Though the main draw to Birmingham this spring is obviously the thrilling and ground-breaking event taking place from the 10th-12th April at Birmingham Conservatoire, there are lots of other reasons to visit the city too. Why not come along to all or part of the Festival Weekend and combine it with a sightseeing tour of the 2nd most populous city in Britain?
Birmingham has an astonishing industrial heritage, having catapulted into existence almost from nothing in the nineteenth century. The city was at the heart of the Midlands Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution; history buffs will love Sarehole Mill (which apparently inspired locations in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit) and the Birmingham Back to Backs, the last surviving court of back-to-back houses which were constructed for the rapidly increasing working class population of Britain’s industrial cities.
If you want architecture and art, you’ve come to the right place. The city was an important centre of art in the Victorian period and was instrumental in the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts movements, both of which were closely linked to applied arts, high-quality design, and their relationship with industry. Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum is a collection of enormous international importance, with the largest collection of works by Edward Burne-Jones in the world. For something a little more quirky, head to the Custard Factory; it’s a hip art and design hub set in the converted factory that used to produce Bird’s Custard, and is full of small galleries, independent shops and affordable cafes.
For those with a sweet tooth, a visit to Cadbury World is a must. 4 miles south of Birmingham, the attraction aims to educate visitors about the history of cocoa and the Cadbury family – but if history’s not your thing, the free chocolate is a draw in itself.
If you’re hoping for a cheeky shopping spree (or you make a last-minute decision to buy those essential matching accessories for your a cappella group) then there’s plenty in Birmingham to keep you occupied – from the world-famous Bullring to the Jewellery Quarter (the home of British jewellery), with plenty of high street stores and independent boutiques in between.
Tickets are still available for our Festival Weekend, so buy yours now to avoid disappointment! Whether you want to come along for the whole weekend’s programme of workshops and competitions, or you just want to come along to one of our competition slots and still fit in an afternoon of gorging Cadbury’s treats and filling your culture quota, we have a ticket option for you.