· Birmingham Weekender is a weekend of free outdoor performances, art and activities taking place 25 – 27 September across the city-centre.
· Birmingham’s major arts organisations will celebrate the city through music, dance, theatre, food, fashion and much more.
· Birmingham Weekender marks the opening of the newly transformed New Street Station and coincides with Style Birmingham Live and the Rugby World Cup.
Birmingham’s major arts organisations are coming together to stage an ambitious weekend of free outdoor arts across Birmingham this September.Birmingham Weekender will bring Birmingham to life with music, dance, theatre, art, literature, food and fashion across the city centre, taking place from 25 – 27 September.
Birmingham Weekender supports the opening of the newly transformed New Street Station and coincides with the Rugby World Cup and Style Birmingham Live.Birmingham Weekender will embrace the brilliance of local and international arts and artists, providing an opportunity for residents and city visitors to enjoy two amazing days out! Audiences will find wonderful sights and sounds around every corner, from dance performances at the top of the city’s car parks to a large-scale magnificent orchestra of bell ringing above the city.
A musical picnic will take over Victoria Square during the day, with an ensemble of Pakistani, Indian and Kashmiri musicians working with Jamaican reggae musicians to create a new inter-cultural orchestra in the evening. Dance inspired by the famous Haka alongside an introduction to ballet will appear in Centenary Square. Music, dance, roaming street-theatre and art will take visitors by surprise in shops and department stores with performances inside, outside and in shop windows.There will be plenty of chances for all the family to get involved with drawing, dancing and learning something new. The best street food from the region will serve amazing international cuisine which will keep audiences fuelled up to enjoy the whole weekend.
Style Birmingham Live will take fashion to the art with Fashion Shows throughout the weekend at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Roxana Silbert, Creative Director of Birmingham Weekender, and Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre said: “Birmingham is leading the way with this level of collaboration across the city’s arts and cultural organisations. We have relationships with some of the best national and international companies and artists in the world. Birmingham Weekender is an opportunity to showcase Birmingham as a regenerated city, full of vibrancy and optimism and for audiences will be an amazing, surprising and inspiring couple of days out!”
Graham Callister, Director of Creative Programmes, Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Birmingham Weekender builds on the success of 4 Squares Weekender which took place in 2013 and saw over 90,000 people experience great art and culture over two days in Birmingham. For Birmingham Weekender visitors can expect Birmingham’s central civic squares and shopping district to be animated with both spectacular and small-scale performance, live music and dance, visual art, and opportunities for the whole family to get involved. The weekend will build on Birmingham’s reputation as a cultural destination demonstrating that the city offers something new for visitors on every visit.”
Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Visit Birmingham, said: “Birmingham has firmly established itself as one of the UK’s most vibrant centres for culture, shopping and cuisine – testament to this is the record breaking 944,000 international visits we received last year. We have long recognised that September will present the city with a fantastic opportunity to build on its reputation as a leading visitor destination. The Birmingham Weekender is the perfect way to pay tribute to the strength of the city’s cultural offer and celebrate in style.
“Birmingham’s civic landscape will see a dramatic transformation this autumn – from the unveiling of the £600 million redeveloped New Street Station launch to the refurbished luxury shopping centre The Mailbox. This, coupled with landmark sporting events like the Rugby World Cup, ensures an incredibly exciting programme for visitors worldwide – we look forward to hosting a weekend to remember!”
Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Birmingham has an international reputation for producing and receiving great artistic work, and this summer an explosion of cultural events will light up the city. There’s a wealth of arts and cultural organisations in Birmingham and we are proud to support many of them. Events like this help shape the reputation and image of a city and it is great that so much exciting work is being generated in Birmingham.”
Birmingham Weekender is produced by Birmingham Hippodrome on behalf of Birmingham Arts Partnership, which includes Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Ikon Gallery, Sampad South Asian Arts, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The Drum, mac birmingham, Town Hall Symphony Hall, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Birmingham Royal Ballet, DanceXchange, Ex Cathedra and Birmingham Opera Company.
Birmingham Weekender is organised in partnership with Retail Birmingham, Birmingham City Council and Marketing Birmingham, with additional support from Birmingham City University. It is supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and European Regional Development Funding.
The full programme will be announced next month. People local to Birmingham, as well as people travelling in for the weekend, should plan on staying in the City and making a day of it. Keep an eye on social media for more information about Birmingham Weekender itself as well as for travel advice as the weekend approaches.
For further information on events taking place in the region this autumn, visit the Visit Birmingham website. Follow @BhamWeekender #BhamWE and like www.facebook.com/BhamWeekender.