Media Release: 12 July 2017
Headline DJs Craig Charles (6 Music), David Rodigan (1Xtra) and Don Letts (6 Music) invite members of the public to join them on the dance floor as part of Birmingham Weekender’s Square Dance produced in association with the Moseley Folk team from 22 – 24 September in Victoria Square.
Over three days music and dance will take over in the heart of the city on a giant wooden dance floor in front of Birmingham Council House. Hour by hour audiences can experience disco to folk, Bhangra to Northern Soul as well as striking Kathakali dancers visiting especially for Weekender from India followed by live music and heavyweight DJs each evening.
Don Letts (6 Music) headlines the Square Dance stage on Friday 22 September from 7.30pm, the perfect way to start the Birmingham Weekender experience. Don Letts’ reputation has been firmly established in both the film and music world by a substantial body of work from the late 70’s through the 80’s, 90’s and well into the millennium. Don Letts came to notoriety in the late 70’s as the DJ that single handedly turned a whole generation of punks onto Reggae.
1Xtra’s David Rodigan takes the helm on Saturday 23 September at 8pm. For over 35 years David Rodigan has been the top dog in the bass-heavy atmosphere of Britain’s reggae dance-halls. He developed an obsession with the music of Jamaica that generated an encyclopaedic knowledge of the island’s every artist, every song and every rhythm track. In February 2013 he joined the BBC to present a new weekly reggae show on Radio 1Xtra.
Sunday 24 September sees Square Dance brought to a close with the legendary actor, host and broadcaster Craig Charles, one of UK’s most beloved funk and soul DJs. From Robot Wars to Red Dwarf, Craig has now grounded himself as a funk and soul icon after 10 years of broadcasting on BBC 6 Music with their primetime Saturday night show.
Gerv Havill, Moseley Folk Festival said: “Confirmation of such heavyweight headline DJs is fantastic news for Square Dance and Birmingham Weekender. What better way to spend your weekend than dancing on our huge dance floor and enjoying these live DJ sets – and it’s all free!”
If headline DJs aren’t enough, throughout the weekend Square Dance will host live performances from The Electric Swing Circus, Barbara Nice’s Alternative Office Party, Motown in Dub and Cut a Shine. Free dance classes will take place on the giant wooden dance floor during the whole weekend including Northern Soul Dance Classes from the Night Owl, Break Dancing with The Break Mission Crew, Barn Dance Hoe Down with Cut A Shine, Appalachian Flatfoot Dancing, Iyengar Yoga with the Iyengar Institute, Drum ‘n’ Bounce, Capoeira from The Brazilain Cultural Centre, Charleston and Jazz Steps with DanceXchange, Bollytone with Hina Chavda and Rapper Sword Dancing from Stone Monkey.
Refreshments over the weekend will include gourmet street food for all tastes, Purity Real Ales and fine imported lagers, wine, fizz and cocktails by the jug.
Festival Directors, Graham Callister (Birmingham Hippodrome) and Piali Ray (Sampad) added: “We are excited that Square Dance will be a hub for the whole Weekender, a place where there is always something to see, listen to and move to and somewhere to re-fuel whilst enjoying live performances before heading back out across the city to find more Weekender fun!”
Square Dance is sponsored by Purity Real Ales and EH Smith. The full Square Dance programme will be online during the summer.
Birmingham Weekender is brought to the city by Culture Central, the cultural development agency for Birmingham.
Birmingham Retail BID, Colmore BID, Bullring, Mailbox, Bull Ring Markets and BCU have confirmed as event sponsors alongside funding support from Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England. Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce at confirmed as Business Partner, Midland Metro are Travel Partner and What’s On are Media Partner for Birmingham Weekender 2017.
Birmingham Weekender 2017 is proud to be part of Utsav, Birmingham’s Year of South Asian Culture.
For more information, contact Helen Annetts, PR on behalf of Birmingham Weekender, on 07779026720 or email HelenLAnnetts@hotmail.co.uk
Notes to Editors:
About Birmingham Weekender
The award-winning Birmingham Weekender promises a packed weekend of free outdoor theatre, music, art installations and performance from Broad Street to Eastside, including the city’s retail heart. With opportunities to take part and watch as the weekend unfolds, the city’s streets, shops and squares will come alive with something to entertain and delight all the family.
About Culture Central
Culture Central is the collective voice and development organisation for culture in the Birmingham City region. Culture Central has been created by a founding group of cultural organisations with the purpose of placing culture and creativity at the centre of economic and social future of the region. Culture Central work closely with a growing range of anchor institutions including universities and the business sector alongside an increasingly wide group of cultural and creative organisations.
Culture Central members include:
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Birmingham Museums Trust
Birmingham Opera Company
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Birmingham Royal Ballet
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
Sampad South Asian Arts
Town Hall Symphony Hall