Friday, 1 October 2010

Freedom Festival 2010 - only about a month late

Continuing my recent theme of “Let’s tell people about things that have happened in Hull well after the event instead of beforehand when it might actually be useful”, I would like to tell you quickly about the Freedom Festival which took place over 2 days on 10th/11th September. (I did have every intention of posting about this the day I went on holiday but didn’t want to rush it and write something rubbish.)

I seem doomed to not really be around in Hull when the Freedom Festival takes place. Last year I was in Manchester for most of it and only saw Florence + the Machine and this year I ended up meeting up with my brother and sister-in-law to give them the blanket for the new baby and didn’t get around to going and seeing everything.

I cannot believe I missed McFly who have suddenly become ridiculously fit, meaning that I no longer feel shame for actually liking them (seriously, what happened to the lead singer – I don’t know them well enough to know their names, but HELL-o!). And I missed The Saturdays again. And Aleesha Dixon and a whole host of people I probably should know, but don’t because I don’t listen to the radio anymore.

(And did I mention all this is free?)

I only ended up getting into town for the final act which was Foals. I’m sorry if you know them and can’t believe I don’t but I really have never heard of them. I know, I suck at life. Were they good? Meh. It’s difficult watching a band you have absolutely no idea about and don’t recognise any of the songs. I know that I had a good time watching them but I don’t remember any of the songs even a little bit. Not a good omen. But everyone else seemed to like them, so I’m going with the notion that the majority of people who do get to listen to the radio while they’re in work and in their cars, like Foals, so therefore, they must be good.

Foals - no really, it is, it's just an appalling photo

What I really wanted to see was the French street theatre company, Plasticiens Volants, who use giant inflatable puppets to tell a story, high above the heads of those watching below.

They were due to start at 10pm and I had no real idea what to expect, by about 10.15pm I was starting to whinge. I was woefully underdressed for the occasion and starting to feel the cold. “When’s it going to staaaaaaaart?!” I moaned at my companions. At that moment I turned round and nearly fell over as I saw a giant inflatable head come floating into Queens Gardens, shortly followed by two fishies. They came in and amongst us, the puppeteers are attached to the inflatables with strings and run in and out of the crowd, making the puppets swoop down on unsuspecting victims. It was actually a little bit scary.

Then a big giant eel appeared and chased the fishies about. The fishies retreated to what can only be described as giant inflatable weeds while the eel bobbed about on the outside. Then, from the other side of the park appeared a beautiful lady with cat’s heads for breasts (yes, really) and she battled with the eel, forcing him among the reeds where he died.

The pretty cat-breast-lady did not escape unscathed. She appeared to get a puncture halfway through her battle which I seriously hope was not because of the morons who kept leaping up trying to grab at the inflatables. I dread to think how much that was going to cost to get punctured.

I’m not brilliant at interpretive street theatre. I quite like words to go with what I’m seeing and I’m still not entirely sure what the hell was going on. I appears that eel = bad and cat-breast lady = good. And I’m pretty sure the fishes were on the side of cat-breast lady. I’m not entirely sure where the giant head came into things though. I’ve had a look on their website and I still can’t figure out what story we were being told – but I did see cat-breast lady in Babilonia which unfortunately doesn’t have an English translation. I think we maybe just got a select few of the characters they use, rather than the full shazam – for some reason on their list of performances they haven’t included the Freedom Festival, which is a shame.

Anyway. It was exciting. And different. And only mildly scary.

(And did I mention it was free?)

And to round it all off there were fireworks which always goes down well. Who doesn’t like ooh-ing and aah-ing and clapping their hands and jumping up and down like some kind of moron?

Next year, I’m clearing the diary.

(It’s free you know.)


  1. Sounds pretty cool! Can't believe you saw Florence, I love her!!!! Although may have been overplayed during the summer with all the festivals, but still love her. Not sure about McFly/ Aleesha and the lot, not my type! The balloon thing sounds pretty mental - can't believe it's all free!!

  2. Oh, I'd never heard of this festival before - it sounds good! And yes, McFly have def grown up into lovely lads lol.. ;)

  3. Brilliant, and free too! The puppet show looks wonderful. I think I shall move to Hull! I am so jealous too, you saw Florence and the Machine, I love my cd. Susie xxx

  4. Will have to look out for Plasticiens Volants, they sound ... intriguing ...

    Ahh fireworks...

  5. yay - Foals! Local Oxford band done good!!!

    mutters some stuff about Radiohead and Supergrass...

    yeah, I don't listen to them either.

  6. That looks great! and Free!!! I'm not a Florence fan - she's like Alanis Morrisette - she makes me feel like I have PMT and could kill someone, just by listening to her! Now McFly - lovely boys - I can still see their appeal - even though I am fifty - I will always be 15 at heart!xxx

  7. Looks like a great show!

    Because it's late, and I'm avoiding work, here's what the French on the website says (Petit Filoux could probably put it better, but there you go :)

    This show traces the journey of a multi-coloured character who has set off in search of this famous 8th wonder of the world - having to get there via the other 7 wonders takes him to spectacular lands, on marvellous adventures.

    Your town will become a mediterranean where our hero, with the help of a malicious (mischievous?) genie, will meet the spirit of the pyramids, come to grips with the anger of Zeus, be saved by the lightning bolt of Alexandira, will have to flee before the Collossus of Rhodes (sp?), will fall under the spell of Artemis, will tremble before the macabre Halicarnassus (sp??) and will finally enjoy the sweetness of the gardens of Babylon.

    Does that sound anything like it? I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for them :)

  8. Methinks it's time you started listening to the radio again hon ;)


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