Frequency Festival returns in 2021 with a theme reflecting our times: Connection

Frequency Festival returns 28-31 October 2021 to animate the streets of Lincoln and exhibit works online for the festival’s 10th anniversary. This year’s theme of Connection is inspired by our desire to reconnect again. It is a response to the environment, digital inequity and re-emerging from the pandemic.

This year, Frequency Festival will have something for everyone in an imaginative fusion of art, heritage, media and culture. The city will host installations and performances, showcasing the invention and creativity of artists, designers and technologists working together. The biennial festival will offer online and real-world encounters as it celebrates 10 years of bringing inventive digital culture into Lincoln’s historic centre.

COVID-19 has separated communities from public spaces in ways previously not experienced. Through artist and technologist collaborations, Frequency Festival weaves itself into the City’s outdoor spaces for people to enjoy new work created by established and emerging artists.

“Frequency Festival is the cultural heartbeat of the amazing city of Lincoln. The pandemic has changed us all forever and, after much careful consideration alongside our city partners, we have decided to proceed with this year’s festival. We want to make sure we can welcome visitors safely, without losing the spirit of play and curiosity that Frequency is famous for. Our audiences embrace adventure and love to discover new things, and in new ways. Now, with the theme of Connection for our 10th anniversary festival, we will go on a new adventure with them.”

Uzma Johal MBE, Director, Threshold Studios

I See You, Urban Projections at Frequency 2019. Photo credit Electric Egg

“It is 10 years since the first festival and now in 2021 after the unprecedented year we’ve all faced, it feels important for an event like Frequency to welcome people back into the city. We want to give people an opportunity to feel some joy in seeing art in the city again.”

Sam Lindley, Director of Programmes, Threshold Studios

The core aim of Frequency Festival is to enable access for all to creative experiences in a digital playground inspiring debate, discussion and discovery. This year’s festival will combine live performances, installations and exhibitions with live and online workshops, panel discussions and talks.

Simon Walters, Director for Communities and Environment at City of Lincoln Council said:

“As Lincoln gets back to normal after the pandemic we are looking forward to Frequency Festival injecting its trademark vibrancy and dynamism into the heart of this historic city. We are working closely with Threshold Studios and our other partners to ensure the safety of residents and visitors as we welcome all to this exciting event during the autumn half-term.”

Frequency Festival was developed by leading creative and cultural agency Threshold Studios in 2011 as part of the Cultural Olympiad funding for the city of Lincoln. The festival hosts a commissioned programme of digital artistic interventions in non-traditional spaces and is free and open to all. Each edition of the festival has seen visitors experience the unexpected, from Virtual Reality in Churches to Turner Prize-winning artists taking over Lincoln Cathedral’s Chapter House.

Professor Mary Stuart CBE, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, said:

“As one of the founding partners, I am very proud to be supporting Frequency Festival’s return in this, its 10th year. From the very beginning, we set out to connect with the city, with audiences and with each other, as cultural partners. This year’s theme of Connection couldn’t be more fitting.”

hand touching window with copper tape on it
Continuity, Nadya Monfrinoli and Robin Williamson at Frequency Festival 2019. Photo credit Electric Egg

The curation of this year’s festival celebrates as well as questions the efficacy and increase in the reliance on screens that has relieved people’s isolation during the pandemic. Frequency Festival is built on a foundation of enabling digital equity and yet the pandemic has highlighted how much digital inequality exists. The festival will be a platform for artists and audiences alike to examine, contemplate and playfully think about communication and connection.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said:

“Frequency Festival combines experiences in the fantastic medieval surroundings of Lincoln with futuristic visual technology. It brings some of the best contemporary digital art to the heart of the historic city as well as marking an important milestone in the cultural recovery following Covid. This 10th-year anniversary edition will inspire more people to embrace culture through technology giving audiences the opportunity to attend in person or to enjoy the experience virtually.”

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Frequency Festival is produced by Threshold Studios, in partnership with the University of Lincoln and supported using public funding by Arts Council England. The event is driven by a dynamic city wide collaboration of public sector organisations, along with support from the business community.