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Circus Mash stilt walkers meet the dinosaurs at the Lapworth Museum of Geology

Visitors to the University of Birmingham’s FREE Community Festival can travel the globe in a day before blasting off into outer space.

The Edgbaston campus will come alive with colourful tents, a main stage and much more as the University opens its doors to visitors on Sunday, 11 June 2017 from 11am – 4pm.

For the first time this year, the University is asking visitors to register in advance - people can book their FREE tickets at

Guests can set off on a round-the-world voyage of discovery and get hands-on with our research discoveries locally, nationally and globally - with more than 100 FREE events and activities all over campus for the whole family, including the opportunity to:

  • Open rehearsals in the Elgar Concert Hall
  • Get to grips with Van Gogh in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts
  • Meet the dinosaurs in the Lapworth Museum of Geology
  • Explore the beautiful botanical gardens at Winterbourne House and Garden
  • Be amongst the first to visit the brand new sports and fitness centre

West Midlands-based company Circus Mash will give outdoor performances and workshops, while stilt walkers will be competing with the iconic clock tower ‘Old Joe’ to be the tallest on campus.

Entertainment for all the family on the main stage will include classical ensembles, theatrical performances and bands from student-run label New Street Records. The University Music Society Gamelan Ensemble will deliver hypnotic traditional Balinese music, whilst student flute and saxophone ensembles will entertain young and old alike.

There will be a helter skelter, bouncy castle and soft play area for children, plus traditional fairground style attractions such as Hook-a-Duck and swingboats. Hungry families can treat themselves to food from the farmers’ market and street food stalls.

Visitors receive a special ‘Around the World’ passport in which to record their encounters with the University’s global research, including:

  • The ‘Health Tent’ - showcasing the University’s wide range of research across areas including stroke prevention, health promotion and metabolism.
  • The ‘Activity Tent’ -  giving an insight into the histories and cultures of other countries, with an introduction to the University’s museums and cultural collections. Children and young people will also have the chance to don a mortar board for some fun graduation photos.
  • The Great Hall – with its grandeur providing a perfect backdrop to science-based activities, including a planetarium for night owls to explore the beauty of the night sky – in the middle of the day. There will also be a variety of hands-on exhibits illustrating recent research into areas such as black holes and gravitational waves.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.