Announcing the Frequency 2021 programme!

28 September, 2021

Frequency Festival 2021: Connection

Meet a 9-meter inflatable robot snail, explore AR technology showing pollution in real-time and hear 3D immersive sound from streets around the world.

A large inflatable snail, lit from within with a young child reaching up to touch it.Frequency Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary by looking to the future with a commitment to creative innovation and finding new ways for audiences and artists to connect through digital, electronic and hybrid art.

With its theme of Connection, this year’s festival is a platform for artists and audiences alike to examine, contemplate and playfully think about communication and connection.

Over its 10 years in a rapidly changing digital environment, Frequency has consistently pushed forward new ideas, championed creatives who use technology in thought-provoking ways and engaged deeply with place and community.

Festival highlights include:

  • Luma, a gigantic 9m long inflatable snail created by Air Giants that shows us a new possible future for robotics.
  • 5000 miles is an immersive audio experience transporting you through the evocative sounds of another culture using spatial audio technology and ambisonic 3D recording. Created by Ithaca Studios, and commissioned by Digital Democracies, 5000 miles will be premiering a new lightscape to complement the immersive audio installation at Frequency Festival.
  • monolith is an audio online adventure into eternity using meditation and mindfulness to take you on an adventure just beyond your perception. All you need is a device connected to the internet and some headphones. Monolith is created by Zest working with young people from across the country and is a Frequency premiere.
  • Digital Atmosphere created by Studio Above&Below uses cutting-edge technology to show us what we’re breathing. Inspired by investigations into early air pollution devices, from the canary in the mine onwards, the sculpture’s Atmo Sensor picks up the invisible changes in the air quality of the surrounding environment. This data is then translated by the artists into an evocative audio-visual simulation, visible only through the VR headset.
  • WE-Hope tells first-hand histories of migration and separation through visuals, sound and song. Digital visuals by Zach Walker combine with a choral composition by Juliet Russell to create a moving experience which honours these emotional memories. WE-Hope will include two exclusive performances from local Lincoln choirs, led by Juliet Russell.

A person wearing virtual reality goggles reaches in front of them to touch a stream of blue bubbles flowing through a box with a hole in it.Darren Henley, CEO at Arts Council England, said:

“We know creativity has the power to connect people, and after what has been an extraordinarily challenging time for most, it’s great to see people being given the chance to come together, discover new things, and to explore the digital world through immersive street art, live streams and performances. We’re very proud to invest in Frequency Festival as it brings artists, creatives, and local people together in Lincoln to celebrate the very best emerging and developing digital culture.”

Uzma Johal MBE, Director, Threshold Studios said:

“After a year of isolation and disconnection, Frequency 2021 offers an opportunity to connect and explore outdoor spaces once more. We have brought together a wonderful range of artists and creators to present new projects that will surprise and delight, inspiring people to come together safely within the city and with each other. It has always been Frequency’s priority to ensure everyone can access the festival, so it’s fantastic that we have been able to bring the Festival back this year with outdoor and online artworks that illuminate Lincoln in a relevant, joyous and digitally innovative way.”

Samantha Lindley, Director of Programmes, Threshold Studios said:

“This year’s festival programme is all about reconnecting, and how culture plays its part in bringing us back to our public spaces as we return to our cities and towns. The work we present celebrates creativity and change, and the festival programme this year shows how artists have innovated and pivoted in their work and practice to ensure that we remain connected to audiences and we can transform our day to day experiences. For the last ten years, Frequency Festival has been a unique platform for artists creating work at the edge of technology and we’ve seen the city thrive as it comes alive with digital encounters that provoke, surprise and inspire. This year we’re excited to host new works for Lincoln, including Air Giants and their illuminated soft robotics, and Ithaca’s 5,000 miles, transporting you to the faraway places we’ve been so disparate from for the last year and longer.”

High Streets Heritage Action Zone

Frequency 2021 is also supported by the High Streets Heritage Action Zone Cultural Programme in Lincoln, as part of a nationwide initiative by Historic England and the Department of Culture Media and Sport, designed to secure lasting improvements to our historic high streets for the communities who use them.

The first of many events to come, Frequency will be animating the Cornhill area of Lincoln with interactive digital artworks and street performances including a brand new piece by artist and storyteller Thomas Buckley, placed outside the oldest church in Lincoln, St Mary le Wigford.

Lighting installation with a cloud and sheets of rain/light

Simon Boase, High Streets Cultural Programme Manager, said:

“It’s great to be supporting the High Street HAZ Cultural Programme in Lincoln. The range of amazing festivals and other activities planned within the programme will be a fantastic way for residents and visitors to be inspired and to experience what makes Lincoln unique. I hope to see a great number of people engaging with the events and celebrating their local high street.”

Frequency Festival was developed by leading creative and cultural agency Threshold Studios, in partnership with the University of Lincoln, as part of the Cultural Olympiad funding for the city of Lincoln. The inaugural Frequency Festival was a part of the Igniting Ambition Festival 2011.

In the past decade, Frequency has hosted over 500 local, national and international artists in Lincoln, exhibiting their work to over 75,000 visitors. The festival has brought record numbers of visitors to Lincoln and contributed an estimated £1.9 million to the local economy since 2015.

Abigail Woods, Pro Vice Chancellor/Head of College of Arts, University of Lincoln, said:

“The University of Lincoln’s College of Arts is delighted to support the return of Frequency Festival. We celebrate its showcasing of innovative, digital creations that promise to re-engage audiences and reshape their relationships with the City of Lincoln.”

Audience Safety

To keep audiences safe this October, the team have put extra measures in place for staff, volunteers, artists, and audiences. One key difference is that this year’s festival is smaller in scale, takes place outdoors and online with more intimate interactions.

The artworks will be located throughout central Lincoln including St Marks Garden, Cornhill and Lower High Street from Thursday 28 to Sunday 31 October, 12pm-8pm.


To find out more head over to our 2021 Programme pages and keep an eye out for more announcements coming soon.

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