Hull Folk film premier to showcase city’s exploits in build up to City of Culture

Hull, UK: The Polar Bear pub on Spring Bank, west Hull, will play host to the premiere of a short film showcasing the success of 2013’s Hull Folk Festival ahead of the City of Culture status in 2017.
The event will take place from 2pm until 6pm on Saturday 8th March and is open to the general public for free as well as a list of figureheads from the local music and festival scene that have been invited to attend.

The video, produced by local filmmaker Mark Richardson, addresses what folk music means to Hull and the Humber and the genre’s roots within the area. Featuring interviews and performance footage, the film encapsulates the essence of Hull’s only dedicated festival of folk.

A range of merchandise, a ‘folk pie’ and real ale will also be on offer along with performances from local folk bands, including the Hillbilly Troupe, who will launch their first album at the event.

As the City of Culture status moves ever closer it is an ideal opportunity to look back at one of the events that contributed to a successful bid. It is also the perfect way to whet the appetite for events that will be taking place up to 2017 and beyond.

Hull Folk Festival, organised by local marketing firm Sowden & Sowden, took place for the first time on 30th and 31st August 2013. The event saw a great response from local revellers as well as people from further a field, who flocked to the city’s Humber Street area for an eclectic mix of music and fringe events.
Mark Richardson, who created the film, said: “Folk music is a genre that is so diverse, poetic, creative and innovative yet is sometimes associated with sour real-ale, depressing songs about medieval battles, folk-blokes sporting bushy beards, and an audience full of old people wearing home-made knitted jumpers and sporting open toe beige sandals!

“I wanted to challenge the lazy stereotype that is often associated with folk music and the Hull Folk Festival was an event that definitely smashed any lazy pre-conceived ideas that folk is a restrictive, archaic, and predictable musical genre. The range of music offered by the festival under the banner of ‘folk music’ was incredible and I hope my film captures the energy, quality and diversity of the music that was served throughout the event.

“ Tantz, The Hut People, Horse Guards Parade, Hase Waits, Bud Sugar, Stuart McCallum, Eliza Carthy and Rory McLeod are all so musically different yet all performed at the festival. This was the strength of the Hull Folk Festival as it served to emphasise the vast range of the diverse and innovative music being created by local and nationally recognised musicians that are associated with this simple little word. What is folk? More than a four letter word. Folk is a huge word. It is a word, much like the music it attempts to categorise, that is difficult to define. I hope my film serves as a lasting document that captures the folk sights and folk sounds generated by a fantastic folk event in our fair city.’

Polly Sowden, director at local marketing firm Sowden & Sowden that organised the festival said: “For a first time event, last year’s Hull Folk Festival was really well received by everyone from across the city.

“We drew in some really big crowds for what is sometimes considered a more niche genre of music and culture.

“When Mark Richardson approached us about making the film we were delighted that the festival was generating so much interest. The enthusiasm of Mark to film this event is a perfect demonstration as to why we’re a City of Culture and we are grateful that he offered and was able to keep a record of the first ever pure Hull Folk Festival.

“As a company, we’re currently working on putting on a range of events across the city including Hull Fashion Week and Yum! Food Festival, which we’re sure will continue to build on the city’s tradition of providing high-quality, free events.”

For more information visit:, twitter @HullFolk,

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