Commonwealth Games 2022: Sir Lenny Henry brings Queen’s Baton Relay to vibrant Victoria Square

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Victoria Square will also screen the opening ceremony today (28 July) so, if you don’t have a ticket to the show you can catch it there

Drumroll, clap, and start! Birmingham’s Victoria Square vibrated with energy from 5pm to 9pm on Wednesday (27 July) to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay to the Host City. It was one of the biggest celebrations to have taken place for the Commonwealth Games 2022 yet, and there is more to come.

It was a proud moment for Birmingham, which is also one of the most diverse cities in the UK.

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The baton came to Victoria Square after traveling through the 72 countries and territories part of the Commonwealth. It travelled more than 90,000 miles to make it to multicultural Birmingham - where more than 35% of the population is made of people of colour, as per Population Data.

The dance and music performances were so rivetting that people waited patiently - even through the showers of rain. It was a huge kick-off for the Opening Ceremony at Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr tonight, where Duran Duran will be among the performers.

Dancers at Victoria SquareDancers at Victoria Square
Dancers at Victoria Square | BirminghamWorld

From 5 to 6.45pm on Wednesday, the crowd was entertained at Victoria Square by the likes of Navin Kundra, Bostin Brass, Sonia Sultana, In Her Shoes, SAMPAD, and more. Dancers and musicians of different cultures came together to set the stages alive.

The event kicked off with a jam session between percussionists of Punjab, Ireland, and Jamaica. With this performance, the artists set the tone for what was to come - more high-energy performances full of colour.

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Drummers at Victoria SquareDrummers at Victoria Square
Drummers at Victoria Square | BirminghamWorld

Dancers from a Bangladeshi troupe honoured their culture and celebrated the Bengali language and arts with her performance next.

Bollywood songs and dance performances also dominated the scene with Kundra, narrating how he made Prince Charles call wife, Camilla, mehbooba aka beloved. The West Midlands-born performer sang peppy songs with back-up dancers bringing alive the flavours of Bollywood.

Dancers at Victoria SquareDancers at Victoria Square
Dancers at Victoria Square | BirminghamWorld

Community artists from SAMPAD Arts, a grassroots organisation connecting people with South Asian and British Asian arts and heritage, performed multiple dance sets with songs ranging from Bengali to Gujarati.

Dancers at Victoria SquareDancers at Victoria Square
Dancers at Victoria Square | BirminghamWorld

At 6.45pm, the energy was at its highest crescendo as people waited to see Sir Lenny Henry, the Dudley-born legend. Henry has been a performer for more than four decades and represents the creative talent that West Midlands holds within.

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The comedian honoured his home town. He said: “And a shout-out to Dudley in the West Midlands because that’s where I’m from.”

He shared that his family can’t believe that he was given the opportunity to be a baton-bearer and bring it to Birmingham. It was a moment of “massive pride” for him.

The festivities continued into the night as more performers took to the stage to entertain the crowds.

Victoria Square will also screen the Opening Ceremony today (28 July) so, if you don’t have a ticket to the show you can catch it there - and on TV, more details here.

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