53 joyful photos of Birmingham Festival 23 opening night with Perry the Bull, Sanity, Bambi Bains & more

What a fantastic opening night for Birmingham Festival 23 marking a year since the Commonwealth Games were held the city. Watch our video report and discover the highlights in our photo gallery (images from Chris Egan and Jack Rogers)

Birmingham Festival 23 has launched, and we’re here for the opening night with performances from Sanity, Bambi Bains the dohl drummers - and the reappearance of Commonwealth Games Mascot Perry the Bull.

The festival marks a year since the tremendous 2022 Commonwealth Games here in the city, and we’re set for ten days of celebrations to enjoy their legacy and everything that makes Birmingham the city it is today. Local stars of the opening night, entitled One City, A Thousand Memories, also included the Choir With No Name, Music in Motion and sports star, boxer Galal Yafai.

Free events are scheduled in Centenary Square which has undergone a spectacular transformation into an enormous open-air festival stage, hosting an array of citywide talent. Until August 6, the daily entertainment extravaganza promises to be an all-inclusive, engaging celebration of the city’s rich and diverse cultural fabric.

Attendees can look forward to the best live music and inspiring performances, interactive creative activities, and powerful big-screen presentations designed to evoke the shared experiences, magic, and lasting memories of summer 2022.

Doubling up as a vibrant celebration of the city’s creativity, the festival spotlights a programme deeply rooted in diversity, inclusion, and the promotion of homegrown talent. With all its elements, this year’s Birmingham Festival is set to serve as yet another remarkable testament to the city’s reputation as a world-class host for major events.

Throughout the 10 days and 9 evenings, festival-goers will be part of a colossal crowd, with an estimated 190,000 attendees comprising audiences, artists, local communities, and volunteers. This diverse blend of individuals mirrors the multifaceted identity of the city, uniting to watch, listen, relax, dance, and play in a collective commemoration of Birmingham’s rich cultural legacy. Here’s a look at 53 highlights from the opening night: