The best of Artsfest

By on 12/09/2011 in News

Over 200,000 people flocked to Birmingham City Centre this weekend as it hosted the 14th annual artsfest - the UK's biggest free arts festival.

Sunday, the final day of Birmingham's artsfest, closed on a high note with a mesmerising performance by The Guillemots at 'The Best of Birmingham with Kerrang! and Q Radio' concert in Centenary Square.  The concert was attended by over 10,000 people.  The band, featuring locally born lead singer, Fyfe Dangerfield, performed hits including Trains to Brazil and Made-Up Lovesong#43 along with songs from their critically acclaimed album Walk the River.

Dancing for the Games – part of the Cultural Oympiad initiative to get the West Midlands dancing for London 2012 – took place in the Victoria Square marquee where dancers performed to packed audiences.  While in Chamberlain Square there was standing room only as crowds were entertained by Elfynn, who played a danceable mix of traditional and contemporary Celtic tunes.  Other highlights included Heijoshin Dojo presenting traditional Japanese Samurai sword arts in Victoria Square.  And exclusive tours of the work in progress at the new Library of Birmingham site, set to open in 2013, proved popular with visitors.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet member for Leisure, Sport and Culture said: “This year's artsfest has been an amazing success, it's attracted huge crowds of both local people and visitors to the city.

“The event has brought together major artists and coming bands and independent theatre groups.  With one of the major highlights of the weekend being the first ever FlowerFest, which throughout the weekend, attracted 4,500 visitors.”

The Classical Fantasia concert in Centenary Square was attended by over 10,000 people and featured the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Birmingham Opera Company performing popular classics including Tchaikovsky's Swan Lakes Waltz, extracts from Puccini's La Boheme and Tosca.  The Orchestra also performed popular James Bond film scores.  The evening drew to a close with a stunning fireworks display.

Now in its 14th year, artsfest is the UK's biggest free arts festival.  It 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:

Debbie Harrison   debbie.harrison@birmingham.gov.uk   0121 303 4476
Lorraine Donovan lorraine.donovan@birmingham.gov.uk 0121 303 4718
Jason Lewis jason.lewis@birmingham.gov.uk 0121 303 4266

Mobile number: 07766 923352

Photographs can be downloaded via the following link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/sets/72157627652267602/

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