artsfest celebrates close of Olympics

By on 10/09/2012 in News

Over 210,000 people enjoyed the late summer weather in Birmingham city centre at this year's artsfest (7-9 September).  Throughout the weekend there was a diverse mix of dance, comedy, music, Olympic and Paralympic celebrations and theatre.

The annual celebrations kicked off on Friday evening in Chamberlain Square with the infectious dhol n brass sounds of Red Baraat, followed by Mandala - a stunning mix of British Asian music, dance and 3D digital projections.

On Saturday night, the crowds that had filled Centenary Square for both a performance by Birmingham Opera Company and a headline show by Birmingham Royal Ballet that featured excerpts from The Dream (inspired by Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream), Swan Lake and Coppelia.

Following the performance, the skies lit up over Centenary Square with a five minute regally themed firework display which featured as a set piece that featured a large sparkling regal crown above the House of Sport, that was choreographed to music from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker.

On Sunday afternoon, live acts performed in Victoria Square as part of the nationwide Bandstand Marathon, which linked up 500 venues throughout the country as part of the closing event of the London 2012 Festival.  There was also great live music to be enjoyed in Centenary Square throughout the evening as BBC WM introducing brought together new music from throughout the region, headlined by a rousing show by The Musgraves, one of the most promising new bands in the Midlands.

Throughout the weekend performers and the public joined together in Victoria Square for Dancing for the Games, part of the Cultural Oympiad initiative to get the West Midlands dancing for London 2012.  The weekend drew to close with a screening of the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games on the Live Site screen in Victoria Square.

Sharon Lea, Strategic Director of Environment and Culture said: Following a summer of cultural events in Birmingham as part of the Olympic celebrations, it is wonderful that the annual artsfest event should provide the setting for so many of the closing activities.

Now in its 15th year, artsfest is organised by Birmingham City Council, with support from sponsors, partners, arts organisations and volunteers.  For more information go to www.artsfest.org.uk or contact the artsfest team on 0121 464 5678.

Ends

Media Contacts:

Jason Lewis jason.lewis@birmingham.gov.uk 0121 303 4266

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