10 – 12 September, Birmingham City Centre
“The UK’s biggest free arts festival”
“ArtsFest features performances, workshops, exhibitions, arts markets, installations, talks and screenings across the performing, visual and digital arts genres; and showcases and celebrates the West Midland region’s most talented performers, artists and creative projects”
If you wanted a jam-packed weekend full of excitement, variety, huge talent, live music and energy without spending tonnes of money, then you would have to go to Artsfest. Hugely popular in the past, Artsfest has returned to Birmingham with a bigger schedule than ever boasting some fantastic talent and upcoming local work with over 3000 artists, 600 events and 50 venues. Looking through the extensive list of what’s on you begin to wish you could be in over 2 places at once, as however this obviously isn’t possible I’ve took to the liberty to pick out some real highlights.
Friday 10th – Indie rock alternative night – Sound Bar
Running from 7PM till 2AM, Artsfest new music hosted by 444 meets Syndicate club nights to produce of a night to remember. Not only is this a night with a hyped up atmosphere, it’s also a night with fantastic live indie music. Kicking off the night from 7 till 7:30 is Long Day Gone, who have continually produced addictive and memorable rock melodies that you can’t help but admire. Other bands include Million Empire, Subkicks and Kinn, and also a band that is being labelled the best new band in Birmingham – This Burning Age, who have produced amazingly mature songs with an electronic undertone. With the live music finishing at 11:30, the night continues with Sound Bar’s Friday Club Night until 2AM.
Saturday 11th – Black Voices – Birmingham Town Hall, 1:30PM
Starkly different to the indie rock alternative night, Black Voices presents a lively combination of Gospel, Caribbean, African and Blues music that sure to captivate its audience. Not only is this set amazingly entertaining it is also incredibly challenging and thought provoking which is why these are a definite must be highlight of this fantastic weekend. Also each piece whether it’s African or Jazz captures the true spirit of the genres history making each piece high impact and highly captivating
Classical Fantasia – Centenary Square – 8:15PM
More amazing live music from throughout this weekend includes Classical Fantasia, a breathtaking hour and 45 minutes of the City of Birmingham symphony orchestra and Birmingham opera company. It is obvious to say that these performances are truly magical and of a world class standard. And to wrap up this spectacular is a choreographed fireworks finale – something defiantly not to be missed!
Sunday 12th – Kerrangfest – Centenary Square – 12PM – 10:15PM
So after a weekend full of amazing acts how do you wrap it up? One word: Kerrangfest. Brimming with a variety of rock and indie bands, Kerrangfest epitomizes the cherry on top of the Artfest cake. This set features a mixture of upcoming artists, blasts from the past and popular bands. One noted performance comes from the 1980’s band, Fuzzbox, who are back after their 1980’s global stardom. Following this memorable performance is Francesqa – a five piece rock band who are quickly rising to fame with their great alternative pop/rock tracks. And finishing off this fantastic line-up are Elliot Minor, the Arcadian Kicks, the Young Guns and returning to home soil, The Twang.
It’s safe to say that over this amazing weekend there is definitely something for everyone. From dramas to live music and to dancing, Artsfest is always something to look forward too, and this year it is better than ever!
For a detailed programme, information and venues visit the official festival website here