There’s a lot of festivals and celebrations in that happen every year in every city, and Birmingham is no exception. The Kings Heath Street Festival is a new one, but one that hopefully will grow in the years to come.
The success or failure of these events comes down to good planning and the small details. The stalls and music are some of the elements that contribute to the quality of the event, but it’s small touches that really make or break something like this. The choice of stalls and vendors. The diversity of food and art, crafts and the provision of things that don’t cost a small fortune. I’m pleased to say that on the whole all those elements were present, except perhaps for the great music which seemed to be sadly lacking while we where present.
This turned out to be a party that everyone could enjoy, which in event terms is pretty much the holy grail. The placement of street furniture created an intimate and conversational vibe. The presence of artists creating on the street, and the diversity of goods and services on offer all added to the generally positive feel.
Some of the great local bands would have been a fine addition, but perhaps we just missed that, and there’s always next year. Though saying that in forty-five minutes something interesting should happen on the main stage.
All that said this was a very creative festival, and everything fitted together in a unique way to create a modern and positive feel to the event that was very enjoyable and relaxing. The absence of oppressive over policing was very welcome, but neither was there a drunken party atmosphere. It was equally a place to go for an afternoon of drink with friends, or somewhere to take out the kids.
The fact that the streets furniture was actual furniture really did make this a comfortable, origional, and intimate event. The presence of a large Ferris wheel at the end of the street put the whole thing into a different league.
It’s fair to say that Kings Heath put on a great event, and they should be commended for the way it was all handled. It was a day that next year I would definitely go back to, and possibly stay a lot longer, especially if it’s another great summer 🙂
The wonderful atmosphere was due in part to the provided seating. Not just the usual plastic street furniture, but actual leather couches.
The event was marked mainly by a lot of stalls and open bars, with a friendly atmosphere
A wide variety of food was on offer at the event and even though we didn’t actually buy any, it smelled damned good, and there’s always the theatre of preparation.
On the way to the festival a homeless man reading a book. He didn’t ask me for money, he just sat reading his book.
Approaching the festival there is a thronging mass of people, and a lively family atmosphere. It was nice to see such a large number of diverse people from parents with their kids, to the more weekend oriented crowd 🙂
The couches that look liked they belonged in your home where such a great idea. They made the who thing so pleasant, and the atmosphere so homely and casual.
The event attracted a large and diverse crowd of people.
A number of artists were also present selling there creations and discussing their process with potential clients.
All the normal shops such as “Top Banana” where all also open for business, as was the pet shop, which was full of children begging their parents for a pet rabbit. Although this is generally one of the few pet shops I don’t actively despise, please don’t buy pet’s for Christmas. Pets are a life time commitment, their lives, and rabbits require company. Most pet rabbits end up being forgotten in a cage the proportional size of a small closet, sitting alone in the cold. If your going to buy a rabbit then make sure that you can give him/her the time that they need…
Doing a brisk trade, the polar bear was out with all it’s goods, as were the vinyl collectors looking for that rare find.
Elvis lives and gets to meet the people one more time at Polar Bear Records.
Incredibly there was even a Ferris wheel which was operating at the end of the road by the pet store.
If anything it had the athmosphere of a street party, rather than a festival, but it was oddly split into two different streets separated by a main road..
There are many great food outlets in Birmingham, and it’s certainly a place that breeds entrepreneurs. I last saw this smoking BBQ at the Jamaican Independence celebrations outside the old library some time ago.
The ambassador for the “Room for one more” staffie rescue centre. A Staffordshire bull terrier rescue centre. Unfortunately due to their reputation their breed is affected badly by cruelty from people wanting savage dogs for nefarious purposes. You can check out the FB page at https://www.facebook.com/rf1m.staffierescue
One of the great things about this culturally rich and diverse city is the food, and it’s many ways of preparation. Traditional ovens, tandoors, all these things are something that Birmingham has in abundance.
A game of ring toss created by one of the stalls.
Amongst the many stall galleries were well represented at the Kings Heath Festival, as they should in such an artistic city.
One of the few people not sitting on the many chairs available. Who know why and I’m not going to postulate. It was just a nice photo op so I took it 🙂
One of the great things about events such as this is that you get a chance to talk to the people who make the art. There were many artists working and selling their art at the same time, and discussing it’s attributes with admirers.
Like all such events the Kings Heath Festival drew a large and plentiful crowd, keeping the many stalls, pubs, and eating establishments busy all day.
Like a lot of Birmingham Kings Heaths is an area going through a great deal of regeneration. Unfortunately there are a lot of places in the city that still woefully sit idle while others remain homeless.