What’s on: our pick of the best events in Birmingham

Guest BloggerFirst Year, Guest Blogger

Procrastinating that 2,000-word assignment or really can’t face cramming yet more facts into your already full-to-bursting brain? Luckily for you, Birmingham hosts absolutely heaps of events throughout the year so there’s always a welcome distraction from you studies just around the corner. We’ve pulled together just a few of the biggies here (although you really do need to finish that assignment. Preferably before the deadline, okay?).


MUSIC & ARTS

Birmingham Literature Festival

Because you can’t only read what’s on that ever-growing reading list for your course. Taking place in various locations throughout the city, this annual festival invites a plethora of writers and influential speakers to Birmingham to host workshops, perform spoken word and discuss a diverse range of topics. Guests this year include: Carol Ann Duffy (former Poet Laureate), Jess Phillips (Labour MP) and Amrou Al-Kadhi (filmmaker).

When: 3rd to 13th October 2019

Still craving some culture? Don’t miss out on these:
Birmingham Weekender – Birmingham’s Arts Festival running from 4th to 6th October 2019.
MADE Festival – an annual dance and urban music held each summer in Birmingham (2020 date TBC).

TRICK OR TREAT?

Digbeth Halloween Festival

Halloween is one of the best times of year – creepy costumes, novelty food and frightfully good nights out? Count us in! Digbeth has just the thing to satiate the spooky needs of all horror lovers – a Halloween Festival. Taking place across five haunted venues, expect 4,000 zombies, breath-taking sound & light displays, and things that go bump in the night.

When: 31st October 2019

Can’t get enough of all things creepy? Check out this event that’s also happening:
Twisted Circus Halloween Festival – witness death-defying acts to a heart-pounding soundtrack on 2nd November 2019.

BONFIRE NIGHT

Firework Display at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Remember, remember the 5th November with this brilliant firework display. Don a chunky scarf, your trusty beanie and a thick pair of gloves before coming out to watch these fireworks whizz and crackle across the night sky all to a soundtrack of popular tunes.

When: 5th November 2019

FESTIVE FUN

Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

Every year, Birmingham is taken over by a shed-load (get it?) of wooden huts bearing all kinds of magical goodness. Threading through the heart of the city, the markets sprawl out along New Street and spill into Victoria Square. There’s also an ice rink so when you’ve finished your Christmas shopping, make sure to take a twirl on it while pretending you’re in your fave Christmas flick. Expect a whole load of carol singing, hot chocolate swigging and sausage snaffling (and you never know – maybe even a flake or two of snow!).

When: 7th November to 23rd December 2019

CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year

One of the biggest events in Birmingham, the Chinese New Year celebrations often attract up to 30,000 people. With three days of festivities across the city, you can expect to find dance, acrobatics and martial arts performances, a parade of lion and dragon dancers, market stalls, a fun fair and craft workshops.

When: 8th to 10th February 2020 (TBC)

LGBTQ+

Birmingham Pride

The largest LGBTQ+ two-day festival in the UK, don’t miss out on the glitter-drenched Carnival Parade that winds through the city centre featuring energising music, spectacular costumes and a whole lot of dancing! There’s also a dance arena, cabaret stage, community events, a street party and club nights.

When: May 2020 (exact dates TBC)

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD

Colmore Food Festival

A great way to welcome in the summer, the Colmore Food Festival takes place in Victoria Square and celebrates the very best in food and drink. In 2019, a whole host of local businesses were in attendance to sell their sumptuous treats including All Bar One, The Alchemist and Wayland’s Yard.

When: July 2020 (exact dates TBC)

EID

Celebrate Eid

Held in Birmingham’s Small Heath Park, Celebrate Eid has grown over the years to become Europe’s largest gathering of its kind. Worshippers of all ages flock to the park for morning prayers before enjoying festivities such as miniature golf and other fairground rides, and tucking into tasty treats. 

When: 2020 dates TBC

BRINDLEYPLACE

Brindleyplace

So many events take place here, we thought it deserved its own category. Around 20 minutes’ walk away from Aston University, this picturesque part of the city is partially framed by canals and has a jam-packed event schedule that includes live music, street food, an outdoor cinema and even dragonboat racing! Even better, with the plethora of bars, restaurants and event venues clustered around the canals, you won’t run out of things to do.

When: Events run throughout the year