Birmingham Braces Itself For Massive Art Festival - Artsfest 2006

By Graham Spicer | 06 September 2006
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Captain Ed will be bringing his Maritme flavoured art - Captain Land 2006 - to Artsfest. Courtesy of the artist

Musicians, artists and performers throughout Birmingham are gearing up to stage the city’s largest free arts festival.

Artsfest is running from September 8-10 2006 and will see more than 400 events from some 250 organisations, showcasing art, music, film, craft, dance and more at 14 indoor and four outdoor venues across the city. More than 120,000 people are expected to attend over the weekend.

A number of museums and galleries are taking part, and the IKON Gallery is organising the free Eastside Arts Picnic at Eastside Green and Curzon Street Station on Saturday September 9 from 12 noon to 8pm.

Visitors will be able to while away the afternoon in the company of artists such as Captain Ed, Jacques Nimki, Surasi Kusolwomg and even be enetertained by DJs or watch highlights from the historic Mitchell and Kenyon film collection.

The event is in collaboration with Vivid, 7inch Cinema, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Capsule and Craftspace and other treats in store for visitors are the digital coconut shy, table tennis, maritime storytelling, Thai massage, origami and a knitting tea party.

Meet Captain Ed and friends at the free Eastside Arts Picnic at Eastside Green and Curzon Street Station on Saturday September 9 from 12 noon to 8pm. Captain Ed, Captain Land 2006. Courtesy of the artist

On the other side of the city centre, Youthfest at Brindleyplace will offer young people a chance to get involved in a range of arts based workshops, with exhibitions and installations at 12 noon on the Saturday and Sunday. Brindleyplace will also be staging a whole host of other events including the Braincell Collective’s Art Fair.

Other venues taking part are the Custard Factory and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, who will present artists talks and activities, music performances, poetry and workshops.

Musical highlights include Bhangrafest on the Friday evening at Eastside Green, celebrating Birmingham’s position as capital of Bhangra music and hosted by BBC DJs Bobby Friction and Sonia Deol.

Big Voice2 will feature 1,000 people making up a huge vocal group in Centenary Square led by Roderick Williams, one of the country’s leading singers.

For full event listings and details, see the Artsfest website.

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