Your essential guide to Hull's favourite festival
Welcome to The Guide's Freedom Festival Special 2012. Inside you'll find a comprehensive guide to everything going on at this year's cultural extravaganza, arguably the biggest event of its kind in Yorkshire, and it's all taking place right here, right on your doorstep.
The epicentre of this year's festival will be the city's old Fruit Market and Marina, where historic streets such as Humber Street, Wellington Street, Nelson Street and Queen Street will be brought to life with a dizzying collection of comedy, cabaret, legendary musicians, fringe events and thrusting local talent.
Be sure to check out the Spiegeltent, a spectacular vintage mirrored hall, which will be built especially for the festival in Wellington Street, and the acclaimed Circus Ronaldo, who will be raising their big top on the corner of Queen and Humber Street for the duration of the festivities.
The Spiegeltent and circus will effectively bookend the festival this year with a myriad of entertainment, art galleries, live music stages, bustling markets and street theatre packed in between.
It all kicks off on Friday and runs through to Sunday so be sure to explore every corner of the quarter's historic streets – as you never know what you'll find around the next corner.
Look out also for a packed programme of family fun events taking place in Queens Gardens on Saturday and Sunday, where Shaun the Sheep and the world's biggest bandstand marathon will be entertaining kids and grown-ups alike throughout the weekend.
Several of the roads around the Fruit Market and Queens Gardens will be closed on certain days during Freedom, so it can host its myriad events, so check www.freedomfestival.co.uk and in the Mail to make sure you know which ones.
But enough with the preamble, now's the time to embrace Freedom 2012. In the following pages you'll find something for everyone to enjoy. We'll see you down there and, above all, enjoy!