Colour the Coach

Digbeth-based artist Paul Parkin (aka ‘Jinxy’) recently launched the National Express Colour the Coach competition, calling on local children to draw their ideal holiday.

The best pictures will be featured on one of National Express’s airport-bound coaches, and each winner will receive a £50 cheque!

Paul, who owns the Jinxy Art gallery in the Custard Factory, will be judging the entries. He is well-known for his drawings made from coffee, and got things off to a start with his own painting. You can see another of his coffee works in The Old Crown.

Colour the Coach is open to children aged 5-15 who simply need to draw their ideal holiday using whatever drawing materials they want. Entries must be landscape designs on A4 paper and need to be sent to National Express Coach Art Competition, National Express House, Mill Lane, Birmingham, B5 6DD, or a scan of the entry can be emailed to by Monday 27 July 2015.

Posted in Art, culture and that, Local Life | Tagged , , , ,

Oktoberfest Digbeth

When: Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd October 2015
Where: The Old Crown, High Street, Digbeth, B12 0LD

It’s about stein!

Over the first weekend in October, The Old Crown’s Beer Garden will be transformed into into a covered German beer hall with bench seating to celebrate Digbeth’s first ever Oktoberfest.

Keeping true to tradition, there will be huge steins, Bavarian larger, German games, authentic Bavarian food, and live entertainment.

For more information and to keep up to date with announcements, see the event’s Facebook page.

Posted in Pubwatch | Tagged , ,

Warwick Bar Summer Fete 2015

When: Saturday 25th July 2015, 12:00-17:00
Where: Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RT

The Warwick Bar Summer Fete returns on Saturday 25th July with a host of activities and fun for all the family!

Join in workshops exploring printing making, ballet dancing, raw food cookery, foraging, art walks along with print, photography, and street art exhibitions. There will also be live music sets by local folk musicians Tom Peel and The Bank Accounts.

Food on offer will include pizzas, healthy burgers and donuts at Edible Eastside, as well as pierogi (my favourite!) and cakes from the Polish Expats Association at Centrala Cafe.

For the first time, Warwick Bar will come alive with a flotilla of narrow boats creating a floating market, offering a range of food, crafts, plants and antiques.

For more information, see the website, Facebook event page, or keep up to date with news by following @WarwickBarB5 on Twitter.

Posted in Creative places and spaces, Local Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Live Music Round Up

See more live music at the Live Brum website.
Click here for gig listings for the Irish Centre Birmingham

Sunday, 12th July
Alfie Bird’s
Custard Factory
Free Entry

Andy Bennett of Ocean Colour Scene and Khaliq host an open mic in the heart of Digbeth

Sunday, 12th July
The Old Crown
Free Entry

Candlelight Acoustic

Monday, 13th July
The Spotted Dog
Free Entry

Traditional Irish Music – All musicians welcome to participate

Tuesday, 14th July
The Spotted Dog
Free Entry

Jazz Tuesdays

Thursday, 16th July
The Spotted Dog
Free Entry

Blues Thursdays

Friday, 17th July
St. Martin’s Church in the Bullring
12:30 – 13:00
Free Entry

Free Lunchtime Concerts every week, featuring local, national and international musicians. Some concerts are in association with Birmingham Conservatoire.

Sunday, 19th July
Alfie Bird’s
Custard Factory
Free Entry

Andy Bennett of Ocean Colour Scene and Khaliq host an open mic in the heart of Digbeth

Sunday, 19th July
The Spotted Dog
Free Entry

Sunday Classics

Sunday, 19th July
The Old Crown
Free Entry

Candlelight Acoustic

Posted in Rainbow, Spotted Dog, The sound of music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CC Fair

On Saturday 27th June, the Creative Citizens Project held a Fair (the CC Fair) at Impact Hub Birmingham in Digbeth.

The free event covered themes around creative citizenship, community initiatives, social projects, and civic action, featuring presentations, workshops and plenty opportunities for networking, asking questions and gaining advice.

I was delighted to be invited to speak at the event; you can read more about what happened at the CC blog, or see below for a selection of tweets and links to further media from the fair:

Posted in Creative places and spaces, Local Life | Tagged , , , , ,

Digbeth Music Potential

When: Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd July, 10:00-17:00
Where: Access to Music, Heath Mill Studios, 68 Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth, B9 4AR

Digbeth-based Punch Records​, in association with Barclaycard and Capital Xtra​, are running two free creative camps for young people later this month​. Both days are packed with exclusive workshops in performance, production skills, events management and more.

Music Potential workshops will be delivered by talented professionals, and the young people taking part will also have the opportunity to talk to graduates of the 2014 programme, and meet industry music professionals such as DJ Tim Westwood, Jacob Banks, Sacha Brooks and world-renowned Asian artist PBN.

If you’re an enthusiastic performer, radio presenter, music producer, songwriter, video producer or just really want to learn about the business side of the music industry, then this is the programme for you.

To register, you need to be aged 16-25, not currently working or studying, and have a burning passion to work in the music industry. For more information, contact Tash by email to, by phone on 0121 224 7444, or register directly here.

Posted in Creative places and spaces, The sound of music | Tagged , , ,

Street Banquet – 2015 dates

When: Saturday 11th July, 15:00-late
Where: Lab 11, Trent Street, Digbeth, B5 5NL

This Saturday, Street Banquet returns to the Archway Terrace of Lab 11 in Digbeth.

Expect delicious street food, exceptional beverages and a festival atmosphere with bright decorations and music and light shows to match!

After tomorrow, Street Banquet will return to Digbeth on the following dates, so get them in your diary now!

  • Saturday 18th July
  • Saturday 25th July
  • Saturday 8th August
  • Saturday 15th August
  • Saturday 22nd August

For more information, visit the website or Facebook page.

Posted in Local Life, The sound of music | Tagged , , ,

Anchor Organic Ale Fest

When: Thursday 9th – Tuesday 14th July
Where: The Anchor Inn, 321 Bradford Street, Digbeth, B5 6ET

Starting from today, The Anchor present their annual Organic Beer Festival!

Featuring more than a dozen organic real ales, alongside organic ciders, wines and larger, a barbeque and live music, it really is a feast for all the senses.

From 19:00 on Friday the Birmingham FOE will be holding their organic BBQ at the pub.

From 20:00 on Saturday, there will be free live music from Replay 45 and their guests. For more information, see the Anchor Facebook page here.

Posted in Local Life, Pubwatch | Tagged , ,

Making for Change

When: Saturday 11th July, 16:00-20:00
Where: Impact Hub Birmingham, The Walker Building, 58 Oxford Street, Digbeth, B5 5NY

Young people aged 14-25 are invited to Craftspace’s free event this Saturday at the Impact Hub Birmingham.

The event has been designed to inspire young people to make positive social changes using Craftivism (craft + activism). A range of activities are on offer, such as stitching, paper art inspired by big data, and tile printing, all led by renowned craftivists such as Sarah Corbett.

Short pecha kucha talks will follow the event, as well as free music and food, so there really is no excuse for not getting out the house this weekend!

For more information, contact Craftspace on or 0121 608 6668. More information and ticket booking is available here.

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Eastside Park Xplorer

When: Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th July, 15:00-17:00
Where: Meet outside the Science Garden, Eastside City Park, Digbeth, B4 7AP

This weekend, Eastside City Park will become the first park in Birmingham to run Xplorer – a free outdoor activity for primary and pre-school children and their families.

Xplorer is a navigation challenge which uses a map to help young explorers find a number of discretely located markers around the park, starting from outside the Science Garden. Look for the flag during event times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The programme will be run in partnership with British Orienteering and the City of Birmingham Orienteering Club, and more dates will be announced soon!

For more information, visit the Xplorer website.

Posted in Digbeth Residents Association, Local Life | Tagged , , , ,