As the city prepares to play host to the Birmingham 2022 Festival we take a look at what to expect and select a few of our favourite highlights.
“The Birmingham 2022 Festival will be the biggest celebration of creativity ever seen in the region and one of the largest ever cultural programmes to surround the Commonwealth Games.”
WHAT IS THE BIRMINGHAM 2022 FESTIVAL?
It’s a £12 million, six-month long celebration showcasing an impressive programme of creativity from across the whole city. Those joining in will get the chance to perform in some of the biggest cultural events this year, including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
There are more than 200 events planned, from a spectacular open-air show, brand-new Birmingham inspired album and immersive 3D experiences to photography exhibitions, a city centre forest of magical proportions and even a tap-dancing record attempt.
With events running from this month through to September, it’s guaranteed to put Birmingham and the West Midlands’ creativity, ambition, heritage and diversity on a global stage.
STYLE BIRMINGHAM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
Wondrous Stories with Motionhouse: Centenary Square, Birmingham
17 March, 7pm; 18-20 March, 6.30pm and 8.30pm – free and un-ticketed
This open-air show kick-offs the Birmingham 2022 Festival and features the internationally-renowned professional dance-circus company alongside a mass cast of hundreds from local dance groups. Expect 0arge-scale immersive action and plenty of thrills as stories, a giant book and characters tumble out of the night sky.
Time Travel Tram: West Midlands Metro Route
(both directions between the city centre and Wolverhampton)
21 March-30 September
This immersive experience thrusts passengers back in time, transforming the view from the tram window into a 3D visual of people and places from the region’s past. The trip is accompanied by a contemporary soundtrack created by some of the West Midlands’ most exciting musicians and performers.
We are Birmingham: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
29 April-1 October, 10am – 5pm
To celebrate the opening of BMAG, with an exciting transformation of its iconic Round Room. We Are Birmingham reflects the people of 21st century using items from the city’s collections. It’s a culmination of a three-year programme to understand how Birmingham celebrates and reflects on itself in an innovative and contemporary way.
Key To The City – Paul Ramírez Jonas and Fierce: Locations across Birmingham and Solihull
28 May-7 August
Ever fancied the freedom of the city? Well now’s your chance. This project allows you to award the Key to the City to whomever you want, for whatever reason you want. No background checks necessary, all previous sins will be overlooked! The result will form part of Fierce’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert: Symphony Hall, Birmingham
2 June, 7.30pm
To celebrate 70 years of service, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will perform a selection of works from throughout Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
One Giant Leap for Humankind by Jacob Chandler: Eastern Plaza, Birmingham New Street Station
16 June-5 September
This striking sculpture by Jacob Chandler captures the bold powerful lines, beautifully juxtaposed with the fluidity of the athlete. It’s linked to the Commonwealth Games with a toposcope denoting the direction and distance to each participating country, while a QR code and webpage allows interaction with augmented reality artifacts.
B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival: Birmingham Hippodrome, Bullring & Grand Central
The free festival returns, celebrating all things Hip-Hop and showcasing the UK’s finest talents from across all four elements of Hip-Hop: breakin’, graffiti, DJing and MCing.
Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
With a live audience of 30,000 at the newly redeveloped Alexander Stadium and broadcast to 1.5 billion people around the Commonwealth, the Opening Ceremony is a once in a lifetime showcase for the region. Executive Producer is Steven Knight CBE, creator and writer of famous export, Peaky Blinders.
PoliNations Trigger Collective: Victoria Square, Birmingham
Step into a city-centre forest garden of magical proportions where you will be welcomed by an epic array of colour and nature. The area will play host to a free events programme, including music from around the world, a light show each evening and a grand finale where the giant architectural canopies will burst into a joyful cloud of confetti and colour.