Birmingham 2022 Festival is a £12 million six month long celebration generously supported by a range of funders with the aim of animating the entire West Midlands with ambitious creative works. Major support has been dedicated by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund plus Spirit of 2012, Birmingham City Council and national Trusts & Foundations such as the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

This is an extraordinary time for Birmingham and the West Midlands. Already glowing from the impact of Coventry UK City of Culture, the arrival of the Commonwealth Games is an electric opportunity to celebrate this place that we call home, and to reach out to the world with our creativity.

The Birmingham 2022 Festival is the biggest celebration of creativity ever in the region and one of the largest ever Commonwealth Games cultural programmes. The plan was simple: clearly lay out the opportunity, listen intently to the response, and curate as much of what was proposed back into a festival that was so free, and so publicly available, that it would be positively disruptive!

The Birmingham 2022 Festival is committed to being open and honest, even about the most uncomfortable of topics, and is proud to present a showcase of creativity that is as thoughtful as it is celebratory. 

The festival is led by artists who know that great audience experiences are a magical combination of beauty, community, participation, diversity and inclusion. Heritage is a golden thread that runs through and between every event, project and idea. Above all, it is a festival made in the West Midlands for the Commonwealth, and everyone is invited.

When the Games conclude in August, the Festival will keep going through to the end of September. We’ll then step aside and let the region’s vibrant cultural offer continue to thrive.  

Legacy is a living thing, an imprint – it’s what happens when there’s enough energy and will to keep hold of the things that matter most, and when those who take part in something are changed by it, for the better.

The Birmingham 2022 Festival has begun work on a number of projects including Critical Mass in partnership with DanceXchange which is currently recruiting over 300 young people aged 16-30. Participants will perform in some of 2022’s biggest cultural events including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies thanks to funding from Spirit of 2012.

Creative City Grants will provide up to 150 community groups across Birmingham with grants of up to £20,000 to deliver creative projects that impact positively on their community generously supported by £2m of funding from Birmingham City Council.

The Birmingham 2022 Festival has also supported seven research and development programmes funded by the British Council which linked artists and companies based in the West Midlands with creatives in Commonwealth countries.