Hull Vigil: Hundreds snap up chance to keep rooftop look-out

image copyrightBenjamin Tovo
image captionHull is the first UK city to host the vigil, the work of choreographer Joanne Leighton

Hundreds of people have snapped up the chance to spend an hour high above a Yorkshire city in a glass and wood box keeping vigil at sunrise or sunset.

Hull Vigil is an art installation which will see 730 people - two per day for a year - keeping watch from a purpose-built pod on the roof of Hull College.

The year-long series of vigils is due to start at around sunset on 3 May.

Mikey Martins, from Hull Freedom Festival, said those taking part would "watch the choreography of the city".

The 730 separate vigil slots were all taken within seven hours of booking opening and the waiting list is currently closed, said organisers.

The event is run by Hull Freedom Festival, which celebrates the city's links with anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce.

image copyrightTom Arran
image captionMikey Martins said vigil participants would "watch the choreography of the city"
image copyrightNikola Milatovic
image captionA similar vigil has already taken place looking over Graz in Austria

Mr Martins, the festival's artistic director, said of the vigils: "You have your private moment, but become part of a collective."

Each participant is expected to spend the vigil without phone or camera, but with a panoramic view of the city, the River Hull, the Humber estuary and Humber Bridge.

After keeping vigil for an hour, participants will be photographed and their thoughts will be compiled in a book.

The shelter will be visible from vantage points in the city including Queens Gardens and is to be illuminated throughout the performance.

People in Hull had shown "such enthusiasm for interesting experiences", said Mr Martins.

He added it was "the right time to do something like this" after a tough year for everyone.

The project is due to end with a sunrise vigil at about 05:21 GMT on 3 May 2022.

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