A guide to the city’s biggest festival, taking place this weekend.
Birmingham Weekender 2017 returns this weekend bringing over 160 scheduled performances, 600+ artists and 26 new commissions. The three day festival features performances and events from the city’s major arts organisations, independent artists and especially invited international artists. The programme covers dance, music, theatre, exhibitions and visual arts and talks.
With over 160 performances there is plenty to see. Here’s a simple guide to navigating the city as well as a reminder of some of the more unexpected places to visit.
Local residents should get on their bike, walk or catch a bus, metro or train! Plan your journey at www.networkwestmidlands.com and make sure you know when the last train or bus home leaves the city centre.
Taking the Tram should be especially fun on Saturday and Sunday, so even if you don’t need to catch a tram to get from a to b, make sure you hop on board to enjoy TVs Lorraine Bowen and Figs in Wigs on Saturday and Birmingham’s own Mrs Barbara Nice on Sunday. Public transport has quite simply never been so much fun.
London Midland managing director, Patrick Verwer, said: “The arts have a unique ability to bring people together. At London Midland we believe that getting closer to the communities we serve helps us develop and deliver better train services. That is why we were so keen to get on-board with this year’s Birmingham Weekender.”
For people from further afield travelling by car remember there will be a number of road and access restrictions both as a result of Birmingham Weekender but also due to on-going development in the city and on Sunday 24 September for Velo Birmingham. Check details before you travel at www.birmingham.gov.uk/connected and www.velobirmingham.com
The map in the Birmingham Weekender brochure, which is available to download or pick up from venues across the city, covers all the events and performances so you can work out what’s on and where. If in doubt one of our 100+ volunteers will be happy to help. Look out for them in their Birmingham Weekender t-shirts ready and willing to help you navigate the festival and keep you up to date on any changes.
Our volunteers can also remind you about venues not normally open to ensure you don’t miss out. The Bull Ring Rag and Open Markets will be open on Sunday 24 September and festival goers can browse exciting items on offer, alongside interactive performances, installations and quirky stalls – so you can stock up while enjoying the fun.
Amanda Prosser-Davies, Operations Manager, Bull Ring Markets said: “We are delighted to be open on Sunday 24 September for Birmingham Weekender and that alongside our usual traders shoppers will experience some more unusual stalls. For Weekender visitors who’ve never visited our markets before it’s an opportunity to explore the stalls at the Open Market and stalls in the Rag Market where you’ll find everything from fruit, veg to household goods.”
You can get all the latest Birmingham Weekender information direct to your mobile by downloading the Culture Cake app – your essential guide to Weekender and beyond! Culture Cake is a digital Weekender brochure, with full details on all the events, shows and performances happening across the whole festival weekend – and in the (unlikely!) event of rain, it will also keep you informed of any wet-weather changes to the schedule. Volunteers and social media will also keep you informed of wet-weather changes.
Birmingham Weekender is committed to making as much of the festival as accessible as possible. Once again, Weekender will be providing BSL-interpreted and audio described performances across the festival.
Birmingham Weekender is brought to the city by Culture Central, the cultural development agency for Birmingham. Weekender demonstrates the cultural ethos and spirit in the city as we celebrate that Birmingham is the candidate city for a potential UK Commonwealth Games 2022.