Rolling Stones in Kings Heath

Celebration planned for anniversary of city debut.

Nearly four hours of live music and the screening of a new documentary will make up a special Rolling Stones Festival in King’s Heath on Saturday 14th September to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first-ever performance in Birmingham at the former Ritz Ballroom

On 14th September 1963 they played one of their first gigs outside London and their first in Birmingham at the Ritz Ballroom. Later the same night they went on to perform at the Plaza in Old Hill, another of the clubs owned by Irish couple Ma and Pa Regan. The next evening they had to return to London to play at The Great Pop Prom at the Royal Albert Hall!

Starting at 1 pm at Fletchers Bar on York Road opposite the former ballroom with the screening of a new documentary about the early days of the Rolling Stones, top local musicians will then perform their favourite Rolling Stones songs from 3pm to 7pm. Many special guests have been invited including the Modernaires, who were the resident band at The Ritz in the 1960s.

Advance tickets costing £4 are now available from the Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road or Any remaining tickets will be sold on the day for £5 but tickets for a similar event in February to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles appearance at The Ritz sold out well in advance.

Local residents Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker who are organising the event said “The Rolling Stones are one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time and it is amazing to think that they once played in King’s Heath.  We are determined to keep the spirit of the Ritz alive despite the fire that destroyed the building in March. We have already held some great events this year to celebrate appearances at the ballroom by the Beatles, the Kinks and Dusty Springfield but we want as many Stones fans as possible to come to King’s Heath on 14thSeptember to make this the biggest and best so far”.

An impressive list of local musicians have already agreed to perform but any others interested in playing at the festival should contact [email protected]