Hull’s online “Freedom Festival” offers SF-inspired “Extra Life”

Promotional art for Joe Hakim, and The Broken Orchestra’s “Extra Life” Artwork by Spacewarp contributor Gareth Sleightholme

One part of this year’s Freedom Festival from Hull, which is virtual not physical this year, is the SF-inspired “Extra Life”, that sees music collective The Broken Orchestra team up with SF author Joe Hakim to create a four-part science-fiction sonic odyssey which will transport you to another reality.

An event where audiences expect the unexpected, Hull’s annual Freedom Festival will bring a flavour of its international arts festival direct to homes this September, responding to these unprecedented times with a programme broadcast digitally and via the BBC during what would have been the festival weekend.

While there won’t be any epic physical spectaculars unfolding in the city itself, get ready for intimate moments where audiences and artists meet in the first of three events taking place over the next 12 months, with thought-provoking, playful and powerful performances addressing the world we live in.

From Friday 4th until Sunday 6th September, audiences can turn on, tune in and enjoy a curated programme of world-class art and culture from the comfort of their homes.

Featuring international talent alongside local acts, expect robot selfies, timely debates which tackle issues of our time and bedtime stories the kids will remember for years.





Combining Joe Hakim’s distinctive spoken word with The Broken Orchestra’s lush soundscapes, “Extra Life” is a four-part musical movement, their first collaboration, and began life as a lockdown experiment to escape isolation and open a doorway to another universe.

Best experienced wearing headphones, you can be transported to another dimension while on the bus, in the bath, or by simply gazing up at the sky; allow yourself to be carried along by the story and music and make the time to escape into “Extra Life”.

Four short bursts of a condensed, grand narrative which can enjoyed as individual songs or collectively as one epic sequence, “Extra Life” will be serialised over four nights of the festival via the Freedom Festival app, and then will be also made available as a complete experience for a week following the festival.

The Broken Orchestra’s collaboration with TinB Someone Just Pressed Pause was recently featured on Steve Lamacq’s BBC Radio 6 Music Show as Tom Robinson’s personal pick for Track of the Year so far.

Earlier this year, Joe Hakim’s debut sci-fi/horror novel The Community, published in 2019 by Wild Pressed Books, made the longlist for the 2020 British Science Fiction Awards.

Joe is also the writer and dramaturg of Omni-Science, an interactive theatre show developed with Brick-by-Brick theatre company, which was performed Assemble Fest in 2016 and at Humber Street and Bean Street Community Centre in Hull in September 2019.

• A new part of Extra Life will be released at noon every day between Thursday 3rd and Sunday 6th September. A link to access Extra Life will appear here when the event goes live

The full Festival at Home programme is here

• The Broken Orchestra:

• Joe Hakim: |

Thanks to Pat Mills for the heads up

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

Categories: downthetubes News, Events, Other Worlds, Science Fiction

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