Hull’s biggest festival for emerging talent is aiming to make this year’s event the greenest yet.
Now in its eighth year, award-winning Humber Street Sesh returns on Friday, August 2, and Saturday, August 3, with 200 acts performing on 14 stages across Hull’s waterfront.
Last year saw the grass roots music festival double in size and add an extra day. The addition of Friday night and the extension of the site to the west side of Hull Marina gave Sesh organisers the freedom to invite some of the UK’s hottest new talent to perform, this year including The Hunna, The Blinders, Yonaka, The Hubbards, Marsicans, Life and King No One.
Crowd numbers are set to rival the 32,000 who came last year and organisers are hoping to inspire Sesh-goers to go green by ditching single-use plastic in favour of reusable cups and bottles with free water stations provided by Countrywise Water Coolers.
Leading the way is the University of Hull, Sesh Principal Partner and sponsor of the Main Stage, which is once again operating a cup swap scheme across the three main festival bars, with the provision of reusable drinking cups that can be used across the site. The University is also supporting the provision of recycling points across the festival.
Hull Trains is sponsoring the Dead Bod Stage and promotional activity will include free branded multi-use water bottles. Wilberforce Sixth Form College is also sponsoring the Youth Stage, which is solar-powered, and Wilberforce students are producing a work of art from plastic that will be showcased in the Wilberforce Snapchat tent.
All food vendors on site are also being encouraged to use compostable food packaging and fully recyclable cups for hot and cold drinks.
Humber Street Sesh Director Dave Mays said: “The Sesh continues to get bigger and better each year, but we want it to grow sustainably in more ways than one. That’s why we want to encourage people to do the right thing by avoiding single-use plastic.
“At last year’s Sesh 38,000 plastic water bottles were disposed of, so we really want to encourage green practices and promote reusable options this year and for future festivals.
“This drive has been spearheaded by the University of Hull and supported by Hull Trains and Wilberforce College – they’re all contributing to our mission to make the festival greener.
“The University introduced reusable cups last year to raise awareness of the environmental impact of single-use plastic and, with them, we’re encouraging even more people to use them this year.
“We’ve also got water filling stations dotted around so people can top up water bottles and we’ll have five recycling bins across the festival site so people can act responsibly. The army of Sesh production staff are setting an example by using the water stations and recyclable paper cups.”
All of the Fruit Market will be a hive of activity at this year’s Sesh. For the first time, businesses will be open the full length of Humber Street, with many new family-friendly attractions taking place around the C4DI building and the Stage@The Dock amphitheatre.
Funfair rides, the Hull Scrapstore, Beats Bus and family area will be located in front of the C4DI tech hub. More fair rides will be sited in the Wellington Street and Nelson Street areas, while there will be face painting and art activities in another family area on Victoria Pier.
Stage@TheDock will host the Hip Hop Amphitheatre, while music fans will be able to enjoy artists on the Strummerville Stage in the new Humber Street performance venue and on the Youth Stage in Wellington Street.
Traders in and around Humber Street are supporting the drive to make Humber Street Sesh more eco-friendly.
Most are already signed up to the nationwide campaign Refill, which encourages people to carry a reusable bottle instead of buying a plastic one. People can stop and refill their water bottle wherever they see a Refill sticker.
Natalia Cleary, Fruit Market Events & Community Co-ordinator, said: “All the Fruit Market traders are excited about Humber Street Sesh and they’re getting involved in all sorts of ways.
“They’re also fully behind the green drive. Businesses in the Fruit Market are committed to sustainable and ethical business practices and have led the way in Hull in supporting the Refill campaign.
“This year the Fruit Market is playing a big part in Humber Street Sesh, so we want to get the message out that there will be so much to enjoy on both sides of the Marina. Family-friendly activities will be focused on the heart of the Fruit Market and around C4DI, so we’re urging families to make the most of everything that’s going on there.”
[John Meehan – Meehan Media & Comms]