Retail Birmingham together with Birmingham Hippodrome and the city’s major arts organisations, are coming together to stage a spectacular weekend of free outdoor arts and fashion events across Birmingham this September.
Birmingham Weekender will bring Birmingham to life with music, fashion, dance, theatre, art, literature and food across the city centre, taking place from 25 – 27 September to celebrate the opening of the newly transformed New Street Station, Grand Central Shopping Centre and The Mailbox and will run alongside Style Birmingham Live, the annual city centre fashion and shopping event of the year.
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.
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 8 Fashion Shows throughout the weekend at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s stunning Gas Hall.
Steve Hewlett, from Retail Birmingham, the Business Improvement District for the city centre retail area said: “September will be a huge month for shopping in Birmingham with the much anticipated launch of Grand Central and the redeveloped Mailbox plus the return of Retail Birmingham’s flagship fashion and shopping event, Style Birmingham Live. Birmingham Weekender will be a great boost to visitors coming to the city during this exciting time and highlights the important cross-over between Birmingham’s cultural and retail offer in positioning the city as a must-visit destination.”
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.
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 BID, 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 shortly. 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.