Hull lights up in December

Hull is set to shine this December, as 2017 comes to a dazzling finale in the UK City of Culture – helped along by guiding lights from interactive robots and stunning projections played out on one of the city’s best-known landmarks.

Visitors to the maritime city can expect plenty of traditional festive entertainment in the run-up to Christmas, but Hull’s blockbuster year will also be celebrated in a blaze of colour and innovative light installations.

World-renowned, award-winning art collective Jason Bruges Studio will be creating ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ – the UK City of Culture’s last major commission for 2017 – which is set to reflect the success of ‘Made In Hull’ that helped launch Hull’s big year back in January.

From 1 December, the new commission will see 25 former industrial robots raised on plinths above people’s heads, interacting with each other and “throwing light onto buildings and unnoticed corners.” Using a specially choreographed interplay of light, shadow and sound it will guide people through Hull’s medieval Old Town as dormant robots awaken, respond to the city’s architecture and interact with one another and passers-by.

Encouraging people to explore the city’s night-time streets, three areas around Old Town will each feature a different configuration of re-purposed industrial robots of varying sizes and at different levels, from ground to rooftop. Some of the robots will be pre-programmed, some reactive, and with a wide range of light effects from beams to constellations, shadows and reflections, they will animate unseen places, showing Hull in a new light.

Free to attend, ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’ runs from 1 December 2017 to 7 January 2018, and is supported by Arts Council England and Spirit of 2012.

Meanwhile in Hull’s Marina area, Marshmallow Laser Feast will be staging A Colossal Wave (1-10 December), a virtual reality installation that can be shared with others, in which a real ball is thrown from a great height “creating a huge virtual wave.”

Over the second weekend of December, ‘Look Up: The Deep’ (8-10 December) aims to shine a fresh light on one of Hull’s most iconic buildings. Projections by artists Heinrich and Palmer will be played onto the side of the Deep aquarium. A spectacular projection and soundscape will ‘virtually’ transform the facade of The Deep with images from nature that reflect some of the inspirations behind the building’s design.

December also sees a major music event, Substance: Future of the North, (9 December), featuring pioneering women musicians. Hosted by BBC 6 Music and Radio 3 presenter Elizabeth Alker, the line-up includes Nadine Shah, Jane Weaver, Hannah Peel, Lone Taxidermist, The Dyr Sister, Chambers and PINS.

Among the more traditional festive fayre on offer is the Made in Hull Christmas Market (2 December) at Humber Street in the regenerated Fruit Market area, and new for 2017, Thor’s Tipi (16 November – 31 December), where visitors can celebrate Christmas in a Viking inspired, pop-up tipi bar.

For details of places to stay and things to do:

To keep up to date with Hull UK City of Culture events, see