Sam Wood for BirminghamWorld

43 great photos of the Irish Pairc Festival in Birmingham - with Imelda May, Hothouse Flowers & more

International and local Irish music artists wowed the crowds at the first ever Pairc Festival celebrating Irish music and culture at the Irish Centre on Wheelers Lane in Kings Heath

You don’t have to wait till St Patrick’s Day in March to celebrate all things Irish - a new festival in Birmingham is here and it’s brought in some of the top talent from the Emerald Isle for its inaugural event at the New Irish Centre in Kings Heath.

With Imelda May topping the bill for the event on Saturday - hot off the set from making her acting debut in the Fisherman’s Friends sequel - the crowds were wowed with some of her best rockabilly hits and versatile musicianship. The Dublin singer has performed with some of the world’s greatest, including Meatloaf, Jeff Beck, Noel Gallagher and Ronnie Wood.

Irish rock group Hothouse Flowers also made the trip over the Irish Sea to perform a brilliantly diverse set from their 1980s hit Don’t Go to an anthem in Gaelic - they were at Glastonbury earlier in the year.

Other Pairc Festival guests included Beoga, Damien Dempsey and Hermitage Green. They were accompanied by local heroes The Father Teds, Lampa, the Kidd Irish School of Dance and a cultural talk by Professor Carl Chinn.

Thousands turned out for the two day event which followed a hugely successful homecoming gig for Birmingham legends Ocean Colour Scene at the venue the night before. And Sunday saw even more music lovers join the fun with another jam packed line up including Nathan Carter and Finbar Furey topping the bill along with The Dublin Legends The Sharon Shannon Trio and The Kilkenny’s also playing.

Birmingham stars On The Sesh and Bang On The Ear are also performing along with Scanlon Irish Dancing and Caidre - and Carl Chinn.

In true Irish style the first night ended with Imelda inviting all the performers on to the stage to sing an encore - a tribute to the welcoming spirit of the community proud to open its arms to people across the world.

Here are our favourite 43 photos from Pairc Festival.

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