BASS Festival 2014

BASS Festival returns to Digbeth this week for its 2014 offering. Organised by Digbeth-based Punch Records, BASS is the UK’S only annual black music festival.

Running over 14 days, with events all across the city, BASS has certainly pumped it up a gear for 2014! A number of events are taking place in Digbeth, including a special screening of 1980s British reggae film Babylon at the Custard Factory on Wednesday, which will be followed by a Q&A with its star and former lead singer of Aswad, Brinsley Forde.

We’ve given a taster of the festival’s Digbeth offerings below, but check out the BASS14 website for full event listings.

Monday 2nd June, South and City College Digbeth Campus
Bass Informs Sessions

Wednesday 4th June, Custard Factory Theatre
Film Screening: Babylon

Saturday 7th June, Next▢Door
D&B Silent Disco

Monday 9th June, The Digbeth Institute
Grime Unplugged

Friday 13th June, Custard Factory Theatre
Web Stars

DRA Meeting – June 2014

When: Monday 9th June 2014, 18:00 onwards
Where: Old Crown Restaurant, High Street Deritend, Digbeth

The next meeting of Digbeth Residents Association will be taking place on Monday 9th June at 18:00 in the Old Crown on Digbeth High Street. Please find an agenda for the meeting below.

This is a special meeting, in that the one formative item on the agenda is the subject of shisha lounges. We do hope you are able to attend.

If you have any questions or would like to submit apologies, please do email

Turning Point – Community Navigator Support Service

Turning Point is a national health and social care provider offering a free Community Navigator Support Service.

This consists of free one-to-one support and signposting help for people in vulnerable groups such as the elderly who may be isolated, people with physical or learning disabilities, people with mental health or other long term health conditions, along with their carers.

The services has been working in partnership with many Digbeth institutions such as Irish in Birmingham, SIFA Fireside, and St. Martin’s, but DRA would like to raise awareness of the service amongst residents who may know of a neighbour, family member, or friend, who could benefit from emotional or practical support.

For more information, please click here to visit the website, or have a read of the leaflet below:

McTunney’s Sweet Emporium

Where: McTunney’s Sweet Emporium, Gallery 8, Gibb Street, The Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA
When: Monday-Saturday, 10:00-17:00

McTunney’s is a retro-style sweet shop that fits right in at the Custard Factory. Whether you’re looking for pineapple rock, candy necklaces, bonbons, ABC letters, dibdabs, parma violets, sherbet fountains, fudge, or gourmet chocolate, it really is a land of sugar and spice and all things nice.

As well as the old favourites, McTunney’s stock sugar free sweets and imported goodies such as Hershey bars. You can also shop online for your favourite treats, which certainly got our friends over at Independent Birmingham all excited – click here to read their review!

For more information, visit the McTunney’s website, Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.


When: Saturday 7th June, doors open at 19:45
Where: Muthers Studio, 14 Rea Street South, Digbeth, B5 6LB
Tickets: £3 on the door

DIE DAS DER is a group of musicians and people generally involved in the creative industries, aiming to attract attention to the region’s acts and performers by working together in larger groups.

They plan regular monthly shows, the next of which will take place right here in Digbeth at Muthers Studio. Featuring a packed line-up of The Starries, Desperate Journalist, Fauxchisels, and Mutes, the £3 entry is a bargain 75 pence for each band!

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

Digbeth First Friday – June 2014

When: Friday 6th June 2014, 17:00 onwards
Where: Various locations around Digbeth

Digbeth First Friday returns next week with a whole host of artistic entertainment and a fab soundtrack, all accompanied by delicious food courtesy of Digbeth Dining Club:

  • Celebrate Digbeth First Friday with a special ale brewed just for the occasion. The Anchor Inn has produced First Friday Pale, only available on Digbeth First Fridays – served until midnight.
  • Dress up and join Vivid Projects for a Superstyling party to launch a month-long season of exhibition, provocations and events celebrating the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies aka the Birmingham School – 6–10pm.
  • Go First Friday Racing at Teamworks Karting Birmingham for just £5 from 5–8pm.
  • Visit Stryx, as they host the CG Associates in Residence and explore the dialogues which arise through creative activity from 7–9pm.
  • Join Grand Union for the opening of Holly Antrum’s first solo exhibition “A Diffuse Citizen”, which draws from the practices and interests of people around her, most recently through her collaboration with 93 year old artist Jennifer Pike – 6–8pm.
  • Visit The Bond as they host a Summer Fun evening with a Craft Beer Bar from Birmingham Beer Bash, a Whisky Tasting Bar from the Whisky Festival, and an outdoor barbecue in their covered courtyard with Live Music and site-specific art from 5–10pm.
  • Explore Edible Eastside’s mini-market selling bread, plants and pizzas, and catch the collaborative artists project The Shaun Ryder Beermat Show and the site specific work The Valency of Four from 5-9pm.
  • Turn your day upside down at a late night opening of Bill Drummond’s exhibition at Eastside Projects with tea and toast topped with marmalade, made by the musician-turned-artist, 6–8pm.
  • Visit independent retailer Provide for locally-inspired streetwear, independent magazines and books alongside a chance to see Madin: Some Remains, a photography exhibition until 8pm.
  • See Colbalt Blue Arts for studio tours and artist networking, meet in the Custard Factory reception at 6, 7 and 8pm.
  • Join The RC Theatre Group for Roxie’s Confession, a one night musical extravaganza featuring all your musical theatre favourites with proceeds going to charity – 7:30–10:30pm.
  • Visit A3 Project Space to see Clare Thornton’s micro-residency Going Down to Barry’s from 6–8pm.
  • Round off Digbeth First Friday at Friction Arts as Psychedelic Psinema comes to the Edge with a bizarro mixture of weird shorts and a feature from cinema’s weird attic from 9pm–1am.

To whet your appetites, you can read Richard Johnson’s review of last month’s streetfood offering, and see other highlights from May below:

‘Wet boulevard’ proposed for Digbeth

Birmingham City Council is working with Severn Trent and the Environment Agency to explore “water sensitive” ways of regenerating the city centre and Digbeth.

One of the proposals is to create a wet boulevard – a pedestrian zone with water features – running from the Bullring towards the River Rea in Digbeth.

The proposed 'wet boulevard' for Digbeth

Although most of the river flows through the city underground, it has the Environment Agency’s lowest rating for water quality, and is the most significant flood risk in Birmingham.

The Ripple Effect report, commissioned by Defra’s Technology Strategy Board in 2013, estimated that environmental regeneration in Birmingham could be worth around £1.05 billion over 40 years, as a result of improved water quality and supply, reduced flood risk and increased property values.

Click here to read more on the BBC News website.

After Work Social at Hennessey’s

When: Monday to Friday, 16:00-20:00
Where: Hennessey’s Bar, 30-31 Allison Street, Digbeth, B5 5TJ

Hennessey’s have just launched their new food menus. To celebrate, they’re offering 25% off all food and drink purchased from 4pm-8pm Mondays to Fridays!

Enjoy your food along with live sport on the big screens, or just sat in the generous sun-trap beer garden. If live music is more your thing, Friday night is live music night, so make sure to get down early to secure yourself a good spot!

To keep up to date with goings on at Henessey’s, click here to follow them on Twitter or on Facebook.

Stanhope Hall in Bloom

Where: Stanhope Hall Community Centre, Ketley Croft, Highgate, B12 OXG

Our friends and neighbours over at Stanhope Hall will be hosting a healthy eating demonstration this Wednesday 28th May, making use of the fabulously fresh produce grown on-site in their garden. The event is free to attend, but please inform Monica in advance (details below) to ensure that enough food is made to go around!

In addition, the gang at Stanhope is hoping to spruce up their garden in time for the Britain in Bloom competition and need your help. If you can spare an hour or two to lend a helping hand in the garden to get some green-fingered satisfaction, please do get in touch with Monica Lee on 0121 446 5389 (Monday-Thursday) or email

The Cobalt Blue Arts

When: Friday 6th June, 18:00-22:00
Where: Studio 415-422, Scott House, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA

The Cobalt Blue is a contemporary British art gallery and independent artist-led support network, hidden away in the Custard Factory.

Specialising in fine art for private collectors and corporate buyers, their online gallery is regularly updated with new work. The Cobalt Blue also offer an art loan service if you need art temporarily to bring life to a corporate space, or for a networking event.

Jeannie Brown and Wayne Attwood are two of Cobalt Blue’s artists, who are currently exhibiting their work Divergence at The Bond Cafe in Digbeth. Open until 25th July, click here for more information about the exhibition.

In addition, Cobalt Blue will present Interlude at Digbeth First Friday on 6th June, consisting of a studio tour and artists networking event; tours will be leaving from the Custard Factory reception on the hour at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm.

If you’d like more information, or to book an appointment to see the space, contact Zarina by emailing or calling 07707 278 398.