Birmingham Irish Heritage Group – July 2017

When: Wednesday 5 July, 19:15
Where: The Connaught Bar (upstairs), Irish Centre Birmingham, High Street, Digbeth, B12 0NL
Tickets: £3.50 (non-members)

This Wednesday, the Birmingham Irish Heritage Group invite you to a presentation from two of their members, Dr Kathleen Dixon Donnelly and Patricia Hayward.

Such Friends: Two for the Lusitania, is a talk that will explore the tragic sinking of the Lusitania, focusing on two particular victims: Hugh Lane, nephew of the Lady Augusta Gregory; and Edward Ireton, great-uncle of Pat Hayward.

Please see the flyer below for more information. This event is free for BIHG members; full membership is £15 per year (with concessions for students and senior citizens). To learn more, contact

Posted in The Irish Quarter, Voices from the motherland | Tagged ,

Harry Potter Marathon

When: Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August
Where: Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA
Tickets: available online here

Needing a Harry Potter fix?

The Mockingbird are devoting a whole weekend to the lightning-scarred character in August, screening all eight films back to back in a special Harry Potter Marathon.

In true Mockingbird style, there will wizard-inspired food on offer, along with Butter Beer too!

Tickets for all eight films are on sale now for £30 (available here). Day tickets will be released on 15 July for £20, and tickets for individual films will be on sale from 30 July for £6.

See the schedule below, and visit the Eventbrite page for more information.

12:00 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
14:50 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
17:45 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
20:15 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

12:00 – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
14:35 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
17:20 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
20:15 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Posted in Custard Factory | Tagged ,

The Why? Festival

When: Saturday 8th July, 16:00-23:00
Where: The Crossing, Milk Street, Digbeth, B5 5SU
Tickets: Adults from £10, children from £3 (available online here)

The Why? Festival is a programme of performance and development opportunities aimed at discovering and working with new and emergency artists who define themselves as disabled or of diverse culture.

Over 20 artists will perform over the course of the day, across two stages. There will also be Costa Coffee available, along with a bar, face painting and BSL interpretation throughout the day. Learn more about the artists here.

The Why? Festival is a truly accessible and inclusive event! Visit the website for more information; enquiries can be sent to and tickets are available online or by calling the Box Office on 0844 870 0000.

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

Adult Youth Club

When: Friday 30 June and Saturday 1 July
Where: The Old Crown, High Street Deritend, Digbeth, B12 0LD
Tickets: from £20 per person (available online here)

A pop-up Adult Youth Club is coming to Digbeth this summer offering crazy golf, ping pong, street food and cocktail-making where you can recreate the flavours of your childhood from Drumstick Martinis to Bubble Gum Bellinis.

There will be a custom-built mobile molecular cocktail bar nicknamed The Heisenbar, along with food from Disco Kitchen, including croquettes, meat filled cheesy chip toasties and braised meat sliders.

Tickets cost £20 each including an hour’s cocktail class, two molecular cocktails from the Heisenbar menu, and a boozy palate cleanser.

Booking is recommended; tickets are available online here.

Posted in Creative places and spaces, Pubwatch | Tagged , ,

The Saturday Social at Urban Village

When: Saturday 22nd July, 10:00-17:00
Where: 10 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RT

Urban Village is on the move again! Their shop in Bowyer Street closed last week, but the team are staying in Digbeth and moving to a unit twice the size at Minerva Works.

The new shop will still sell a huge range of quality vintage clothing, but with the addition of records, artwork, books and magazines. Plus there will also be parking available, alongside a cool seated area to enjoy a drink while listening to live DJs.

Following the launch on 22 July, Urban Village will be open on Saturdays ONLY, from 10:00 until 17:00. Find out more by visiting the website, or liking Urban Village on Facebook here.

Posted in Creative places and spaces | Tagged , ,

Pat Molloy Summer School 2017

When: Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July 2017
Where: South & City College, Digbeth, B5 5SU
Tickets: £15 (available online here

The Pat Molloy Summer School returns to Digbeth on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July 2017.

This weekend workshop is designed to teach and improve skills with traditional Irish instruments. For more information, see the website by clicking the image below:

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

The Dig Brew Co

Where: 43 River Street, Digbeth, B5 5SA

The Dig Brew Co is expected to launch in August 2017, converting 43 River Street into a brewery/bar and indoor street food venue.

The owners hope to brew lager and ale in the facility, and serve it straight from the cask to remove the need for bottling or packaging.

The kitchen will initially serve a range of pies, including vegan and vegetarian options, before inviting chefs and restaurateurs to run pop-ups up in the bar to encourage experimentation. The back of the building, which bridges over the River Rea, will be used a dining area with river views.

The proposed operating hours are 08:00-02:00 Monday to Friday, 09:00-03:00 on Saturdays, and 10:00-00:00 on Sundays and bank holidays. For more information, see the Birmingham Mail website.

Residents can view and comment on the plans here.


Edit: view the official press release below:

Posted in Buildings, regeneration and that | 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 25th June
Sunday Xpress at Centrala (4 Minerva Works, B5 5RT)
Free entry

Revolution Revolution!

Tuesday 27th June
The Spotted Dog
Free Entry

Jazz Tuesdays

Thursday 29th June
Free Entry

Twisted Thursdays

Friday 30th June
The Magic Garden at Wagon & Horses, Adderley Street, B9 4ED
Tickets from £7 advance (available online here)

The Surrenders
Harry & The Howlers
Paper Buoys
No Hot Ashes
Bad Llama
and more…

Saturday 1st July
The Night Owl
£5 advance / £6 on the door (includes entry to Dig? club night)

Live music every Saturday night at The Night Owl

Sunday 2nd July
The Spotted Dog
Free Entry

Sunday Classics
Presenting a range of young stars of the future from the classical world, ranging from opera singers to violinists to harpists at the very start of their careers… Be early to get a seat.

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

Custard Factory: under new ownership

Lucan Gray has sold his share of the Custard Factory to Oval Real Estate, a privately owned investment and asset management company in London, in a deal including nearby Fazeley Studios and warehouses in Heath Mill Lane.

Nick Prior, co-founder of Oval Real Estate, said: “We’re very excited and are committed to the long term regeneration of Digbeth. We’re unable to talk about what is going to happen there just yet other than to say we’ll be following on from the good work that Lucan has done. It’s all very fresh and we’re still working everything out. We still need to talk to staff and tenants.”

Rumours of the sale began circulating a couple of weeks ago, and the news has received mixed reactions. Some tenants are thrilled at the prospect of the new owners investing into the area and buildings, others are worried that the new owners are hoping to cash-in before the arrival of HS2 in 2027.

Some tenants found out about the news by seeing it in the Birmingham Mail, which doesn’t bode well…

I personally have a lot of concerns about the news. Although Nick says that Oval are keen to continue Lucan’s work, it’s unclear whether that means continuing with the strategy of keeping things independent and small, or whether they are keen to focus on attracting bigger clients such as ASOS, Gensler and Codemasters, all of whom are relatively new to the Custard Factory.

The retail offering at the Custard Factory has always been held by independents, and the lack of chains in Digbeth is one of the things that makes our area great. Independents are thriving in Birmingham at the moment, with many Brummies choosing to spend their hard earned pounds with local businesses, ensuring that money stays in the city and is not filtered into the pockets of big corporations (who may or may not pay their taxes…).

There was speculation about potentially converting the building into luxury flats, which is a very real opportunity, and not necessarily a bad one. We’ve seen an increase in mixed-use developments around the city, which include residential, retail, commercial (office space and possibly hotels), and entertainment offerings. These types of developments help spread the risk and make for a more diverse and strong model, which could work well at the Custard Factory.

At the moment, everything is unclear and Oval Real Estate’s website doesn’t give us any hints as to the strengths/previous work of the new owners. Although I’ve spoken to a contact close to the action at the Custard Factory who is quite positive, I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve had the opportunity to talk to the new owners myself.

Whatever happens, rest assured that we’ll certainly keep you updated.

Posted in Custard Factory, Digbeth Residents Association | Tagged , ,

The Tony Iommi Scholarship at BIMM Birmingham

Tony Iommi is no stranger to Digbeth – his custom guitars are made right here by Jay Dee – but last month he made a very special visit to announce details of the BIMM Birmingham Scholarship which will bear his name. Watch a video from the day below.

This prestigious scholarship will be fully funded for three years and is worth up to £20,250. There will also be an additional three Tony Iommi bursaries to support students’ first year studies at BIMM Birmingham, which will open its doors in Digbeth this October.

Tony was interviewed before an intimate audience of 20 BIMM Birmingham freshers-to-be, who’d won the chance to listen to the rock legend relay stories from his 50-year career in music. He shared a host of amazing anecdotes about spoke about Black Sabbath’s formation, and how the band’s sound was inspired by horror movies.

BIMM Birmingham is hosting an Open Day today; click here to learn more about BIMM Birmingham’s scholarships and bursaries.

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