After some rumours flying around, it has officially been announced that Birmingham’s Artsfest has been cancelled due to the council’s need for budget cuts. The yearly event was the largest free arts festival in the UK, working with arts communities and centres from across the city.
Councillor Ian Ward has stated in a Birmingham Post article that a new event would happen this year to replace the festival and celebrate the opening of the new library:
“It has been decided to roll the arts festival into a festival for the opening of the new library on September 3 and I have spoken to the major arts organisations in Birmingham, and the Arts Council about putting together a new festival to provide a showcase for the best that Birmingham can offer.”
Apparently this new arts festival will bes starting from 2014, but will see the £130,000 budget for Artsfest going down to £80,000; although it has been suggested that the Arts Council may look to matching that bid if it goes forward. Maybe.
Artsfest has been a mixed bag over the past few years, but negative aspects aside, it is a shame for the city to lose such a large outlet for the arts and creatives, and also for for those visiting to see what Birmingham has to offer. Hopefully this will work out for the best and the new events that unfold will be an even better showcase for the city’s talents.
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