BE FESTIVAL 3-11 June – Announce full programme!

BE FESTIVAL: Birmingham European Festival of Performing Arts exists to challenge and turn the notion of theatre upside down, crossing borders, creative disciplines and blurring boundaries between audiences and artists. After 13 years, this summer’s programme will be the last iteration of the festival as we know it. From 3 – 11 June 2022, you are being invited to celebrate everything that has made BE FESTIVAL unique.

Despite periods of uncertainty and distancing, BE FESTIVAL have continued to cling strongly to encounter, and the construction of a welcoming inclusive space. This year’s festival is anchored more than ever in this territory, and in the people that have made BE FESTIVAL possible.

BE FESTIVAL is offering opportunities to Birmingham’s diverse communities to be protagonists. They are facilitating cohesion and conveying concerns, claims and stories from our common biographies, through aesthetic and fictional artistic devices.

Making their UK premiere are casaBranca, Ana Borralho & João Galante (Portugal) with Trigger Of Happiness at Crescent Theatre, 3 & 4 June. They are inviting 12 young adults from Birmingham, with no experience of theatre, on stage. Sitting at the same table, they play Russian roulette and answer a list of questions about their lives, such as their concerns, their anxieties, their families and their hopes and visions for the future. As words are released, life paths overlap, drawing explosive cartography of local youth. 

This is a deadly game in search of happiness. 

To book visit:

As part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, BE FESTIVAL are delighted to welcome back Fabrice Mazliah / Work of Act, formerly MAMAZA (Germany) whose previous work ASINGELINE, was presented back in 2017.

From 8 – 11 June, the artists will be presenting the UK premiere of Garden State. They will be knocking on doors of residents from across the city to invite them to help transform the MAC’s main stage into an exotic ephemeral communal garden made up of their favourite houseplants. The result is a social oasis, a utopian island. Garden State is a durational installation and an event space where you will be able to enjoy a range of free activities, from workshops, to meals, talks, performances and concerts. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the artists to be featured in Garden State at Midlands Arts Centre:

Garden State Programme Highlights

Wed 8 June

Photography Workshop with Ming De Nasty, 5:00pm – 6:30pm

During the 90-minute session, participants will look specifically at how to take photos of the plants featured in the exotic Garden State.

Casey Bailey, 8.30pm – 9.15pm

Casey Bailey is the Birmingham Poet Laureate 2020-2022. He is a writer, performer and educator born and raised in Nechells, Birmingham.

Thu 9 June

4 Legs Good presented by Claire Cunningham, 7.00pm – 8pm

This lecture performance explores her artistic practice – specifically the use / misuse, study and distortion of crutches as artistic practice and how they shape her work and connect her to the world.

David Austin Grey Trio, 9.30pm – 10.15pm

Celebrated pianist, composer and educator David Austin Grey will be appearing with his vocalist/guitarist Germa Adan and drummer Euan Palmer. The trio perform heartfelt and original contemporary jazz along with some improvised music.

Fri 10 June

Modified Toy Orchestra, 10.00pm – 10.45pm

MTO have been at the forefront of circuit bending, which involves rescuing children’s electronic toys and converting them into new wonderfully sophisticated musical instruments. The toy instruments are used to create random, ambient, chaotic and fascinating music.

Sat 11 June,

Palaver Party presented by Fatt Projects, 12.00pm – 1.00pm

Featuring a spectacular line up this is an inclusive performance party for kids’ aged 3-8 (and their grown-ups too). The party is an interactive hosted performance event mixing drag, cabaret, live music, DIY costume making and disco dancing. Plus, there’s a large dose of glitter thrown in for good measure!

Tomorrow’s Parties presented by Forced Entertainment, 9.00pm – 10.20pm

A compelling performance that imagines a multitude of hypothetical futures. Tomorrow’s Parties is a playful, poignant and delirious look forwards to futures both possible and impossible.

BE FESTIVAL Closing Party, 10.20pm – close

After 13 years, as the festival draws to an end, BE FESTIVAL will celebrate with special farewell party featuring DJ Glynn Phillips whose GlobalSoundClash will see him mixing and blending a range of exuberant Afro-Latin grooves, soul, Balkan beats, funk, hi-life and more.

Please note all Garden State events are free but spaces are limited and booking in advance may be required for some events.

Garden State is one of the Birmingham 2022 Festival’s Creative City Projects generously funded by Birmingham City Council

For more information visit and keep tuned to their social media platforms.

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