Big Fun Feed - Live blog

Our very first Big Fun Festival – a five-day extravaganza of music, drawing and more guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained, is taking place from Saturday 26 – Wednesday 30 October. We’ll be updating this blog feed with images, information, quotes and a cheeky competition or two…!

As this Festival is created especially for families, we would also love to hear your thoughts on the events – so if you happen to meet a dinosaur, create a masterpiece at either of our Big Draw events or just spent an enjoyable morning dancing along to the music in Symphony Hall’s Cafe Bar do get in touch. Drop us a line via digital@thsh.co.uk, on our Twitter or Facebook pages, or just by commenting below, and some of the best will be published here for everyone to see.

Monday 4 November

We’re still recovering from last weeks fantastic week of Big Fun here at Town Hall & Symphony Hall. We’ve been sent in some fantastic comments and pictures via our social media channels, and have put together a (not so) short Storify- click on the image below to take a look at what everyone has been saying, and let us know about your Big Fun experience!

A great big thank you to everyone that came along to our Big Fun Festival events, and made the week what it was. We hope you all had a brilliant time – we certainly did! – and can’t wait to do it all over again!


Mr Big Plays Jazz at Town Hall on Wednesday 30 October

Thursday 31 October

Well that’s it, five days of Big Family Fun has come to and end – and what a great five days it has been!

We’ve had everything from fearsome, 6ft tall dinosaurs, to a jazz-playing gorilla, to three billy pigs. Over the five days, we have been pleased to welcome over 5,000 people to 14 events at Town Hall & Symphony Hall. We’ve had a great time, and hope that you did too – do let us know if you’ve been along to any of our Big Fun Festival events, we would love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday 30 October

There was a celebration of pen(cil) and paper today, with appearances from two children’s illustrators – all part of The Big Draw.

First up was Ed Vere, who was joined on stage by the Neil Cowley Trio as he illustrated his story Mr Big Plays Jazz on a massive overhead projector. Audiences were encouraged to join in and attempt to draw their own version of the cartoon gorilla.

This afternoon, the lovely Lydia Monks – who is well-known for her collaborations with Julia Donaldson – read some of her stories, before teaching the children in the audience how to draw a whole host of animals. Some lucky youngsters even got to join Lydia on stage – do let us know if you were one of them!


Photos: Chris Proctor

And if you came to any of today’s Big Draw events we would love to see you artwork – some of the pictures may even get featured on this blog!

Sadly today is the last day of Big Fun Festival, but still to come is James Campbell’s Comedy 4 Kids – if you’re a fan of silly jokes and lots of fun, get yourself over to Town Hall from 7pm. It’s sure to be a laugh!

Tuesday 29 October

At Town Hall today, a whole host of prehistoric creatures were brought to life – from cute babies to the gigantic Australovenator (that was seen roaming around Brindleyplace yesterday). John W from Stage Door kept the huge dinosaur entertained backstage before the shows, and managed to snap this picture – before running away very fast!

Things were a little more relaxed over in Symphony Hall’s Cafe Bar, where Noisy Oyster kept the crowds entertained with two performances of The Three Billy Pigs.

Monday 28 October, 4.30pm

This afternoon we headed out in to Brindleyplace, following sightings of a prehistoric beast…




The dino was in fact an Australovenator, all the way from Australia. He’ll be making a couple of appearances at Town Hall tomorrow, along with a few smaller, cuter dinosaurs in Dinosaur Zoo Live (11.30am & 2pm). Do let us know if you saw the dino today – we particularly liked this sighting…!

Monday 28 October, 12.30pm

This morning singer Sara Colman kept families in the Cafe Bar entertained with songs about rainbows and caterpillars, in our very first Musical Picnic Midweek Explorer session. Still to come later today is a session of music and puppetry from Macamu

And don’t forget, there is still a chance to win tickets to Mr Big Plays Jazz, at Town Hall on Wednesday, up for grabs! To enter, simply answer the following question, by commenting below, on our Facebook post, or sending your answer to digital@thsh.co.uk, by 4pm today.

Lonely gorilla Mr Big finds lots of new friends through music – but what kind of music?
a. Folk
b. Jazz
c. Nursery Rhymes

Sunday 27 October


The cast of What The Ladybird Heard in Birmingham

Today we were joined by the cast of our upcoming Christmas show What The Ladybird Heard. Hefty Hugh, Lanky Len, the Ladybird and the Farmer gave audiences a taster of what to expect in December, before meeting with the children in the audience.

After an appearance in Symphony Hall’s Cafe Bar, we travelled over to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery for another mini-performance. BMAG currently has a fantastic exhibition, A Squash and a Squeeze, all about Julia Donaldson’s stories, and so we set up in the What The Ladybird Heard farmyard for the second performance of the day. If you weren’t able to come along, you can see a short clip of this performance in the video below!

Saturday 26 October, 6pm

A very enjoyable first day of the Big Fun Festival has come to an end – do let us know if you came along, a selection of tweets are below!



Big Fun Festival is part of the very first national Family Arts Festival, a two week campaign (Friday 18 October – Sunday 3 November), which offers families across the UK the chance to view and join in with music, theatre, dance, visual arts and more.

Coming up tomorrow, we’ve got the cast of our Christmas show What The Ladybird Heard in Birmingham for a pair of sneak peek performances, and popular writer Michael Rosen be joining the CBSO for family concert The Great Enormo.

Saturday 26 October, 2pm

Big Fun Fest got off to a stonking start in the Cafe Bar this morning, with over 300 people enjoying the music of Soweto Kinch.

And now singer and storyteller Richard Dawson has just kicked off the Supersonic Kids Gig, produced by Capsule should be a fantastic introduction to experimental music for the whole family!

Friday 25 October, 5pm


Soweto Kinch will kick off the first Big Fun Festival tomorrow

We’re getting very excited for the first Big Fun Festival event, which kicks off tomorrow with a morning of toe-tapping sounds and song-rooted swing in Symphony Hall’s Cafe Bar, from 10.30am. This Musical Picnic is hosted by Soweto Kinch, and is sure to get you dancing!

To celebrate the start of Big Fun – and of half term – we have a family ticket (seating up to 4 people) to Mr Big Plays Jazz, at Town Hall on Wednesday, up for grabs! To enter, simply answer the following question, by commenting below or sending your answer to digital@thsh.co.uk, by 4pm on Monday 28 October.

Lonely gorilla Mr Big finds lots of new friends through music – but what kind of music?
a. Folk
b. Jazz
c. Nursery Rhymes

Tickets are for the 11am performance, please make sure you can attend before entering.