Birmingham summer lineup to include ‘festival every weekend’

• City’s arts and culture offer set to draw in visitors from across the globe
• Visit Birmingham launches summer festivals calendar

Birmingham is set to bolster its reputation as one of the country’s most thriving cultural destinations, offering visitors ‘a festival each weekend’ as part of its distinctive summer programme for 2016.

Visitors can enjoy a rich feast of arts and culture every week throughout the months of June and July, with Birmingham’s festival season highlighting the city’s rich pedigree in theatre and drama, contemporary and classical dance, art, music and film. Signature events include performing arts celebration, BE Festival; street art festival, City of Colours; major music show Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival and culinary showcase the Colmore Food Festival.

Visitors to the city are encouraged to use Birmingham’s official summer hashtag #SummerInBrum and upload images of their activities over the coming months, via social media.

Birmingham achieved a record amount of international visitors in 2015, with the number of overseas tourists reaching 1.1million. With half of tourists visiting the city for its eclectic cultural scene, and a third coming to sample the city’s world-famous culinary offering, this year’s festival calendar builds on Birmingham’s existing visitor offer and growing reputation as a globally-recognised cultural hub.

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Visit Birmingham – the city’s official leisure tourism programme, said:

The energy, creativity and artistic strengths of Birmingham are unparalleled - with major institutions like the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, and the UK’s busiest theatre, The Birmingham Hippodrome, all based here.
This year’s festival lineup spans every creative medium possible. This not only adds to the character and positive image of the region, but also has tangible values in stimulating the wider creative economy and boosting employment opportunities.
With something every weekend for visitors to enjoy, we hope to build on last year’s record 38.1 million visitors and further cement Birmingham’s reputation as global cultural hotspot.

John Fell, Event Manager at the Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival, added:

Set in Moseley - The Sunday Times’ number one place to live in the UK - this year’s Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival will welcome some of the world’s most unique artists to the Birmingham stage. De La Soul, George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic, Booker T. Jones, Average White Band, Grandmaster Flash and Craig Charles are among the many artists to create one of the most vibrant festival lineups to date.
Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul, surrounded in its ‘Brummie’ charm, now has a reputation of having one of the friendliest atmospheres for all ages, claiming its spot as one of the city’s most important flagship summer events.

Isla Aguilar, Co-director of BE Festival, added:

We took a gamble and moved to Birmingham from London, having relocated from Spain originally. This city seemed like the ideal location for BE Festival – Birmingham’s warm and welcoming people, the artistic talent, the lower costs and rich quality of life have helped the festival to flourish.
We’re proud to be working with some of the newest and most exciting artists and performers from across Europe. We hope everyone enjoys the festival.

In addition to hosting a busy lineup of festivals, Birmingham will also see a number of major sporting events and anniversaries take place throughout the year. 2016 milestones include the 40th anniversary of the NEC, the 25th anniversary of the ICC, the 20th anniversary of the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham and the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s legacy. Major sporting events returning to the city include the Aegon Classic Birmingham and the Natwest T20 Finals Day.

More information on the events taking place in Birmingham throughout the summer can be found on the Visit Birmingham website. Information on the city’s festivals calendar can be found here.



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