to deny King Charles I entry to the city, Civil War seems inevitable and losing his head more than probable. And that’s to say nothing of his problems at home – a lovesick daughter, a ghost obsessed with the chinaware, sexually arousing furniture and a wife intent on escape.

The world renowned Turner Prize

Ferens Art Gallery 1 Jan – 31 Dec

The world renowned arts prize comes to Hull, offering the chance for everyone to encounter some of the most vibrant visual art being made today in an exciting exhibition of the four shortlisted artists’ work.

The Turner Prize, named after British landscape painter JMW Turner, is an annual prize awarded by Tate to a British artist under the age of 50 who has exhibited outstanding work in the previous year.

Ferens Art Gallery will be only the fifth venue outside London to host the prize since it was established in 1984.

Look Up art installation

Hull City Centre 1 Jan – 31 December

A year-long programme of artists’ works made specifically for Hull’s public places and spaces. Designed to challenge people’s perceptions of Hull and offer different ways to experience the city.

Look Up will present a series of new artworks to intrigue and inspire throughout 2017, created in partnership with organisations including The Deep, GF Smith and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Featured artists include: Nayan Kulkarni, Bob and Roberta Smith, Michael Pinsky, Tania Kovats, Claire Barber, Sarah Daniels and Claire Morgan.

So, look up from your phone, look out of your window, look around you –who knows what you’ll see!

This remarkable region has so much to offer in terms of landscape and heritage, and something for all the family when it comes to shopping, dining and days out. And, with the beautiful countryside of the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire Wolds making up a huge proportion of the area, outdoor lovers will have a wealth of different areas for walking, riding, cycling and running.

When it comes to dining out, the Humber boasts an eclectic array of award winning restaurants, gastro pubs and independent coffee shops with delicious, fresh and locally sourced produce.

The vibrant city and market towns here benefit from a fantastic selection of shops, with everything from designer boutiques, high street shopping and independent retailers; you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re after some retail therapy.

And with Hull gearing up to be the UK City of Culture in 2017, the Humber’s cultural offering has never been more prominent, with many events and local attractions also being free - there’s something to keep all the family entertained.

What our regional business leaders say

Hull has always had a unique cultural voice and in 2017 it will roar. The spirit, the stories and the talent of this city have inspired this national year of celebration. From its artists to its residents through to the city's incredible heritage, Hull will share with the rest of the world what people from here have known all along – this city has contributed significantly to ideas that have changed and enriched the world.

Martin Green,

CEO and Director, Hull 2017

We’ve had significant investment in the city and have welcomed global businesses like Siemens to Hull, creating well paid jobs for local people. Coupled with the capital investment in our cultural and visitor infrastructure, confidence is high, perceptions of the city are changing and aspiration is growing.

Stephen Brady,

Hull City Council Leader

Kingston upon Hull, to use its proper name, has come into its own in recent years. Designated as the UK City of Culture for 2017, we believe Hull is finally able to showcase what a vibrant and intriguing place it is

Lottie Gross,

Travel Writer, Rough Guides


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