Fierce Festival 2014

When: 1-12 October 2014
Where: Various locations
Tickets available online

Next month Fierce Festival returns for 2014, and is even bigger and better than before. The Festival hub will be located at The Edge over the course of the first weekend on 3-4 October, coinciding with Digbeth First Friday on 3rd October 2014.

As the festival grows it is becoming more geographically dispersed, but many events still take place in Digbeth. Although tickets are now available to buy online, a good selection of events remain free to attend. I’ve highlighted a selection of events below; please click here to visit the Fierce website to see the full programme.

Car Deconstructions
Friday 3 October, 18:00-20:00; Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 October, 11:00-17:00
Eastside Projects, 86 Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth, B9 9AR

After receiving training from Amsterdam-based artist Dina Rončević, seven local girls aged between 10 and 12, will disassemble a car to its nuts and bolts over three days. The work aims to challenge issues of social identity and gender roles in the male-dominated auto mechanic socio-cultural niche.

Festival Hub Opening
Friday 3 October 2014, 17:00–late
Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79–81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

Friday 3 October 17:00-20:00, Saturday 4 October 2014 12:00-17:00
Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79–81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

Saturday 4 October and Sunday 5 October, 12:00-14:00 and 15:00-17:00
Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79–81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

Tania El Khoury
Saturday 4 October 2014, 18:30
Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79–81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

Narcissister: Performance and Video Works
Saturday 4 October 2014, 20:00
Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79–81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

Club Fierce: Algorave
Saturday 4 October 2014, 21:30-late
Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79–81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

The Vacuum Cleaner and Hannah Hull
Wednesday 8 October 2014, 18:30
Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79–81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

This is Your Tomorrow
Friday 10 October 2014, 22:00
Festival Hub @ The Edge, 79–81 Cheapside, Digbeth, B12 0QH

Fierce Slow Dance
Saturday 11 October 2014, 21:00-late
Polish Centre, Bordesley Street, Digbeth, B5 5PH

Cyborg Day
Sunday 12 October 2014, 18:30
Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Digbeth, B4 7XG

Boxxed Fresh

When: Saturday 27th September, 19:00 onwards
Where: Boxxed Warehouse, 104-105 Floodgate Street, Digbeth, B5 5SR
Tickets: £10 (available online here)

If after City of Colours you’re missing the thrill of live graffiti, then you don’t have much longer to wait to get your next fill.

Boxxed Fresh comes to Digbeth later this month; a new night filled with BBQ, music and graffiti, it is set to become a regular fixture on the Digbeth events calendar. Along with live beatboxers and graffiti artists, there will be dinosaurs, retro games such as Street Fighter, and huge prize giveaways including a custom made BMX!

For more information, see the Facebook event or check out the Boxxed Fresh page.

MacMillan Coffee Morning at The Anchor

When: Wednesday 24th September, 12:00 onwards
Where: The Anchor, 308 Bradford Street, Digbeth, B5 6ET

Next week The Anchor will be participating in the world’s biggest coffee morning in the name of raising money for people living with cancer.

Come along and show your support to a great charity. There will be coffee, lots of cake and some competitions all in aid of a good cause. If you’re at a loose end, bring along some mates for a gossip and a brew!

For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

Eastside Projects – September 2014 Exhibitions

Exhibition Launch: Friday 19th September, 18:00-20:00
Exhibition Continues: until Saturday 6th December 2014
Where: Eastside Projects, 86 Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth, B9 4AR

Everyone is welcome to Eastside Projects to join in the launch of two new exhibitions this Friday.

Rafal Zar
Old Hill Uprising

Old Hill Uprising is an exhibition of new paintings by Sandwell-based Polish artist Rafal Zar, depicting dehumanised symbols of a melancholic, nostalgic, sentimental darkness captured in a cartoon like reality just this side of an unrelenting emptiness.

Susan Philipsz
Broken Ensemble: War Damaged Musical Instruments (brass section)

Turner Prize winning artist Susan Philipsz will create an acoustic environment related to the particularities of Eastside Projects’ 1918 industrial building, filling the gallery with brass musical instruments damaged in World War I.

For more information about both exhibitions, visit the Eastside Projects website.

Transforming Place – Neighbourhood Strategy in Birmingham

Birmingham City Council released its new neighbourhood strategy, entitled Transforming Place: Working together for better neighbourhoods, in spring 2014.

The strategy has been included below, and you can download it in full at this link.

Chamberlain Forum have created a website to discuss this new neighbourhood strategy, along with its background and previous approaches; click here to visit their Transforming Place website.

GEEK Festival

When: Friday 19 – Sunday 21 September 2014
Where: Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth
Tickets: from £5 (available online here)

GEEK is a festival of play and games usually held annually in Margate, Kent. The organisers are bringing the event to Birmingham for the first time, and where else would they come but Digbeth?!

The theme of the event is Heroes and Villains, and there will be a special zone where Batman, Superman and Mario will battle against the Joker, Lex Luthor, Wario. There will be movie props and costumes on show, along with a special prize for the best Transformer costume!

GEEK will offer the opportunity to play hundreds of classic and modern games, on consoles spanning forty years from SNES to the Commodore 64, Xbox, Atari 7800 and Game Cube.

For more information, click here to visit the GEEK website.

The 24 Hour Rave Experiment

When: from 12:00 on Saturday 20th September, until 12:00 on Sunday 21st September
Where: The Rainbow Venues, 160 Digbeth High Street, Digbeth, B12 0LD
Tickets: from £24 (available online here)

Now time for something completely different…

Later this month the Rainbow will be hosting an experimental 24 hour rave event, in aid of Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The venue will be transformed into ten different indoor and outdoor spaces, including an astro-turfed courtyard, a street party arena, and even a beach! There will also be a themed food court area to ensure revellers keep their energy levels up throughout the duration.

The event will take place from noon Saturday to noon on Sunday; anyone lasting the full 24 hours will have their ticket money refunded to them, and anyone who doesn’t will see the face ticket value donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Anyone caught sleeping will be politely asked to leave.

Due to the uniqueness of this event, it is anticipated that it will grab the attention of the national press, but residents of Digbeth are being reassured that it should not affect them; Sergeant Snape of West Midlands Police issued the following statement:

This event has been approved by the Safety Advisory Group and will have increased security, including a eight foot high solid metal security fence around its perimeter and a photo ID recording system at the entrance. The Digbeth Neighbourhood Policing Team will provide a high visibility reassurance presence at the main entrance and will be working with the event organisers. It is anticipated that this event will have no impact on the residents of Digbeth.

For more information, please visit the Rainbow website.

Digbeth Canal Lengthsman

Our readers may have noticed the appearance of two narrow boats along the Grand Union Canal at Minerva Works; after living on narrowboats for over ten years, Alison Tuck and Louise Moore have moved to Digbeth. As well as running Harris Moore Canvases, Louise is a member of the Guild of Waterway Artists specialising in paintings of the Birmingham Canal Network, and Alison runs her business, Da Vinci Crafts from one of the two boats.

Plenty of people use the canal, including cyclists, walkers, and families at the weekends, but Louise and Alison wanted to make the area more welcoming and less threatening. Their presence seems to have reduced the amount of anti-social behaviour, which was becoming an increasing problem, but they haven’t stopped there: Alison has been a Canal and River Trust volunteer and has taken it upon herself to become a guardian of the Digbeth stretch of canal.

Known as lengthsmen, the pair have been using their spare time to collect litter and undertake general gardening and improvements along their length of canal: from the bridge access on Great Barr Street to the Warwick Bar Junction, and the shorter stretch from the start of Ashsted Tunnel to Typhoo Basin.

They are currently working on the seating area by Fazeley Street Bridge where they would like to add wire bins with clear plastic bin bags to help tackle the litter problem. If any readers know of bins that could be donated we would be incredibly grateful. They then hope to move onto seating area opposite the Banana Warehouse, where they’d like to reinstate the notice board and create a pleasant spot to sit and look over the flora and fauna at Edible Eastside.

Future plans include repainting the locks, notice boards and handrails, and extending their lengthsman area up towards Camp Hill locks.

We’ve included some before and after photos to show what has been achieved so far, but Louise and Alison would always welcome any extra helping hands! If you would like to get in touch, please join the Facebook group or email Alision at

We think the ladies have done an outstanding job and are helping to make Digbeth a much better place to live, work or visit. Long may it continue and who knows, we may soon have more narrowboat neighbours along the canal!

Bike Unltd

When: 12 September – 30 November 2014
Where: Vivid Projects, 16 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RS

This Friday sees the launch of Bike Unltd, a new project exploring the creative possibilities of pedal power, at Vivid Projects in Digbeth.

Working in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of professional producers, technicians, cyclists, artists and designers, Vivid Projects will go low carbon to deliver a series of practical workshops this autumn.

The team will be generating and testing ideas that harness bicycle technology, from film production to mobile tagtooling, and are looking for people to get creative with bikes.

For more information and to learn how to get involved, email Vivid at

The Secret Screenings Club

When: 17:00 onwards on 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th September 2014
Where: The Mockingbird Theatre and Bar, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA

The Mockingbird Theatre and Bar, in conjunction with Back to the Theatre, are holding free film screenings every Tuesday evening in September.

The catch? The film is a mystery up until the last minute – although I’d hardly call that a catch!

The aim of the Secret Screenings Club is to introduce film fans to movies they may have otherwise not considered, and to revisit classic flicks that everyone loves.

To learn more, email as the mystery film will be revealed by email. But if you can’t wait that long to find out, the screens at the Mockingbird Bar will hold clues to help you guess which film you’ll be enjoying.

For more information, visit the Mockingbird’s Facebook page, the Back to the Theatre Facebook page, or the Mockingbird’s website.