The XTRAX / Freedom Festival International Showcase took place in Hull, between 30th August and 1st September 2019. This was our second year partnering with this distinctive festival, attracting over 80 UK and International delegates to network, exchange ideas, hear pitches of new work and experience the varied programme. Unique in its exploration of Freedom and themes such as democracy, equality and protest through its programme of performances, talks, seminars and lectures on international human rights the festival attracts large audiences and explores the city’s heritage and identity.
We attended The Freedom Festival Professional Symposium 2019 – The Art of Unconventional presented by Freedom Festival Arts Trust in partnership with the British Council and creative partner Hull Truck Theatre. The symposium invited professionals to explore, engage and imagine how together we can build an ‘Extraordinary Place’. Arts professionals, artists, urban planners, policymakers, and technologists from across the globe gathered to explore the interface between art, technology, communities, urban design and health and wellbeing. The talks were insightful and raised interesting and important issues such as embracing risk as part of the creative process and how the city can build on the success of the UK City of Culture.
We hosted our signature pitching session XTRAX Shorts, giving companies the opportunity to present work in development. There was a wonderful range of projects on show with varying scales and art forms represented. We heard from 11 companies including Bureau of Silly Ideas; Enter Edem; Ramshacklicious; Murmuration Arts; Tit for Tat; Wired Aerial Theatre; Cultural Assembly; Middle Child Theatre; Kapow Dance; Full Tilt Aerial and Luke Jerram Ltd. For more details on each project check out the XTRAX Shorts Booklet on our resources page.
On Sunday morning delegates gathered for the International Newsround. This gave artists the chance to connect with UK and International promoters and festivals. Delegates based in the UK, Netherlands, France, South Korea and Australia shared updates about what shows their different festivals were looking for, the background to their work and any upcoming opportunities. Artists described their work, and if they were looking for opportunities to tour.
A huge thank you to all the delegates that attended the professional events over the weekend. We hope you found the programme informative and had opportunities to connect with old and new colleagues. We would also like to say a massive thank you to the Freedom Festival team for delivering an entertaining and thought-provoking festival, bringing great art to the streets of Hull.
Members of the XTRAX team will be at Out There Festival in Great Yarmouth (14-15 September), Arts By the Sea in Bournemouth (27-29 September) and Seoul Street Arts Festival (3-6 October) and Performing Arts Market Seoul (PAMS) in Korea (7-10 October). Make sure you follow us on Social Media or sign-up to our Newsletter to connect and keep up-to-date with the latest information.