The South Birmingham suburb of Stirchley has been quietly undergoing something of a cultural revolution over the past few years, thanks to a group of creative and proactive residents with a passion for presenting films in locations like pubs and Balti restaurants, a successful healthy living social enterprise offering courses and produce, a monthly food and craft market as well as live performances and community workshops in and around the locale.
Love Stirchley More, billed as ‘an alternative Valentine’s experience celebrating Stirchley’, has ambitions to take things up a notch or two in the area during three days in February, promising a ‘love boat show’ from Area fave Barbara Nice, free love tattoos from Skinny’s Ink, pop-up food experiences from Loaf, a love seat which doubles up as a roaming art installation and gloriously, a carnival procession from Bournville train station (breathe in the chocolate aroma from Kraftbury’s as you exit) down to Stirchley High Street – all based around Tina Turner’s Eighties hit What’s Love Got To Do With It.
The festival, organised by CIC Place Prospectors, maps out how genuine community action from the ground up, blended with fun, curiosity and a real sense of purpose can help to bring retailers, residents and creative tourists together regardless of the built environment around them.
And anyway, it’s 2013 for God’s sake. Time to throw off the shackles of capitalism, steer clear of the mass produced Valentine’s shite in Clintons and go help support local businesses and grass roots artists whilst doing something a little different with your loved one or date this 14th February. And if he or she doesn’t like it then they’re obviously not adventurous enough, and probably not the one for you anyway. Go Team Stirchley!
Love Stirchley More
14 February and Saturday 16 February (evenings only)
Words: Lyle Bignon