August Bank Holiday Birmingham Weekender 2023: Full line up locations, including the giant swing

Birmingham Weekender is returning to locations across the city centre with a giant swing and some amazing free performances for all the family on August Bank Holiday - see the full line up at each city centre location here

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Birmingham Hippodrome and Bullring & Grand Central’s Birmingham Weekender is returning to the city with a host of free events for everyone to experience this weekend (August Bank Holiday).

The annual festival will take over the heart of the city with colourful installations, interactive experiences and energetic performances from some of the best local, national and international artists. The exciting event follows the free 10 day Birmingham Festival 23 in Centenary Square to celebrate the first anniversary since the Commonwealth Games earlier this month.

Highlights for Birmingham Weekender include a giant swing set on Central Street, which will be open to the public after daring aerial duets from All or Nothing Theatre; a spectacular stage near the Rotunda, curated by young people; and Lumini, a sculptural and sensory inflatable walk-through of wonder.

Birmingham’s streets and squares will come to life with free interactive experiences including life-sized retro arcade games, a community-based escape room, the return of the previously sold-out Guru Dudu silent disco walking tours and jaw-dropping performances from Circus Raj, featuring a tantalising troop of aerialists, acrobats, musicians and giant puppets from Rajasthan.

When will Birmingham Weekender 2023 take place?

This year’s Birmingham Weekender will take place over the August Bank Holiday Weekend between 12noon and 6pm on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27. It will feature a range of colourful events throughout each day.

Whereabouts in the city centre can I find Birmingham Weekender 2023 events?

This year’s Birmingham Weekender festival takes place at Bullring & Grand Central and in the Hippodrome’s home district of Southside, including the Rotunda and New Street Station where Ozzy the Bull has recently been unveiled.

A giant swing is coming to Birmingham Weekender 2023A giant swing is coming to Birmingham Weekender 2023
A giant swing is coming to Birmingham Weekender 2023

What’s happening at each location?

Rotunda Square: This is the heart of the festival and it will come alive with a bold and colourful stage designed by local artist James Cowper. Visitors can expect a spectacular performance programme that has been co-curated by Birmingham Hippodrome’s Young Advocates including music from Girl Grind UK, Sisters in Dub, dance from Eloquent Dance Company and Marshon Dance, theatre performances from British Youth Music Theatre and more. The stage will be hosted by Birmingham’s own Rakeem Omar, presenter at BBC Radio WM and BBC Radio 1Xtra and Kaylee Golding, presenter at BBC Radio 1Xtra.  It will also host the Weekender Carnival on Sunday (more details below)

New Street Station: A visitor experience will start right on the concourse with fantastical 3D street art, surprise flash dances and head-turning mass choir performances.

Bullring: Hippodrome Associates Motionhouse will return to Birmingham Weekender to perform WILD, a spectacular production commissioned by the Hippodrome and seen by over 100,000 people across the UK and Europe. Talented young dancers will also perform on WILD’s ‘forest of poles’ set each day with a piece created with the company. You will be able to see them outside The Entertainer across the two days at 1.15pm and 4pm.

Central Street: A giant swing set on Central Street will be open to the public after daring aerial duets from All or Nothing Theatre. The performances are at 1pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm and 5pm across the two days.

Hippodrome Square: Lumini, a sculptural and sensory inflatable walk-through of wonder, will host an array of workshops and performances across the weekend, including yoga, sensory sessions and African drumming. you can experience the event from noon to 6pm each day. It will also host the Weekender Carnival on Sunday (more details below)

Flash dance at New Street during Birmingham Weekender 2022Flash dance at New Street during Birmingham Weekender 2022
Flash dance at New Street during Birmingham Weekender 2022

Edgbaston Street: The area will be transformed into a playground for all ages with SPARK, a creative space that encourages and supports play with natural and upcycled materials, and The Rig! - a unique musical soundscape, which encourages audiences to explore their musicality with upcycled instruments. Performances will take place from noon to 6pm throughout the weekend.

Chaophraya Square: Birmingham Weekender installations include Serving Sounds, a multi-sensory sound installation that creates connections through music by The Working Boys Club serving bass rather than beer across the weekend at 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm and 5pm. Here is where you will also find The Whale, a unique solo theatre performance from Coventry’s Talking Birds that visitors experience by stepping in through a giant whale’s mouth. It will be on at noon to 2.30pm and 3.30pm to 6pm each day.

What’s happening at the Weekender Carnival?

The Birmingham Weekender Carnival will take place on Sunday, August 27 from noon until 5pm at Hippodrome Square and Rotunda Square with ACE Dance and Music. It will be a colourful extravaganza set to the pulsating rhythms and sounds of the Caribbean with a mass procession through the streets to start and end the day.

Are any of the performances inclusive?

Birmingham Weekender will have dedicated British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted and audio described performances, accessible viewing areas and a team of dedicated access hosts working across the festival and at the festival access hubs, located on Rotunda Square and Edgbaston Street.

Carnival at Birmingham Weekender 2021Carnival at Birmingham Weekender 2021
Carnival at Birmingham Weekender 2021

What have Birmingham Weekender organsers said about the 2023 event in their own words?

Birmingham Weekender is produced by Birmingham Hippodrome, in partnership with Bullring & Grand Central and supported by Birmingham City Council, Arts Council England, Without Walls, Southside District, The Arcadian and Network Rail.

Chris Sudworth, Creative Director at Birmingham Hippodrome said: “Birmingham Weekender is always a really special event and this year we’re delighted the festival will be our most accessible yet - retaining its heartbeat in Bullring & Grand Central but also returning to Southside, meaning even more people can enjoy spectacular free performances and events. We’re grateful to our brilliant partners and supporters who have helped bring Birmingham Weekender to life and bring a huge range of incredible artists to the city this summer bank holiday.”

Birmingham Weekender 2021Birmingham Weekender 2021
Birmingham Weekender 2021

Danielle Bozward, Marketing Manager at Bullring & Grand Central, added: “Our partnership with Birmingham Hippodrome has enabled us to deliver a fantastic festival programme, which has something for everyone. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the city over the Bank Holiday Weekend.”

Is there any more information available?

For more information about Birmingham Weekender and the latest performance times and activities please visit: