Tickets for the closing concert of a week-long celebration in Hull marking the 50th anniversary of sexual freedom in the UK go on sale on Friday (23 June).
Coinciding with Hull’s status as UK City of Culture 2017, the 50th anniversary of the start of decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK will be marked with LGBT 50, presented by Hull 2017 in association with Sewell Group and supported by Spirit of 2012.
The week-long festival of music, dance, theatre, comedy, film, photography and more kicks off on Saturday 22 July with Pride in Hull hosting the first ever UK Pride and culminates on 29 July with I Feel Love, a special concert at City Hall to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and Red Button on TV.
Tickets for the celebratory night of music and performance from LGBT culture past and present will be available from www.hull2017.co.uk/LGBT50 from 10am on Friday (23 June). Tickets cost £10 with the money going towards LGBT legacy events post 2017.
I Feel Love, which is part of the BBC’s Gay Britannia season, will be presented by Scissor Sisters’ front woman and Radio 2 presenter Ana Matronic and BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills. It will feature a stellar line-up of artists including Will Young, Alison Moyet, Marc Almond, Bright Light Bright Light, Noah Stewart, Tom Robinson and West Yorkshire’s LGBT choir Gay Abandon. Expect an evening of anthems, torch songs and celebration. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and Red Button from 8pm – 9.30pm.
Will Young said:
“I am very excited to perform at the BBC’s LGBT Concert in Hull to celebrate 50 years of decriminalisation. It is an honour, and I thank all the great people and their persistent fighting for LGBT rights that have made this anniversary possible.”
LGBT 50 begins on 22 July when Pride in Hull gets things started in exuberant style with a parade featuring iconic queer performance collective Duckie’s 50 Queers for 50 Years. Duckie artist Robin Whitmore has taken up residence in Hull, alongside Hull based costume designer Terry Herfield and artist Patrick Bullock to help LGBT+ groups and members of the public create 50 handmade LGBT+ icons.
These range from stately homos Freddie Mercury and Clare Balding to Hull favourites including a 3D replica of Hull gay pub Frankies Vauxhall Tavern. Those who wish to join in the making of the icons can visit the Duckie Shop, 95 Jameson Street, 4-7 pm Thursday and Friday, 2-5pm Saturday and Sunday.
Pride in Hull events will culminate on 22 July with a concert headlined by the legendary Marc Almond. The line-up also features 80s sensation Sonia, 90s hit-makers B*Witched and Cleopatra, X-Factor stars Sean Miley Moore and Blonde Electra, and includes Hull drag performer, Bobby Mandrel.
The festival closes on Saturday 29 July. Ahead of I Feel Love, Queen Victoria Square will play host to A Duckie Summer Tea Party, offering a mix of socialising and dancing for all generations and genders of the LGBT community to celebrate their freedom in the city.
A variety of entertainment awaits including fancy waiters in black tie serving tea and cake; a new work by Gary Clarke and Yorkshire Dance celebrating five decades of queer culture with a cast of 50 performers; Britain’s Got Talent performers The Sugar Dandies; queer femme feminist performance artiste Bird La Bird; female drag queen Victoria Sin; actress and comedian Liz Carr; theatre director, writer and filmmaker Topher Campbell; a cake-making contest; and dancing to the London Gay Big Band.
Party the night away at the official LGBT 50 after party at Fuel. Everyone at home can listen into Ana Matronic broadcasting her Disco Devotion show live from Hull at midnight on BBC Radio 2.
Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017 said:
“As the host of the first ever UK Pride, Hull will be at the forefront of the national celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of sexual freedom in the UK. With everything from a sinfonia orchestra to 80s diva Sonia, from a bake-off to poignant photography, it promises to be both classy and camp, offering something for everyone.”
Graham Jenkinson, Pride in Hull Trustee, added:
“We’re delighted to be kicking off Hull 2017’s LGBT 50 celebrations in spectacular style with our biggest Pride event to date. We’re sure that everyone will have a great time with headline performances from each of the last five decades on the main stage, along with additional stages and tents with performers and activities. Most importantly though, Pride will be a place where everyone is welcome and free to be themselves.”
Throughout the week there will also be exhibitions, socials, debates and more, offering an opportunity to celebrate Hull’s LGBT+ community and heroes past and present, freedoms gained, and to show solidarity with continuing struggles for LGBT equality in the UK and around the world.
Humber Street Gallery will host The House of Kings and Queens (27 July – 24 September), a specially commissioned exhibition of photography by Lee Price. Captured in Sierra Leone, where homosexuality remains illegal, Price’s powerful images offer a glimpse into The House where inhabitants can live without oppression, exposing what it means to be gay in Hull’s sister city Freetown.
The Hull LGBT+ community have also been getting involved in an exhibition of their own during the week-long celebrations. Titled A Moment in Time, the exhibition uses publicly-submitted photographs to tell the LGBT+ story before the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 and in the 50 years since.
In partnership with Hull Independent Cinema, Pride in Hull Film Festival (21 and 25 July) will present a selection of the best in LGBT cinema including Edinburgh International Film Festival Official Selection and Yorkshire premiere of Tom of Finland, Hull premiere of Sheffield Doc/Fest opener Queerama and the BFI’s Britain on Film: LGBT programme of rarely-seen archive LGBT films plus much more.
Pride In Hull Film Festival is supported by Transformative Film Culture for Hull as part of its National Lottery-funded BFI Film Audience Network and led by its lead partner BFI Film Hub North. It is part of the BFI’s LGBTQ Gross Indecency programme exploring the pioneering – and sometimes problematic – depictions of LGBT life in British film and TV in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
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