One Hull of a Time – City of Culture Highlights


From the moment the first firework was launched to kick off the City of Culture year, 2017 has been a non-stop celebration in Hull. The city has been transformed and residents have embraced the year, challenging perceptions about the area, and getting involved with events in record numbers.

It’s been fantastic to see and we believe it’s just the start of a bright future for Hull. As we enter the 3rd and final season of the celebrations, here are 7 of our favourite highlights from the year so far:

Sea of Hull

The celebrations kicked off early, with the creation of this now iconic piece of art from Spencer Tunick in 2016. Waves of naked people, painted blue, flooded the city streets as part of the groundbreaking installation. The final artwork now has pride of place in the newly reopened Ferens art gallery.

Radio 1 Big Weekend

Hull is a fantastic city for music festivals – with Freedom Festival and Humber Street Sesh now firmly entrenched in the city’s yearly calendar. The Radio 1 Big Weekend was something else. As global megastars including Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, Lorde and Biffy Clyro hit the city, the world turned its eyes on Hull! The carnival atmosphere and fantastic music made for a weekend festival to remember.


The 75ft turbine blade in Queen Victoria wasn’t just a fantastic sight – it was a symbol of hope for the city’s bright economic future. As Hull looks to become a world leader in renewable energy and offshore wind, it stood testament to the regeneration of Hull’s economy.

Now for something completely different. Cutting edge circus performance, electronic music and eerie, mythological storytelling, in a cemetery?! Depart might have caused a bit of a stir in the city, but the spectacle and event was absolutely incredible. Visitors were led through a stunning installation, right in the centre of the city’s main cemetery.

UK Pride

Hull once again laid claim to being a truly pioneering city (we invented football and freedom don’t you know!) by hosting the first ever UK Pride – a spectacular week of events celebrating 50 years of LGBT culture. Parades, plays, art installations and a fantastic concert in Queens Gardens made for a fun, inclusive event that everyone embraced.

Weeping Window

Thousands of ceramic poppies cascading down the Hull Maritime museum was a spectacular, poignant installation. This reminder of Hull’s vital role in WWI, and place to commemorate the fallen soldiers and reflect on the lives lost in war, highlighted the sacrifices made by the men who went to sea, never to return.

Hull FC retain Challenge Cup

Hull FC made club history in August, when they successfully defeated Wigan 18-14 at Wembley to bring home the Challenge Cup for a second successive year. It was a fantastic achievement, and testament to the progress the club has made over the past few years. The win has left the black and white half of the city with real bragging rights, as they attempt to capture a first Super League title.

Still to come…

We’re nowhere near finished yet – and there are still loads to look forward to. The Turner Prize, Freedom Festival, The Children’s Laureate, the epic conclusion of Flood, the reopening of Hull New Theatre… and that’s just for starters! It’s a great time to live in Hull or to visit our fantastic city and there’s still time to join the millions of people getting involved. More about the City of Culture.

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