Sunday 3rd September 2017. Walking into the city centre and grabbing a shot of the Maritime Museum devoid of traffic and people, you would be forgiven for thinking that I had finally managed to get into Hull in the early morning. In fact this was an illusion, a strange brief moment in time between the heavy traffic of vehicles and people, a quickly grabbed photo, a moment in time that did not reflect the truth.
The truth was the the city was crowded and, behind me, facing the other way, hundreds of people were in Queen’s Gardens, the deep thump of amplified music throbbing across the town.
This was the last day of Hull’s Freedom Festival and although I had missed a number of events over the previous two days I was keen to stroll and take in the atmosphere and capture a few images.
When the music is performed live on bicycles and travels around the city centre it’s hard to miss. And you wouldn’t want to miss it. La Dinamo are a Catalonian band delivering mobile funk and you just want to follow on behind and boogie – although I resisted.
Its not often you see dinosaurs devouring children in the street. Humber Street roared with the ‘Saurus Giant Beasts from Prehistoric times‘ performed by Close act Theatre. These were far more spectacular and entertaining than I had imagined.
Over in Queen’s Gardens one of the simplest exhibits was also one of the most entertaining and foot tapping. This guy’s scooter and sidecar was a mobile juke box. He was spinning vinyl records of rock n’ roll and dance music that just made you smile and feel like dancing. I said feel like dancing, I resisted.
Down at the amphitheatre, the old dock turned into an open-air stage, Kingston Swing were dancing Lindy Hop and Charleston and inviting the public on stage to join in. I resisted. I was waiting to listen to Ruth Getz perform songs from the 30’s, 40’s 50’s. Excellent.
It’s the first time I’ve seen the new installation in Queen’s Gardens. Solar Gate is a stainless steel 10 metre high edifice. The base is not completed but aiming upwards with the camera avoids the orange barriers. The light by now was poor and flat and requires another visit with the kind of light that will make that steel shine. Meanwhile it presents a pleasing challenge – here are two very different views.
That’s a tiny flavour of it all. There was so much more to be enjoyed. Yet again a great atmosphere in Hull.