Birmingham Weekender to Return in 2019

  • Planning confirmed for Birmingham Weekender 2019 – remind yourself of how fantastic Weekender 2017 was! See for our video!

  • Plan your outdoor cultural highlights for 2018 from dance at Birmingham International Dance Festival 2018 in the city centre to classical music in Sutton Park with everything from Hip Hop, Film and Circus in between.

  • Birmingham Weekender is the cultural blueprint for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme – hear about the city’s cultural ambitions here

Culture Central, the development organisation for culture in the Birmingham city region, has confirmed that planning will begin this year for Birmingham Weekender 2019, which take place 27 – 29 September 2019.

To coincide with the news, the team are releasing two short films: a short highlight trailer from Weekender ‘17 and a longer film that begins to share our wider ambitions for the sector – particularly in light of the announcement that the Commonwealth Games is coming to Birmingham in 2022.

The films highlight the impact Weekender ‘17 had across the city as music, dance and theatre took over the streets, the City’s squares, shopping centres, car parks, the train station and onboard trams from the heart of the city out to mac Birmingham and Eastside Park. Generating an economic impact of £2.7m Weekender ‘17 saw thousands of people participate with over 165,000 attendees attending an average of 3 events over the 3 days.

Gary Topp, CEO Culture Central said:

“Weekender ‘17 was more than just another city festival- it marked a change in the way that we are presenting the city as a distinctive, evolving and world class place for culture. We were pleased to work with more organisations, more communities, more venues and more artists than ever before and create something that was genuinely ‘made in Birmingham’. The feedback has been great but we also know there is a long way to go- we look forward to working with our sector colleagues and our partners in the public and private sector to create Weekender ‘19 with even more collaboration, creativity and innovation and following the UTSAV Year of South Asian Arts, build on Birmingham City’s Year of Movement this year.”

As Birmingham City Year of Movement there are some great opportunities in 2018 to see dance, throw some shapes and move around the city to sample the best cultural events around. Expect a packed programme of festivals planned through until the autumn with over 25 festivals, diverse in their scale, genre and breadth demonstrating that Birmingham is a truly international city.

The cultural calendar for the city in 2018 is already in motion and includes:

  • Celebrate Chinese New Year (16 – 18 Feb) in the Southside district of the City, featuring Modern Warrior by Rosie Kaye (a Birmingham Weekender 2017 and DanceXchange joint commission) as well as celebrations across city centre with festival performances from Birmingham City University Conservatoire and Birmingham Royal Ballet.
  • The University of Birmingham’s Arts & Science Festival (12 – 18 March) brings together leading artists, thinkers and scientists for a free programme of activity exploring arts, science and the spaces between.
  • Classical music will be back in our train stations, concert Halls and Parks as the CBSO celebrate the life of Debussy with the Debussy Festival, (16 – 25 March).
  • Flatpack Film Festival (13 – 22 April) expect a packed programme of events, screenings, exhibitions and installations.
  • Birmingham Hippodrome’s B-Side Hip Hop Festival returns (11-13 May) with a weekend takeover of dance and rap battles, live music, workshops and graffiti in the streets around the theatre.
  • The award-winning Birmingham International Dance Festival 2018 runs (1 – 24 June) in venues city wide and in public spaces expect a world of dance from Victoria Square to mac Birmingham.
  • The CBSO and local artists will also return to the beautiful setting of Sutton to perform at this year’s Concerts in the Park (30 June – 1 July).
  • BE Festival returns (3 – 7 July) turning conventional theatre upside down with a European programme that crosses borders, blurs boundaries and brings together audiences and artists.
  • TILT Festival is the UK’s Aerial and Physical Theatre Festival (16 – 22 July) presents a week of master classes catering for beginners through to professionals as well as free outdoor aerial shows from emerging and world-renown circus artists.
  • Summer in Southside (July 14-15) this popular annual free family festival returns with a mash-up of fun performances inspired by childhood and story-telling.
  • The annual Moseley Folk Festival (31 Aug – 2 Sept) features a mix of traditional, contemporary and experimental folk and acoustic music preceded by Mostly Jazz.
  • Alongside other Greenfield events such as Simmer Down Festival (July), Lunar Festival (July) and the recently announced Biggest Weekend in Coventry (May).

Steve Hewlett, Retail BID Manager said

“Retail BID were proud to help bring arts and performance to the city centre streets, shops and spaces. Birmingham Weekender 2017 was a great festival and we are looking forward to supporting it in in 2019. With the city being host to the Commonwealth Games in 2022 it is important that we continue to deliver world-class arts and culture in Birmingham.”

Look back at Birmingham Weekender 2017 here:
Find out more about Culture Central here:


For further information contact Helen Annetts, PR on behalf of Birmingham Weekender on 07779026720 or email

Notes to Editors:

Birmingham Weekender 2017 – impact and achievements:

  • Economic activity generated by the event £2.7m
  • Economic impact on Birmingham £1.1m
  • 25 new commissions
  • 642 artists and performers including artists from Poland, France, Netherlands and Cyprus
  • 164 performances including performances from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
  • 90% of the programme was free
  • Thousands of people participated with 167,802 attendees, an average of 3 events over 3 days
  • 60% of audiences stated the main driver for attending is ‘to be entertained’ with 41% attracted by the dance programme

About Birmingham Weekender:
The award-winning Birmingham Weekender presented a packed weekend of free outdoor theatre, music, art installations and performance from Brindleyplace to Eastside, including the city’s retail heart. For three days the city’s streets, shops and squares came 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:

Ampersand Projects
Aston University
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Birmingham City University
Birmingham Hippodrome
Birmingham Museums Trust
Birmingham Opera Company
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Birmingham Royal Ballet
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Culture Card
Ex Cathedra
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
Midlands Arts Centre
NEC Group
New Alexandra Theatre
Sampad South Asian Arts & Heritage
Stan’s Cafe
Town Hall Symphony Hall
Open Theatre Company
University of Birmingham
The Old Rep

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