Some of Hull’s biggest and most prestigious venues have joined forces to promote the area as a City of Music.
Key partners have come together for the first time to promote and acknowledge the rich music culture in Hull, its history and its aspirations.
Hull City of Music aims to encourage the experience of live music within the community through attendance, participation and education. The group – made up of venues such as the Bonus Arena, Welly, Adelphi, Asylum, Humber Street Sesh and Hull City Hall – hopes that by joining forces, the city’s live music scene will be put on the map in the same way as Manchester and Liverpool’s musical heritage.
Hundreds of events take place every month across the city and the group – which is working alongside Visit Hull and Hull City Council – will look to:
Work together to jointly promote Hull and all of its live music events
Broaden opportunities for musicians in the city to develop a pathway to perform at both grassroots venues and the largest spaces and stages in Hull
Develop creative ideas to fundraise activities supporting audience development and the talent pipeline
Solidify Hull as a great city to visit for live music
As part of longer term aims, the group hopes to not just inspire the next wave of local musicians, but to encourage young people to become involved in the music industry as promoters, technicians or involved in the recording of live music.
It is also hoped that by working together the city may be able to take a joined up approach to hosting a multi-venue event similar to Live at Leeds or Tramlines in Sheffield, which attract thousands of visitors from outside of their respective cities.
It is the first time in at least 30 years that all major venues in the city have pledged to work together.
Members have already met with officials from the University of Hull to discuss how the city’s music offer may help to attract new students and further meetings with local businesses are planned.
Dan Harris, General Manager at the Bonus Arena (managed by ASM Global), said: “Over the last few years Hull has welcomed some enormous bands and artists to the city with even more planned in 2020. Hull City of Music gives all venues – regardless of size – the chance to come together and celebrate the rich cultural offering, promote the city’s grassroots acts and clear a pathway to continue to put the city on the musical map.”
VMS LIVE CEO Bert van Horck, who operates the Welly, Welly 2 and the Polar Bear, said: “Multiple musical hearts from local government to enterprises and media have joined forces to emphasise the unique and vibrant live music scene in Hull. Music is a vital anchor in the social fabric of our society, and we will continue to drive this forward to the benefit of the audience and the musicians.”
Mark Page, Festival Director of Sesh Events Ltd, who manage and run Humber Street Sesh and Social, said: “Sesh Events is delighted to play a part in the collective ambition to promote Hull as a City Of Music. We shall continue to provide platforms, develop industry pathways, build audiences and help promote the excellence of Hull’s blossoming music scene.”
Mark Hall, Business Manager for Hull Box Office, said: "In nearly 30 years of working in the live music scene in Hull, I have only ever dreamed of a group that brings all of the city's venues and promoters together to promote the vibrant and diverse music scene that exists in this great city! With the full support of Hull City Council and VHEY, Hull City of Music is a really exciting partnership that promises to make this city great again!"
Cllr Dave Craker, Portfolio holder for culture leisure and tourism at Hull City Council, said: “It is great for the council, through Visit Hull, to be part of a partnership of venues that will help to rightly establish Hull as one of the country’s best destinations for seeing and playing Live Music.”
Janice Wincott, Manager of Hull City Hall and New Theatre on behalf of Hull Culture and Leisure and Hull City Council, said: “We are thrilled to be a member of this unique collaboration to celebrate and promote Hull’s rich live music heritage and continue the City’s recognition as a world-class cultural destination.”
Andy King, Commercial Services Director at the Asylum, said: “Hull is a fantastic city to be a student in, and live music is a key part of the student experience. Hull has a rich and diverse music history and it is an honour to be part of this new initiative to reaffirm Hull as a City of Music.”
Dave Courtney, of The Adelphi, said: “The Adelphi has played host to some of the biggest names in music and provided a platform for local artists to go on to achieve recognition beyond the city. As we approach our 36th anniversary we are proud to be a member of the Hull City of Music initiative.”
Matt Molson, Venue Manager at The Welly, said: “This is really exciting, I think it is a breath of fresh air and cannot wait to see what we can achieve together."
Jonnie Mason, Venue Manager at The Polar Bear, said: “"What an amazing group of people! Together we can really make Hull the City of Music and show the world what we are all about."
Darren Bunting, of O'Rileys, Service Station, Music HQ Presents & Live Music In Hull), added: "Hull City of Music is a brilliant idea and personally I am very excited to be involved to help promote Hull's amazing music scene far and wide. This can only be a massively positive initiative for Hull.”
A website – which will include a one stop shop for gig listings - and social media accounts will be launched in the near future.