The city centre skyline provided the backdrop as the organisers and sponsors of the 2019 Hull Street Food Nights unveiled their plans for a summer of fantastic food and entertainment.
HullBID, which launched the concept in 2017, confirmed that the first event of this year, which takes place on Thursday 4 April, will mark a return to Trinity Square – scene of the very first Hull Street Food Night which was so successful it prompted a rethink.
Kathryn Shillito, HullBID Executive Director, said: “We expected a few thousand people and about 13,000 turned up. We had a rethink, we re-grouped and we got it right by moving to Zebedee’s Yard and Princes Dock Street, but Trinity Square is the spiritual home and we have worked really hard with Hull City Council to ensure we can return there.”
Dignitaries, street food stallholders and representatives of city centre businesses attended the launch hosted by The Lexington, the highest rooftop bar in the city which sits at the top of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Ferensway and is the sponsor of this year’s Hull Street Food Nights.
The Lexington will present a pop-up cocktail bar in the centre of Trinity Square for each of the events, with visitors encouraged to also support the many bars, pubs and café bars in and around the historic Old Town.
More than 30 vendors will set up around Trinity Square offering authentic dishes from different countries and cuisines including options for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs, catering for all tastes and budgets. The events will also embrace Trinity Indoor Market, where many of the food court operators are businesses which have graduated from Hull Street Food Nights. Hull Minster will also be open to provide seating and shelter for visitors.
A programme of entertainment will feature live music, a DJ set from Mark Page of Humber Street Sesh and performers including fire breathers and jugglers lining some of the routes to the venue. There will also be a branded rickshaw to ferry people between the transport interchange and Trinity Square.
The key dates for your diary for Hull Street Food Nights are the first Thursday of the month from April until September – with the notable exception of Thursday 8 August when the event becomes the curtain-raiser for the two-day Yum! Festival and will be accommodated in Queens Gardens and The Rose Bowl.
Kathryn said: “One of the main reasons we established this event was to support food and beverage businesses in Hull and I am delighted to see that a number of them now have permanent sites in Trinity Indoor Market and elsewhere in the city centre.
“Hull Minster will bring a new dimension to the events and the closing time of 9pm will enable the bars, restaurants and café bars around the city to attract the people in and keep the party going.
“Without the support of The Lexington, we may have struggled to host the event so naturally we are very grateful. The funds will help cover infrastructure costs and importantly, will allow us to provide more varied entertainment. We’re looking forward to The Lexington being a big part of Hull Street Food Nights 2019.”
Daniel Rich, General Manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to promote the Lexington Rooftop Bar, which is unique in Hull and will hopefully be one of the bars that people come to after Hull Street Food Nights.
“We want people to know it’s not restricted to hotel residents, it’s open to the public for weddings, parties or just to come in for food and drink. We’ve got a great programme of events including afternoon tea which you could say is the highest high tea in Hull!”
Phil Coldham, whose Hull-based Food 4 Festivals company has operated a Greek stall for the last two years of the event, said: “We work all over the country, mainly at music festivals, and we’ve always done extremely well at Hull Street Food Nights.”
Jess Thorp of design, marketing and events agency Drunk Animal, said: “The rickshaw and the street entertainment are all about adding to the atmosphere of the new location and creating something a little bit different.”
Hull Street Food Nights will take place on Thursday 4 April, Thursday 2 May, Thursday 6 June, Thursday 4 July and Thursday 5 September. And don’t forget the change in routine on Thursday 8 August, when Hull Street Food Night will serve as a delicious starter for the Yum! Festival on Friday 9 August and Saturday 10 August.
All the Hull Street Food Nights will take place from 4pm until 9pm and the Yum! Festival is from 11am until 7pm.
To keep up with the latest news on the variety of stalls and entertainment being served up throughout the summer please visit www.hullbid.co.uk, www.facebook.com/hullstreetfoodnights and www.yumfoodfestival. Plus, follow us on Twitter @HullBID and @YumFoodFest.
[Phil Ascough – Ascough Associates, for HullBID]