A press release was issued on Sunday evening by the City Council’s Marketing and PR Team.
The 10th annual Artsfest is hailed a huge success as over 200,000 people attended events and basked in the unseasonal sunshine taking in the UK’s largest free festival of its kind.
The highlight of the festival was the Classical Fantasia concert with CBSO, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Opera in Centenary Square when a capacity crowd of 15,000 saw the internationally-renowned companies perform on stage for the first time together and received rapturous applause.
On Friday evening around 10,000 young people revelled to the sounds of the latest up and coming indie bands from the region, whilst down at Eastside, Curzon Street more than 3,200 people experienced BLAST (Fri and Sat evenings) which literally blew the audience away with a close encounter of the rail kind. The huge art installation included 30 steam boilers and a whistle orchestra, giant hot pipe organ and amazing pyrotechnics that lit and thundered through the Birmingham sky.
Saturday has seen the best numbers yet for the festival and more than 100,000 local people and visitors enjoyed music, street theatre, comedy and art in the city centre.
Birmingham Town Hall say hundreds of people visited, whilst the Museum and Art gallery saw its visitor numbers treble on Saturday alone, to 3,000, with a further 2,000 on Sunday to listen to music and choirs singing in its galleries.
Councillor Ray Hassall, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture said: â€œThe UK’s largest free arts festival, Artsfest’s has been a resounding success with hundreds and thousands of local people and visitors enjoying the best that the city and the midlands has to offer in arts and culture.â€
He added: â€œWe will certainly will be looking at future ArtsFests and will continue to develop and improve this event.â€
The remarkable weekend drew to a close with the finale Carnival, with participation from some of the leading Carnival Artists (including Someone at the Door Samba band, Off Our Trolley and Purple Mermaid Circus). From Central Square (Brindleyplace) to along Broad Street into Centenary Square, the sound of live carnival rhythms filled the streets. The dazzling costumes were made by young people from across Birmingham who joined the dancing throngs for the grand finale.
So that’s confirmation that Artsfest will return next year, despite scurrilous rumours to contrary.
Photo by myself of Mango Trio on Sunday afternoon.