Birmingham Weekender is back!

This year’s free biennial event, produced by Birmingham Hippodrome Festivals and funded by Bullring & Grand Central, Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England, will take place within the iconic labyrinth that makes up Bullring & Grand Central, kickstarting a month of major festivals and the cultural reawakening of the city.

During the August Bank Holiday weekend, the footprint of Bullring & Grand Central will play host to a range of unexpected ‘pop-up’ and roaming performances, interactive experiences, art installations, film, exhibitions, workshops, and talks, occupying both traditional and unusual indoor and outdoor spaces.

This major event for the city will bring together residents and visitors to experience Bullring & Grand Central in a unique and unforgettable way.

Brief Overview + Details

As part of Birmingham Weekender, we are welcoming submissions from Birmingham and West Midlands associated performers and artists.  We want to programme a range of work that reflects and appeals to the cultural diversity and communities of the city and wider region.  This may be an existing piece of work, adapted work or new work that was ready to be premiered just before the pandemic.

All work must be COVID compliant.


Birmingham Weekender will take place within the footprint of the Bullring & Grand Central, as well as New Street Station concourse, Thousand Trades Square and Birmingham Markets.  Key venues / locations will also include Rotunda Square, St. Martin’s Square, Bullring shopping mall outside Selfridges and former Debenhams, Bullring & Grand Central vacant shop units e.g. former GAP, Link Street units.

Birmingham Hippodrome’s mission is to enrich the culture of the city and wider region. Birmingham Weekender 2021 at the iconic Bullring & Grand Central will offer residents and visitors to the city the opportunity to enjoy a varied range of free, high quality, live outdoor performances, art installations and participatory activities featuring music, circus, dance, puppetry, theatre, visual arts, and comedy that celebrates the city and wider region’s incredible artistic and cultural talents.

The programme will be designed primarily to maximise participation from artists/creatives and residents from the city and wider region, and to attract and enhance the August Bank Holiday visitor experience of Birmingham.

Types of work that will be considered:

  • Roaming
  • Visual Arts installations
  • Street Performance / Circus
  • Comedy
  • Puppetry
  • Dance
  • Live Music
  • DJs
  • Spoken Word
  • Storytelling

Commission outline

We are pleased to be able to offer the maximum number of commissions:

  • 1 x £7,500
  • 5 x £5,000
  • 5 x £2,500
  • 5 x £1,000

Commissions are exclusive of VAT and should include production costs associated with the creation and presentation of the work.  Birmingham Hippodrome Festivals will be responsible for the provision of standard festival infrastructure to support the presentation of work e.g. PAs, basic staging, crowd barriers, stewarding and security.

We would very much welcome proposals that bring match funding.

How to apply

Submissions must be no more than 1,000 words and should include:

  • A brief artist / company bio / CV including weblinks to previous work(s)
  • Outline of the work you wish to present including project name, proposed location, weblinks / images if available
  • Proposed budget to include all creative and presentation production costs
  • Clear indication of which commission fee(s) you wish to apply for

Applicants may apply for more than one commission.

All applications and any queries must be submitted by Fri 2 July 2021 and sent to with your project name and ‘Birmingham Weekender’ in the subject line.


  • Thu 17 June – Open Call for a range of £1k -7.5k commissions available
  • Fri 2 July – Deadline for proposals
  • w/c Mon 5 July – Selection process begins
  • w/c  Mon 12 July – Selected projects  announced