ArtsFest 2012

PAST EVENT - 7-9 September 2012

ArtsFest is one of the UK's biggest free arts festival and showcases work across the performing arts, visual arts and digital arts genres to promote emerging and established talent.


ArtsFest is organised by Birmingham City Council with support from sponsors, partners, arts organisations and volunteers. For more information go to or follow @artsfestUK on twitter or like ArtsFest UK on facebook. 

At ArtsFest you can see work by companies such as Birmingham Royal Ballet, chart topping bands and local community groups and choirs.

The festival was created in 1998 to ‘excite and intrigue audiences’ through showcases of the forthcoming autumn season and examples of the sheer magnitude of what was on offer by local artists year round. Since its beginnings in 1998 ArtsFest has been truly unique within the UK.




Friday 7 September

Red Baraat, Town Hall, Birmingham, Chamberlain Square, 6.30pm 
The seriously hot, larger-than-life, Brooklyn based dhol ‘n’ brass band Red Baraat will travel from New York City to start


Mandala in Birmingham

The nine piece band consists of dhol, drums, percussion, a sousaphone and a five piece horn section. The band fuse the infectious North Indian rhythms of bhangra with funk, jazz, Latin and go-go and their sound is big, brassy and full of energy.

Mandala, Chamberlain Square, performances at 8:30pm and 9:30pm


Saturday 8 September

Birmingham Opera Company, Centenary Square 8 - 8.25pm
The award wining Birmingham Opera Company will team up with Colmore Chorus to present a bread basket of operatic hits with a foodie theme featuring baritone, Byron Jackson and Chorus Master, Jonathan Laird.


Birmingham Royal Ballet, Centenary Square 9 - 9.30pm
The internationally celebrated Birmingham Royal Ballet, showcasing another stand out performance from their varied repertoire.


Last Night of the Proms, Victoria Square – Live Site 7.30 -11pm
Watch all of the performance from the popular Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall on the Live Site in Victoria Square.


The Rootless Forest (& Sunday 9 September)
The Rootless Forest is a mini forest made of real trees and soil on a boat that travels at a walking distance along the Birmingham and Black Country Canals. Hear recorded stories about passage, change and home, told by families from the military and UK Afghan communities in Birmingham. Throughout the weekend


Street Performance Area, Chamberlain Square, 11.30am – 6pm
Acoustic, folk, rock, classical guitar, jazz and slam poetry.


Victoria Square, Dancing for the Games, The Dance Marquee, 11am – 6pm

Dancing for the Games is part of the West Midlands’ Culture Programme for London 2012. It is an exciting new dance programme that uses the inspiration of the London 2012 Games to get people dancing across the West Midlands.


Acoustic Stage, Centenary Square
Live music featuring the Funk Rock of Mezzotonic and fabulous blend of rock and elegant chamber pop of Young Runaways


Birmingham Conservatoire, Adrian Boult Hall, Chamberlain Square - 12.30- 7pm, 


Birmingham Cathedral, Cathedral Green, 11am - 2.30pm
Comedy, theatre, dance and live music, including: 11.00 – 11.30am The Base Tikes - Take Thou: It's the Bard's Boyband! 
Clifton Road Youth Centre - Folk and Acoustic bands from the Youth Centre


Symphony Hall - 12noon – 7.15pm, Centenary Square
Featuring Midday Mantra - 12:00 – 13:00, Taster for free monthly South-Asian chill series. As well as folk, blue and a selection of upbeat music from Aston Performing Arts


Sunday 9 September

BBC WM introducing Acoustic Stage and Festival Stage, Centenary Square 11.30am - 9.55pm
The very best in new music from around the West Midlands region. Amongst the artists performing will be Genius Collective – a funky brass led 7-piece, post punk music from The Carpels and the feel good sounds of the The Musgraves, one of the Midlands most promising bands.


Bandstand Marathon, Victoria Square - The Bandstand 1- 5pm
The Bandstand Marathon brings live music performance to bandstands and outdoor performance spaces across the UK- all at the same time on the same day. Amongst the artists performing in Birmingham will be Luke Huntley, Mumbo Jumbo and Tannyblue.


Victoria Square, Dancing for the Games, The Dance Marquee, 12noon – 5.30pm

Dancing for the Games is part of the West Midlands’ Culture Programme for London 2012. It is an exciting new dance programme that uses the inspiration of the London 2012 Games to get people dancing across the West Midlands.


Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games, Victoria Square – Live Site 9 -11pm
Watch the magnificent closing ceremony from London 2012 Paralympic Games on the Live Site in Victoria Square.

Further highlights throughout weekend


Birmingham Conservatoire, Adrian Boult Hall, Chamberlain Square - 12.30 – 6.30pm
Featuring performances by Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, Steve King Big Band and rising stars of Birmingham’s Black culture presented by The Drum.

The Midlands Music Stage, Chamberlain Square
The Father Teds play Celtic rock with a twist!, Drop Down Smiling Bloco Combinado – A collaborative mega reggae Samba performance, featuring five of the regions finest samba bands.


Street Performance Area, Chamberlain Square, 11.30am – 6pm
Acoustic, folk, rock, classical guitar, jazz and slam poetry.


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