Get ready to celebrate 1st anniversary of city’s Commonwealth Games on Westside

A major festival of live music and creative performances is to be held on Westside this summer to celebrate the success of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The entertaining 10-day programme of free events is expected to attract large audiences to Centenary Square from Friday 28 July to Sunday 6 August.

Birmingham Festival 23, whose patron is Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, will also welcome artists, local communities and volunteers to come together in the city centre to watch, listen, relax, dance and play.

Birmingham City Council has unveiled plans for the festival to mark the one-year anniversary of the Games, both to celebrate the city’s creativity and as a sign of its ongoing commitment to funding culture.

The full programme of events to take place in Centenary Square will be announced in June.

Councillor Jayne Francis, cabinet member for digital, culture, heritage and tourism, said: “The festival is going to be wonderful – 10 days of brilliant, free entertainment celebrating all that is great about the city and region, showcasing the creativity across our communities.

“The Commonwealth Games showed Birmingham – the city and people – at its absolute best and we want to see a lasting legacy for all our residents, businesses and visitors. We’re going to show everyone, once again, how brilliant Brum is!”

City leader Councillor Ian Ward added that the festival will “once again shine a spotlight on the youth and diversity that make Birmingham such an amazing city”.

The festival aims to echo the city centre experience of the Games, taking over Centenary Square with live music and performances, creative and participatory activities, and big-screen content to conjure up the experiences, magic and memories of last summer.

It also serves to celebrate the city’s rich culture through programming committed to diversity, inclusion and homegrown talent.

Steven Knight said: “I’m proud to be a patron for Birmingham Festival 23 and proud that the city truly values culture.

“The Games are still very fresh in people’s minds, it was such a joyful period in the city’s history. And now, with a great team pulling out all the stops to make this year’s events a celebration of the anniversary, people will again have something to look forward to that everyone can enjoy, and it’s all FREE.”

The festival will be delivered by the team behind the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Festival, including Outdoor Places Unusual Spaces (OPUS) and JA Productions, led by creative director Raidene Carter and executive director Will Mauchline.

Programme partners include SAMPAD, Fabric, ACE Dance & Music, and United By 2022 Legacy Charity. 

For further information about the festival visit

Creative community groups and artists interested infeaturing in the Festival programme can visit

Main Image Caption: (from left) Coun Jayne Francis, Coun Ian Ward, Perry the Bull and Raidene Carter (pic by Jas Sansi)

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