All of our performances are suitable for the public realm and will not contain graphic descriptions of harmful topics. However, some performances make reference to topics that may be potentially distressing to audiences. Please refer to each event where you see this badge to find out more about its content.
This badge signifies that the performance may require audiences to move and engage with performers on-the-ground, or may feature performers moving around the audience area.
This badge signifies that the performance will contain sudden and/or flashing visual elements (colourful smoke, fireworks, etc.)
This badge signifies that the performance will contain sudden and/or loud sound elements (confetti canons, bangs, fireworks, etc.)
For audiences with a visual impairment, we have Live Audio Description available throughout the Festival. Headsets are available for pick-up and return near the Accessible Viewing Area.
For our D/deaf audiences, the Festival’s spoken sections will be BSL interpreted on stage and on screen. Pre-recorded films will also be captioned.
ACROSS THE FESTIVAL
How serious are the promises we make to one another, the vows we take, or the pledges made by our civic leaders?
This interactive artwork by the New York-based artist behind 2022’s brilliant ‘Key To The City,’ Paul Ramírez Jonas, asks participants to examine the value of their word.
Anyone can contribute pledges declare their promises on to a monumental installation (beneath the Library of Birmingham canopy) exploring what is important to each of us.
They are asked to give their word in a way that’s consistent with their beliefs, such as swearing on a sacred text. That promise is published on a monumental marquee board, placed amongst promises made by politicians, scientists, economists, companies and weather forecasters, all chosen daily from headline news.
Empires, Pioneers & the New Radicals
We are at the very beginning of the 21st century and multiple intersecting crises have become the new norm and the collective struggle for a more beautiful, just and equitable future has never been greater.
But how did we get to this point? We’ll be taking a deep dive into the tangled web of the empire, discovering the stories that weave our past and present, and collectively re-imagine and rebuild a just innovative future.
Take yourself on the AR tour Empires, Pioneers and the New Radicals, which maps Birmingham’s cultural and economic journey from empire to innovation in ten defining moments around Centenary Square.
10 QR codes will be placed throughout Centenary Square for you to scan and explore. If you’d like to know more, guided tours are available on the 4th and 5th of August at 1:15 PM and 3:45 PM, and 6th of August at 1:15 PM. No booking required—pop into Centenary Square and join the tour in front of our screen.
Feeling athletic? Our Have-a-Go Zone delivered in partnership with United By 2022 has something for everyone!
Challenge your family to a game of table tennis, work up a sweat in the boxing ring, take part in an impromptu squash tournament, and even learn how to wield a cricket bat. Activities are open to all ages and skills. Pop in every day for a different activity and get moving!
Watch as our Festival extends out from the stage onto Centenary Square and its surroundings with our brilliant walkabout acts.
Come give them a high-five or join a sudden dance party as they animate the city centre!
Join us at The Exchange for the vibrant Birmingham Festival 2023! As we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, our family-friendly programme offers free exhibitions, activities, trails and talks for all to enjoy.
Immerse yourself in the thought-provoking exhibition “A Place to Call Home,” which explores diverse experiences of home through the lens of the University’s impactful social justice research.
Witness the symbol of the Games’ unity and resilience by getting up close with the iconic Queen’s Baton, a testament to its incredible journey spanning 72 nations. Unleash your creativity and craft your own sports medal at our drop-in family workshop.
Unearth the hidden stories of The Exchange with our knowledgeable tour guides or embark on a self-guided family trail that reveals the secrets behind the building’s materials.
And be sure not to miss our extraordinary special events, including a Soul City Arts ‘nomadic reflection booth’ for Birmingham’s citizens to step inside and scribe and record their most cherished hopes, du’as and prayers, as well as a captivating family talk by the esteemed Professor Alice Roberts, marking the much-anticipated launch of her new children’s novel, Wolf Road.
Full details available on The Exchange website
SAME DAY EVENTS