Birmingham’s cultural calendar is packed with events to suit all ages and tastes. Its vibrant arts scene and bustling nightlife are complemented by annual festivals and shows in every possible area, from gastronomy and gardening to music and comedy. Below we give you a preview of the town’s best-known events.
The world’s largest dog show is held every year in March. Its ever-increasing popularity means that the finale is even broadcast on Channel 4 ?
Held every June, BBC Gardeners’ World Live includes the RHS Flower Show, a competition for the Midlands’ Best Community Garden, and plenty of handy advice by top gardeners including Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh ?
This is one of the biggest LGBT events in the UK. Every year, it features a parade, cabaret and a host of other musical events, most of which can be enjoyed for free ?️?
Car aficionados; look no further. Over three days, there are plenty of opportunities to admire some of the 2,500 vintage, film and racing cars and bikes on exhibit. One of the popular features of the show is the Restoration Theatre in which experts present restoration and maintenance techniques?
Enjoy this 10-day event taking place at various venues every October. It features both a range of local acts and well-known figures like 2017s showstoppers Greg Davies, Joe Lycett and The Impractical Jokers. There are also opportunities to see plays and cabaret, dance away at various concerts, and even attend a magic show ?
In the summer, this spectacular festival offers over 200 performances with jazz to suit every taste – ragtime, hard bop, blues, swing, jazz fusion and more?
|Event||Location||Month held||Distance from Birmingham Airport|
|Crufts Dog Show||NEC Arena||March||1.9 miles|
|BBC Gardeners World||NEC Arena||June||1.9 miles|
|Classic Motor Show||NEC Arena||October||1.9 miles|
|Birmingham Comedy Festival||Various venues||October||Various distances|
|Jazz and Blues Festival||Various venues||July||Various distances|
|Moseley Folk Festival||Moseley Park||First weekend of September||9.7 miles|
|Birmingham Pride||Birmingham Gay Village||May||9.3 miles|
Many of Birmingham’s top events take place at one of Europe’s largest exhibition centres: The NEC. The National Exhibition Centre welcomes more than 4 million visitors every year for fair trades, concerts, large conferences and sports events. Major shows take place in the LG Arena, which can house 16,000 people. The arena has hosted performances from huge stars over the last 40 years; – Tom Jones, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Ed Sheeran to cite just a few.
The NEC also has fantastic on-site facilities to make the most of your visit: an ample car park (22,000 spaces!), cloakrooms, cash points, baby facilities and many food and drink outlets including Starbucks, Subway and JD Wetherspoon.
Low-cost guest houses, serviced apartments, luxury hotels… All types of accommodation are available in Birmingham. You may want to stay in the city centre, but what if you are travelling by plane to arrive in the middle of the night or have to take a very early flight?
Airport hotels can be a good hassle-free choice with lots of advantages: you can avoid last-minute problems, sort out your car rental, exchange currency and find tourist information all in the same place. There are choices for every budget close to Birmingham Airport, from the Hilton if you want to indulge in luxury to the Travelodge for a basic but perfectly functional and comfortable room.
If you are staying at one of the hotels located on-site at the NEC (Hilton, Crowne Plaza and Ramada Encore), you can use a free shuttle service, the Air-Rail Link, which leaves from Terminal 1 and operates every two minutes.
Apart from annual events and festivals in Birmingham, it is home to many attractions which are open year-round. If you are an art aficionado, why not visit one of the eight major museums and stately homes united under the banner Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery? Together they showcase more than 500,000 objects of art dating from prehistoric times to the present.
Other exciting options to explore can be found on the Things to do in Birmingham page.