Fierce Festival – 7-11 October

Anklepants_photo_Dina Schweiger
Eight UK premieres form part of this year’s Fierce Festival which includes a signature mix of ground-breaking live art, music, dance, installation and parties.

Audiences are invited to ‘Sleep with a Curator’ at Eastside Projects; bring a sleeping bag and spend a night in the Digbeth gallery before enjoying a communal breakfast. Curator Gavin Wade will join in the sleepover, reading a selection of bedtime stories and cooking bacon pancakes in the morning.

In Happiness Forgets, performer Season Butler will re-enact the opening sequence of all seven series of 1990s TV classic The Cosby Show, which feature the Huxtable family doing a series of dance moves.

The DJ Who Gave Away Too Much Information sees the Canadian company PME-ART sharing personal stories connected to their vinyl collection during a ‘listening party’ at COW Vintage clothing store in Digbeth.

2015 marks the last year for the festival Directors Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison who are moving on to new things. “This year’s Fierce Festival will have a celebratory feel to it.” Commented Laura. “We are making our Festival Hub at BOM, a really exciting new space for art, science and technology near New Street Station.  Across the city there will be dance on a car park roof, parties in warehouses and a chance to sing karaoke to a video made by a Turner Prize winning artist.”


There’s a big bright shiny building that is about to be opened in BIrmingham and it is all happening next week. Grand Central, the city’s newly vamped New Street train Station, shopping mecca and much-anticipated John Lewis offering is about to step up Birmingham’s retail offer several notches.

Book store Foyles, lifestyle brands The White Company and Cath Kidston, fashion brands Hobbs, Joules and Birmingham’s own Steel & Jelly will be joined by beauty brands Kiehls, Jo Malone and Neals Yard Remedies among many others to open up brand new stores.

To celebrate the launch John Lewis has commissioned local filmmakers Blue Monday to produce a film dedicated to their new home.

Featuring a variety of individuals who live and work in Birmingham, the film follows “Birmingham’s stars of the future – medics, musicians, artists, and entrepreneurs – as they go about their daily activities, capturing their passion and pride in the city that they call home”.

Shot over a period of 10 weeks, the extensive creative process saw filmmakers Blue Monday capture eight hours of footage, involving 20 interviewees in 29 locations across three countries. The footage then underwent a 50-hour editing process and was combined with additional elements, including the soundtrack by Birmingham musician, Alex Ohm.

The Big Hoot – Until 27 September

(L-R) Birmingham Children's Hospital Owl, Schools of King Edward VI owl, Network Rail owl
If you’ve been in and around Birmingham’s centre and suburbs over the last few weeks then you might have noticed a few new additions to the usual cityscape. The city has become home to 89 colourful owls which are part of The Big Hoot and are helping raise money for the Children’s Hospital.

Decorated by illustrators, graffiti artists, printmakers and graphic designers visitors are being encouraged to follow the feathered trail and enjoy beautiful open spaces, inspiring buildings and Birmingham’s cultural heritage along the way. Help is on hand with the free ‘The Big Hoot’ app which you can use to keep track of the owls and unlock rewards. Continue reading

Hiroshige’s Japan: 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road

Works by 19th century artist Utagawa Hiroshige, showcasing the landscape along Japan’s major highway between the cities of Edo and Kyoto, are visiting Wolverhampton Art Gallery courtesy of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology.

53 Stations of the Tokaido Road features travellers and Samurai warriors journeying along the famous route and offers a rare chance to see some incredible Eastern artworks.

The images, made from woodblock prints, were ground-breaking at the time due to their depiction of Japan’s striking landscapes, its quirky travellers and the variety of weather extremes people encountered along the route.

Hiroshige’s Japan: 53 Stations of the Tokaido Road
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Until 21 November

Independent food fair – tastings and talks 12-13 September

Carl Hawkins (Gin Masterclass)
Birmingham’s Indie Food Fair is back for a second year on the 12-13 September at Millennium Point in Eastside and they have some GREAT events taking place. We love the look of their tastings & talks this year…

Gin-troductions: Getting to Know Gin with Carl Hawkins
Saturday 12th, 2.00pm / Sunday 13th, 2.00pm
Gin is a glorious spirit! Join Carl ‘Gintle-man’ Hawkins (pictured) – one of Birmingham’s master mixologists – for a tasting of special gins. You’ll also learn a bit of light-hearted history and background to the vintage drink. (3 gins, 45 mins) Continue reading