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Birmingham Weekender appoints artistic directors as a host of sponsors are confirmed

By Abby Corfan Wednesday 29 March 2017
Astronaut hangs above busy city street suspended by hoist

Graham Callister (Birmingham Hippodrome) and Piali Ray (Sampad) confirmed as Birmingham Weekender Festival Directors.

Birmingham’s biggest arts festival, the award-winning Birmingham Weekender, which returns from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 September 2017, will be led by newly appointed Festival Directors Graham Callister (Director of Creative Programmes, Birmingham Hippodrome) and Piali Ray (Artistic Director, Sampad South Asian Arts).

The wider artistic programming team includes Aaron Wright (Fierce Festival) and Tim Hodgson (Freelance Producer). The festival will be produced by independent arts producer Caroline Davis, on behalf of Culture Central, the development organisation in the city.

In addition Birmingham Retail BID, Colmore BID, Bullring, Mailbox, Bullring Markets and BCU have confirmed as event sponsors alongside funding support from Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England. Midland Metro are Travel Partner and What’s On are Media Partner for Birmingham Weekender 2017.

Birmingham Weekender promises a packed weekend of free outdoor theatre, dance, music, art installations and hidden performance across the city-centre, from Broad Street to Eastside, including the city’s retail heart, with a South Asian focus as part of Utsav, Birmingham’s Year of South Asian Culture.

Graham Callister, Festival Director said: “Birmingham Weekender is one of the biggest events in the city’s calendar. We have outstanding support from the city’s retailers and it’s fantastic to see so many sponsors coming on board at this early stage of planning.”

Piali Ray, Festival Director added: “2017 is Utsav, Birmingham’s Year of South Asian Arts, and so we plan to bring an Asian flavour to this year’s Weekender. We’re expecting well over 100,000 people to visit Birmingham city centre for Weekender and we have many exciting plans to bring outstanding arts and performance into our shopping centres and streets.”

Birmingham Weekender is the chance to see Birmingham’s major arts organisations alongside shining lights from the city’s independent scene, plus invited international artists and a number of significant new commissions. The city’s streets, shops and squares will come alive with free events across the weekend, with something to entertain and delight all the family.

The first programme announcements for Birmingham Weekender 2017 will be made in the spring.