Issued: 27 August 2008

12 – 14 SEPTEMBER 2008

Event Info
13 Sep – Meet the Associates
14 Sep – Open Hall!

Town Hall, Birmingham throws its doors open for a thrilling weekend of sound, light and discovery over 12, 13 and 14 September as part of Artsfest, the UK?s biggest and most vibrant cultural festival.

In an exclusive event at Town Hall on Friday 12 September (8pm) the freshest musical talent from around the West Midlands converges on the iconic landmark for a night of beats, bass, brass and dancing, with a DJ set from Manga (Shaanti, Funkshaan), hip-hop and nu-jazz from Associate Artist Soweto Kinch plus performances courtesy of funky homegrown band The Sub Ensemble and sleek new group Maylight featuring Mary Wakelam, Lizzy Parks and Chris Read.

Outside Town Hall, spectacular illuminations and visuals will present the Grade 1 Listed concert hall in a whole new light as part of Late Night Light Night, a project featuring innovative architectural lighting of city centre landmarks. Buildings across the city centre will be beautifully lit to create a visually stunning trail of features in the first event of its kind in Birmingham.

Following with an afternoon of swing jazz, spiritual gospel, inspirational soul and uplifting choral music on Saturday 13 September, Meet the Associates is a unique opportunity to experience free performances from the BBC Big Band, Black Voices and Ex-Cathedra from 1pm – 5pm.

Highly regarded for their accessible and friendly approach to classical programmes, Stratford-based Town Hall Associate Artist Orchestra of the Swan perform a wonderful hour of music between 2pm and 3pm on Sunday 14 September as part of Open Hall!

A children?s heritage trail, organ demonstrations and a prize draw will also be on offer from 1pm – 5pm on Sunday 14 September, as well as a chance to explore a brand new exhibition of paintings, photos, prints and posters which celebrates the concert hall?s place at the heart of Birmingham life from its opening in 1834 to the successful re-opening in October 2007.

Staff from Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham will be on hand over the Artsfest weekend to answer questions about the venues, programmes and artists. Look out for ticket offers too!


Note to Editors

ArtsFest celebrates the astounding wealth of creative talent existing in the West Midlands and promotes the region as the bustling cultural centre it is – full of high quality, innovative, cutting edge arts and entertainment activities. With over 450 individual events over 26 venues and 6 outdoor stages, this year will also include Birmingham?s first ever light night, a phenomenon which has been sweeping Europe.

Town Hall and Symphony Hall
Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a registered charity. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and a thriving education/community department reaches a further 20,000 people of all ages.

Associate Artists

Associate Artists
Town Hall Associate Artists work together with Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham on extensive community and education work, joint projects and collaborations.

The BBC Big Band has made Town Hall its principal performing and broadcasting base. This ensemble of the UK?s finest jazz musicians has a commitment to developing the skills of young jazz musicians.

Black Voices are Birmingham?s premier a cappella female vocal ensemble, talented musicians with a range of networks in the local gospel community.

Ex Cathedra is the venue?s resident choir and Early Music ensemble. Town Hall is the perfect venue for choral and ?early? music, and their flourishing choral education programme complements that of Town Hall and Symphony Hall.

Orchestra of the Swan is an acclaimed ensemble of youthful classical musicians who have a passion to bring classical music to new audiences in an imaginative, friendly and informal way.

Soweto Kinch is a charismatic creative figure – performer, composer, MC and provocateur. He?s an inspiring role model and music leader for a range of younger audiences.

Thomas Trotter is Birmingham City Organist. Working across both Town Hall and Symphony Hall he maintains the City?s long-standing tradition of weekly lunchtime recitals on two of Europe?s finest instruments.