Last year, Birmingham and the wider West Midlands delivered a summer like no other, hosting the largest multi-sport event in England in a decade.
I had the privilege of working for the Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee and with a brilliant team to imagine what a cultural festival for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games could and should be in 2022. We worked closely with the amazing cultural sector here – artists, creative organisations and community groups – and with supportive funding partners, to develop an ambitious vision where culture amplifies these moments to bring about impact that changes people’s lives. We also managed to find joy through some of the most challenging times, and committed to have some FUN, which reached a fever pitch during the Games – everyone was their best selves; the city looked, sounded, and felt incredible and it wasn’t just because the sun shone throughout.
It was because Birmingham worked hard and did itself proud.
So, this year, with Birmingham City Council and the backing of the Commonwealth Games Federation, we want to conjure the memories and energy of last year into a different but familiar shape that invites people to re-see Birmingham 2022, re-share some of incredible artwork, projects and stories that were created, and remember how joyous it was to welcome in the world with creativity and talent. We might not have all the sporting action on the big screen or the thousands of athletes to host, but we will acknowledge the ambition and hope they brought here, and the glory they left behind to inspire us.
We only look back to move forward – like the mythical West African Sankofa Bird (or a ‘push-me, pull-you’ if that’s more your kind of thing?). Whilst this year’s Festival will pay homage to the Games, it will do so by creating another quality platform for homegrown talent, giving more space to showcase our creative communities, and by inviting new voices to take centre stage.
I’m delighted to be working with more brilliant people again – some already known and some exciting new relationships – and we’ll all have lots more to say and to update on over the coming months. Please follow Festival 23 socials, keep in touch, and watch this space…
On behalf of the whole #BiriminghamFestival23 team,
Creative Director, Birmingham Festival 23
Birmingham Festival 23 Full Evaluation Demonstrates Positive Impact on the City
Image: zero G by Corey Baker Dance / Lensi Photography Birmingham Festival 23 today shares the full evaluation results that demonstrate the positive…
Key Outcomes Shared – New Festival 23 Wrap Film
Take a look at our final wrap film, featuring some key insights from our independent evaluation.
So – that’s a wrap, Birmingham!
Thanks so much for supporting us over 9 days and 10 nights of live, free performance and culture. We’ve had a great…
One week to go!
Our opening event One City, A Thousand Memories is just 7 days away! Updates to the programme include Ginny Lemon, Colin Jackson…
Full Programme Announced
…and it’s all FREE for everyone! Music, Dance, Spoken Word, Digital Artworks, Have-A-Go Activities and Installations… Birmingham Festival 23 has it all.…