28 photos and review of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony - Ozzy Osbourne, UB40 & more
An amazing finale to a fantastic 11 days of sports and entertainment - rock on Birmingham!
OZZY! OZZY OZZY! OI! OI! OI!
The Prince of Darkness thrilled crowds across the globe as he and his Black Sabbath band made a thunderbolt appearance at the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony.
Alexander Stadium rocked like never before as they exploded onto the stage playing Paranoid with their pride and love of Birmingham burning bright.
The 30,000 strong crowd yelled and cheered as the 73 year-old legend, who underwent surgery just weeks ago, said in his classic Brummie accent: "I love you, Birmingham - it’s good to be back!" His dedication to live music glowed as he said: “Come on, let’s go crazy.”
After a performance of Iron Man, Ozzy finished the set, which included guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Tommy Clufetos and bassist Adam Wakeman, saying: “Thank you, good night, you are the best, God bless you all – Birmingham forever.” It was an amazing finish to a thrilling 11 days of sport, entertainment and joy across Birmingham.
A range of the city’s greatest artists took to the stage with a set showcasing the rebuilding of post war Birmingham when the Commonwealth nations came and helped to Birmingham to rebuild and develop. Dexy’s Midnight Runners kicked off the party with Come On Eileen.
The 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories filled the arena with talent and inspiration as more of Birmingham’s music heroes took to the stage, including Apache Indian and Musical Youth.
It was a non-stop party with Panjabi MC’s Mundian To Bach Ke got the stadium swaying and clapping to their colourful set. Musical legends Goldie and Beverley Knight collaborated on the iconic ‘Inner City Life’ in a tribute to Wolverhampton’s pioneering role in rave culture and 80s street art. UB40 got the crowds singing and swaying to Red, Red Wine.
Walsall superstar Jorja Smith brought joy with a performance of ‘On my Mind’. From Coventry The Selecter performed ‘On My Radio’ in a tribute to their home city being the birthplace of ska.
Back in Birmingham there was a Sneaky Peaky: Rambert tease of their Peaky Blinders production which will premiere at the Birmingham Hippodrome in September as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.
Transgender British model Talulah Eve paid homage to the New Romantic era and Birmingham queer culture against a backdrop featuring a nod to the old Rum Runner club on Broad Street, where Duran Duran rose to fame. There was also a nod to the stars of the future with Birmingham superstars Raza Hussain, Mahalia, Jaykae and Ash joining the party.
Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, officially brought the 2022 Games to a close - applauding Birmingham saying: "Thanks to the manner, style and enthusiasm with which you have competed, officiated, supported organised and volunteered, you have once again brought the spirit and values of the Commonwealth Games to life," he said. "You have inspired us and hopefully future generations - you have also demonstrated what unites us. Thank you Birmingham and the West Midlands.”
Singapore athlete Feng Tianwei was presented with the David Dixon Award for his outstanding performance throughout the games winning three gold medals for table tennis.
Like the Opening Ceremony the Closing Ceremony the mastermind behind the creativity was Martin Green CBE. He told how impressed he was at how the whole UK had taken the Games to their hearts saying: “It’s been overwhelming to see how the whole UK has embraced these Games and the incredible sporting and cultural talent on display.
“From the love for our Bull, to the thousands down at our festival sites, this has been a summer like no other, in one of the best cities in the land. Our Closing Ceremony tonight celebrated everything that this place is about - the people, the communities, and its incredible culture. It’s been an honour to lead the creative direction for these Games and Birmingham, I hope we’ve done you proud.”
The flag was lowered and handed over to President of the Commonwealth Games Federation Dame Louise Martin who presented it to the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria in Australia where the 2026 Commonwealth Games are due to take place.
Over and out from the Commonwealth Games. But rock on Birmingham!
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