Return of Yum! Festival attracts huge crowds to boost city centre businesses

HullBID’s summer of sensational food celebrations brough thousands of people to the city’s Fruit Market area as the third of this year’s Hull Street Food Nights was followed by the return of the Yum! Festival of Food and Drink.

Traders taking part in the back-to-back events were inundated with hungry hordes eager to try cuisine from around the world, with sweet and savoury delights served up from stalls lining Hull Marina.

Non-food businesses including those based permanently in Humber Street welcomed the events as a huge boost for business and Kathryn Shillito, HullBID Executive Director, said there will be more to come.

Kathryn said: “The response to our events programme has been amazing and we will soon be announcing more attractions with particular emphasis on family fun. We are planning a big steampunk festival – a first for Hull – in October and we are in the process of organising some dinosaur street entertainment on Saturday 17 September.

“There’s also the fourth of this year’s Hull Street Food Nights still to come and we’re now working on ideas to pull in the crowds for Christmas and into 2023. With all of this we work closely with city centre businesses to ensure our events are proven crowd-pullers which deliver bottom-line benefits.

“The latest in our Hull Street Food Nights programme was another huge success and our first Yum! Festival since 2019 was phenomenal, featuring local businesses as well as a bit more variety from further afield and generating welcome trade for businesses in all sectors across the city centre.”

Visitors to Yum! were able to tuck into everything from burgers and bangers to Greek specialities, Indian spice, Singapore noodles and Jamaican jerk chicken as well as pizza, pies and other pastry.

For those with a sweet tooth there was an array of cookies, cupcakes, fudges, brownies and other assorted bakes.

As the sun shone the bar area complete with disco was buzzing with traders including local businesses Taphouse, Tribal and Atom.

Selo Ozguc, Manager of Tasty sandwich bar and café overlooking Hull Marina, was also delighted with the crowds who were lining up to buy the gelato which is a speciality.

Selo said: “We are always busy because people like what we do, especially the gelato. It is the first time we have had Yum! down here and it’s a great festival which has made us even busier so we would like to see more events down here.”

Caroline Birchall told how Yum! has helped her business, Laura’s Fudge, make an impact nationwide with an outlet at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and as a supplier to major brands including Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

Caroline said: “We do about a dozen festivals a year and we’ve been to Yum! four or five times. It’s the first one we’ve done in this part of the city. It’s a really nice area and it’s very busy.”

Alex Powell, working at The Hot Waffle stall, said the festival provided a big boost for a business which was launched during lockdown and is now taking off. With his day job being at LabelWorx in Humber Street, Alex also noticed the increase in footfall.

He said: “This is our first year doing markets and festivals and Yum! has been absolutely great for us. Events like this are key to local businesses. Our policy is to support local because there are people out there trying to make a living doing things from home that have turned into businesses.

“A lot of the products you get from these people are far better quality than you get from chains they are much more affordable and everyone supporting each other is better for the economy and for the city.”

An additional attraction at Yum! was the Good Things Market which was launched in 2019 by the owners of Humber Street businesses Form and Plant & Paint and which returned last year.

The market, which will be back in Humber Street on Sunday 28 August, normally brings together about 40 traders with half coming from Hull and East Yorkshire and the rest from as far as Brighton and Edinburgh. For Yum!, the event featured 20 traders on the Friday and a different 20 on Saturday.

Lara Roberts, owner of Plant & Paint, said: “Our first market after Covid was summer 2021 and we did one in the winter and another in spring. This one is a special edition purely for Yum! and the next will tie in with Freedom Festival so we’re back with a bang!

“It has a really positive knock-on effect. People come here ready to spend money on indie businesses and it’s really good for the shops and the cafes as well.”

The final Hull Street Food Night this year will take place in Zebedee’s Yard on Thursday 8 September from 4pm until 9pm. It will feature many of the traders from the three previous events this year and the Yum! Festival, as well as a programme of live entertainment.