Hull City of Culture: John Grant's North Atlantic Flux music festival

Hull City of Culture: John Grant's North Atlantic Flux music festival

Curated Place achieved multiple wins at The Drum UK Event Awards 2017 including Cultural Event of the Year and Small Event of the Year with its four-day festival in Hull. Here, the agency discusses how it made these multiple achievements possible.

Executive Summary

In April, we worked with Hull 2017 UK City of Culture to produce a four-day music festival featuring 47 artists performing in six venues, co-curated with American singer-songwriter John Grant. The Festival brought together the twin cities of Reykjavik and Hull, promoting the Nordics and UK Collaborations using music and arts as a conduit to create deep, meaningful connections between cities. As well as securing a major client in Hull 2017 we also worked with Radio 4 to record Late Junction in which 17 of the artists in the festival performed and collaborated with each other for the first time.

Over the May Day Bank Holiday in April/May 2017 Curated Place joined forces with Reykjavik based singer-songwriter John Grant to create and curate John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux: sounds from Smoky Bay. Inviting Nordic and international artists to take over the city the event sat at the heart of the Roots and Routes season of Hull 2017 – UK City of Culture and showcased Curated Place’s unique skills in delivering original artistic events that are open, heartfelt and fun.

Strategy

A host of Nordic and international came to the city over May Day Bank Holiday weekend, including Icelandic electronic dance collective GusGus, Norwegian multi-instrumentalist, DJ and producer Lindstrøm, UK electronic pioneers Wrangler, and John Grant himself. Radio3’s Late Junction recorded a day of unique collaborative improvisation from the event which saw a wave of creative energy descend upon Hull.

Results

North Atlantic Flux was a unique and spectacular meeting of John's friends, influences and collaborators alongside Curated Place's stable of commissions and regular creative partners. We transformed Hull into Reykjavik-on-Humber for a magical weekend that pushed boundaries and expectations. Already regarded as one of the stand out events of Hull2017 we're now developing a three-year development plan to build on the huge success of North Atlantic Flux as a headline legacy to the City of Culture year showcasing Hull as the UK’s Nordic city.

The festival attracted audiences of 4,000 people and received excellent four and five-star reviews in local and national press.

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