Birmingham Weekender is back! Free family festival brings Bullring & Grand Central and Southside alive
3rd August 2023
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Birmingham Hippodrome and Bullring & Grand Central have announced Birmingham Weekender is returning to the city this August Bank Holiday Weekend with free events for everyone to experience.

On Saturday 26th August and Sunday 27th August, Birmingham Weekender will take over the heart of the city with colorful installations, interactive experiences and energetic performances from some of the best local, national and international artists.

This year’s festival takes place at Bullring & Grand Central and in the Hippodrome’s home district of Southside. Highlights include a giant swing set on Central Street, which will be open to the public after daring aerial duets from All or Nothing Theatre; a spectacular stage near the Rotunda, curated by young people; and Lumini, a sculptural and sensory inflatable walk-through of wonder. Located on Hippodrome Square, Lumini will host an array of workshops and performances across the weekend, including yoga, sensory sessions and African drumming.

For visitors arriving at New Street Station, their experience will start right on the concourse with fantastical 3D street art, surprise flash dances and head-turning mass choir performances.

Birmingham’s streets and squares will come to life with free interactive experiences including life-sized retro arcade games, a community-based escape room, the return of the previously sold-out Guru Dudu silent disco walking tours and jaw-dropping performances from Circus Raj, featuring a tantalising troop of aerialists, acrobats, musicians and giant puppets from Rajasthan.

Hippodrome Associates Motionhouse will return to Birmingham Weekender to perform WILD, a spectacular production commissioned by the Hippodrome and seen by over 100,000 people across the UK and Europe. Talented young dancers will also perform on WILD’s ‘forest of poles’ set each day with a piece created with the company.

Edgbaston Street will be transformed into a playground for all ages with SPARK, a creative space that encourages and supports play with natural and upcycled materials, and The Rig! - a unique musical soundscape, which encourages audiences to explore their musicality with upcycled instruments.

Installations include Serving Sounds, a multi-sensory sound installation that creates connections through music by The Working Boys Club, and The Whale, a unique solo theatre performance from Coventry’s Talking Birds that visitors experience by stepping in through a giant whale’s mouth.

At the heart of the festival, Rotunda Square will come alive with a bold and colorful stage designed by local artist James Cowper. Visitors can expect a spectacular performance programme that has been co-curated by Birmingham Hippodrome’s Young Advocates including music from Girl Grind UK, Sisters in Dub, dance from Eloquent Dance Company and Marshon Dance, theatre performances from British Youth Music Theatre and more. The stage will be hosted by Birmingham’s own Rakeem Omar, presenter at BBC Radio WM and BBC Radio 1Xtra and Kaylee Golding, presenter at BBC Radio 1Xtra.

The festival culminates on Sunday with Weekender Carnival, a vibrant musical celebration and dance extravaganza by ACE Dance and Music featuring a mass procession through the streets to start and end the day.

Birmingham Weekender will have dedicated British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted and audio described performances, accessible viewing areas and a team of dedicated access hosts working across the festival and at the festival access hubs, located on Rotunda Square and Edgbaston Street.

Chris Sudworth, Creative Director at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Birmingham Weekender is always a really special event and this year we’re delighted the festival will be our most accessible yet - retaining its heartbeat in Bullring & Grand Central but also returning to Southside, meaning even more people can enjoy spectacular free performances and events. We’re grateful to our brilliant partners and supporters who have helped bring Birmingham Weekender to life and bring a huge range of incredible artists to the city this summer bank holiday.”

Danielle Bozward, Marketing Manager at Bullring & Grand Central, added: “Our partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome has enabled us to deliver a fantastic festival programme, which has something for everyone. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the city over the Bank Holiday Weekend.”

Birmingham Weekender runs from Saturday 26th August and Sunday 27th August between 12pm – 6pm.

For more information about Birmingham Weekender, please visit:

Birmingham Weekender is produced by Birmingham Hippodrome, in partnership with Bullring & Grand Central and supported by Birmingham City Council, Arts Council England, Without Walls, Southside District, The Arcadian and Network Rail.

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