The diversity in festivals matches the city’s diverse demographic, there is something to satisfy most tastes, here are a few suggestions for 2020, the line ups often change and are released nearer to the festival date but you can get a good idea of what is to come by checking the official websites and seeing what has gone before.
Brindleyplace Film Festival
Now in its 9th year, the free Brindleyplace Film Festival runs all week on an outdoor screen in Central Square. Evening screenings during the week will start at 6pm, alongside two earlier showings at the weekend, starting at 1pm and 4pm. There’s something for everyone including classics and rand new releases. Charity partner Sense supports children and adults who are deafblind or have complex disabilities. Film snacks are sorted thanks to pop-up popcorn stall with additional live events and performance. There are a limited number of deckchairs available, so whether you fancy a singalong with friends and colleagues after work, or if you feel like bringing the whole family down to the estate over the weekend, make sure you get here in plenty of time. From 15 - 21 July.
Colmore Food Festival
The Colmore Food Festival takes place each year in Victoria Square at the beginning of July. Previously featuring favourites such as Adam’s, Asha’s, Chung Ying Central, Purnell’s Restaurant and OPUS Cornwall Street it's a diverse mix of food and drink. In 2019 there were 28 leisure and hospitality establishments from across Colmore Business District participating, offering the full gamut of gastronomy from fine dining dishes to traditional pub food favourites. Drink wise you can take your pick from everything from coffee to cocktails and craft ales, and a wonderful selection of wine by the glass. There is live music and wandering performers keeping everyone entertained throughout, the Festival offers the perfect day out.
Flatpack Film Festival
Flatpack is a mobile arts organisation which exists to show amazing work, bring people together and develop new ideas. Every May bank holiday you can find Flatpack taking over venues across Birmingham including the city centre with the "magnificently eclectic" Flatpack Film Festival, while throughout the year they pop up all over the place with everything from family activities to al fresco horror. It all started back in the early 2000s, with a monthly mixed-media night at the Rainbow pub in Digbeth called 7 Inch Cinema. The first edition of Flatpack grew out of those hugely popular events, and took place over one wintry weekend in early 2006. Since then the festival has gone from strength to strength, established as a vital fixture in the city's cultural calendar while drawing plaudits, audiences and envious looks from across the world. Stirring together a colourful stew of screenings and performances, walks and installations, the programme boasts a mind-boggling range of international talent with an emphasis on the playful, the surprising and the indefinable. The fourteenth edition returns on 5-10 May 2020, with a particular focus on the eye and how technology changes the way we look at the world.
Birmingham Pride is the weekend long LGBTQ+ festival held annually in the Gay Village on Hurst Street but also takes in the city centre. It is uniquely the largest LGBTQ+ two day festival in the UK and takes in bars, music venues, and hosts a fabulous extravagant street carnival! Featuring the biggest capacity main stage arena wit more space, more bars, more food vendors and more seating! Expect performances from some influential and entertaining internationally famous artists! As well as a Mixmag Dance arena with guest appearances! If that wasn't enough you will also be able to see the UK’s top drag performers in the Cabaret Stage. The whole of Birmingham comes out to celebrate this super fun and colourful festival. 25 - 26 May.
Birmingham Wine Weekend
Birmingham Wine Weekend is a long weekend of sipping delicious wines in some of Birmingham’s best bars! The wristband is valid from the first venue opening until the last venue closes. That means you can dip into the festival for just one evening or enjoy the festival for three whole days, 24 - 26 April. Plot your journey around the venues, from stylish wine bars to trendy restaurants and beautiful hotels. Be the first to see the #BWW2020 line-up by following their Facebook page, Twitter profile or Instagram. Show your wristband at each participating venue to get access to their exclusive #BWW2020 serves. You can expect to find some old favourites along your journey, and find something new to taste too.
BE Festival turns the notion of conventional theatre upside down. It crosses borders, creative disciplines and blurs the boundary between audience and artist. The festival grew out of a spirit of exchange prevalent in Birmingham’s arts scene in 2010. Inspired by positive experiences touring to European festivals, Isla Aguilar, Miguel Oyarzun and Mike Tweddle were met with great enthusiasm to the idea of a new arts festival in Birmingham and soon fleshed out a plan on the back of a napkin at a Birmingham curry house. And so BE Festival was born. BE Festival (shortened from Birmingham European Festival) takes place annually in July at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Each year a daring and innovative programme of boundary pushing theatre, dance, comedy, circus, music, visual and performing arts takes place turning the theatre’s rarely seen backstages into a den of creativity, discovery and exchange where diverse cultures are celebrated. 27 June - 6 July.
Birmingham Chinese Festival
The FREE Annual Birmingham Mid Autumn Festival takes please each year, from 12.00pm to 7.00pm in the Arcadian Centre in Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter. More details about the event are released closer to the time. The Birmingham Chinese Festival Committee (UK) is a voluntary, non-profit making organisation dedicated solely to the organisation of Chinese New Year Festivities in Birmingham. Over the past few years the event, held at the Arcadian Centre in Birmingham has become the largest celebration of its kind in the Midlands attracting approximately 20,000 people throughout the day. All members of the community are welcome, and entry is free.
Verve is a four-day festival in the heart of Birmingham city centre, 5 seconds walk from shiny New Street Station. Each year they programme the very best contemporary poetry all in one building. Hear award-winning poets and local legends sharing the same stage. Attend workshops open to all levels. Experience genre-defying performances. Bring the house down at a spoken word and music gig. Brave an open mic. Meet your favourite poets and discover new ones. Verve is for everyone: whether you've been writing for years or are just starting out; whether you've attended every festival on the circuit or this is your first. 20 - 23 February.