Custard Factory Open Studios

When: Saturday 16th May, 10:30-16:30
Where: Custard Factory Artist Studios, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA

The Custard Factory is know for its retail offering at ground floor level, but did you know that many talented artists occupy studios in the floors above?

The Open Studios initiative is specifically for those of you who are interested in supporting your local artists, and want to get a glimpse of studio life. This open day will give you a unique opportunity to walk around, speak to the artists and see their work first hand.

A new Custard Factory Open Studios blog has been established to give visitors introductions to each of the artists ahead of the day. More information will be added before the 14th May, so do keep checking back!

Free guided tours of studios will be taking place at 10:30, 12:30 and 14:30; visit Eventbrite to book your place! A selection of the studio holders includes:

For more information, visit the Custard Factory Open Studios blog, or keep an eye on the Custard Factory Twitter.

Ace Dance & Music

When: Thursday 14th May, 17:30-19:30
Where: Ace Dance & Music, 54–57 Floodgate Street, Digbeth, B5 5SL

Ace Dance & Music will be launching their newly refurbished dance studio and performance venue in Digbeth in May. A professional dance and music company, Ace skilfully combine African and Caribbean movement aesthetics with contemporary techniques to create high quality innovative performance work.

Aptly named the:spACE, the premises offers Ace the opportunity to expand and improve their existing programme, while also increasing their income from venue hire.

The launch evening will showcase the new space with a performance, and give a chance to celebrate the success of Ace while networking with other creative individuals in the area.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Gail Parmel at acedance@gmail.com or call 0121 314 5830. For more information about Ace, visit their website here.

Birmingham Gin Festival 2015

When: Friday 28th until Sunday 30th August 2015
Where: The Bond Company, 180-182 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5SE Birmingham
Tickets: Available online

Save the date: the UK’s largest Gin Festival will take place in Digbeth this August Bank holiday weekend!

Returning to The Bond Company with over 100 different gins in hand, live entertainment, talks from gin industry experts, and of course food, the festival is bigger and better than last year.

Tickets include a Gin Festival glass and brochure, and can be bought online here (click on the picture above). For more information, visit the Facebook event page or follow @GinFestival on Twitter.

Bank Holiday Digbeth Dining

When: Friday 1st May, 17:00 onwards
Where: Lower Trinity Street, Digbeth, B9 4AG

Get ready for noms!

This Friday, Digbeth Dining Club will be closing Lower Trinity Street to cars, and trafficking in the Midlands’ finest street food vendors. Expect:

  • gourmet toasted sandwiches from Jabberwocky
  • authentic Thai dishes from Buddha Belly
  • scrumptious sourdough pizza from Spectacular Goat
  • the best hotdog of your life from Big Daddies Diner
  • filthy dripping burgers from The MeatShack
  • mouthwatering smoky, barbecue goodness from Low’n’Slow
  • sweet treats from Platinum Pancakes
  • homemade Filipino dishes from Manila Munchies
  • full-on American diner grub with a vegan twist from Vegan Grindhouse
  • crepes, cakes and pastries from Victoria Creperies
  • southern soul food from The Hungry Toad
  • Mexican burritos, tacos and nachos from Habanero
  • gourmet burgers from the Flying Cows
  • East Asian delights from Canoodle
  • bunny chow and boerewors from South African Savanna Grill
  • and seafood and Caribbean specialities from Esmies

If all that has whetted your appetite, but you haven’t a clue where to start, check out Nutella Tasha’s blog post all about DDC here.

Introducing Fabrick Square

Work at the Harrison Drape redevelopment is moving apace, with demolition work in progress. You can see more images of the work from Elliot R Brown on Flickr:

Image: Elliot R Brown.

More details have been released about the development, which will be split into four buildings (The Cotton Lofts, Cotton House, The Drapery and Drapery House) but known collectively as Fabrick Square. When the work is completed by the end of 2016, the number of studio flats, one bed, and two bed apartments in Digbeth will increase by more than 300.

We will keep you up to date with progress but in the meantime, here’s an impression of what the completed building will look like:

Image: Birmingham Mail.

Digbeth on the Silver (Pewter) Screen

Fancy drinking from a goblet that could have come straight off the set of Game of Thrones? Well, now you can!

The items used on the show were made right here in Digbeth by AE Williams, the world’s oldest family-run pewter business. The company has made authentic-looking props for use in loads of family favourites, and you can buy replicas on their website.

AE Williams has around 5,000 moulds in its store, 1,500 of which are antiques, making it the largest collection of antique moulds in the country. Their work has featured in shows and movies such as: Game of Thrones, The Tudors, Harry Potter, Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gladiator, and Les Miserables.
The firm has even produced corporate gifts for the CIA and The White House!

However, the items they make are brand new, so have to be distressed to look authentic. This is done naturally, which could be as crude as dropping the item, knocking it off a table, or even giving it a quick kick round the carpark!

For more information, and to bag your own piece of your favourite film or TV show, click here to visit the AE Williams website.

Street Banquet

When: Saturday 2nd May, 15:00-late
Where: Lab 11, Trent Street, Digbeth, B5 5NL

This Bank Holiday Saturday, Street Banquet – a new casual dining experience – will be launching in the brand new Archway Terrace of Lab 11. The Archway Terrace is just 100 steps from the Bullring, occupying a sheltered yard under the Victorian viaduct in Digbeth.

The event will see a wide variety of street food traders coming together, including:

  • The Butcher’s Social
  • Spectacular Goat
  • Delizie Italiane
  • The Flying Cow
  • Pietanic
  • Savannah Grill, and
  • Victoria Creperie

Street Banquet will also have ale from Two Towers Brewery on hand, along with a selection of fine vino from Loki Wines. Langley’s Gin have devised a mother’s ruin experience, including a range of bespoke cocktails and a specially crafted G&T menu, all served from a brand new Gin Shack.

There will also be festoon lighting and long sharing tables, accompanied by laid back music and the latest sound and light installations. For more information, visit the website or Facebook page.

Street Banquet is part of a whole weekend of events celebrating Lab 11’s third birthday. For more information, visit the Lab 11 website.

Under A Tenner Vintage Fair

When: Saturday 25th April, 11:00-16:00
Where: Market Hall, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA
Entry: £1

Urban Village return to the Custard Factory this weekend with their Under a Tenner Vintage and Designer Fair!

Along with the standard huge amounts of vintage and designer clothing, there will also be thousands of vinyl records for sale, with everything costing less than £10. To top it all off, we’re reliably informed that among all the items there will be hidden an original Biba piece, so make sure to get there early!

For more information, see the flyer below or visit the Facebook event page.

New home for Sunday Xpress

When: Sunday 26th April, 16:30 onwards
Where: Friction Arts, The Edge, 79/81 Cheapside, B12 0QH

This week, Sunday Xpress is celebrating moving to a new venue, but still firmly in Digbeth.

Friction Arts’ home The Edge will be opening the doors to the infamous open mic event, which this month will have more of a comedy slant to it. Never fear though, acoustic guitars, performance art, stand up, a very special live band, and the wonderful spoken word free-for-all madness remains.

The show starts at 16:30 as per usual; see the Facebook event page for more information.

DemoB at Impact Hub

Impact Hub Birmingham has launched with a three-week opening festival entitled Demo.B – a series of open, co-curated events.

The team hope to explore, celebrate and actively demonstrate ways in which we as a populous can collectively build a better Birmingham together. From citizen science to spoken word, Demo.B aims to explore new models and ideas to inspire communities to build a better world.

For more information about the events and how you can get involved, visit the Impact Hub website here.