The University of Birmingham Orchestra performing in summer 2018

This summer, a free two-day festival is set to be the biggest community event in the University of Birmingham’s history.

The Green Heart Festival Launch Weekend, taking place on 8th and 9th June 2019, will bring the campus to life with colourful tents, a main stage and performances from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra alongside the University of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

There will be diverse activities for all ages, with hands-on exhibits which will highlight the recent research of the University. This will include:

  • Star Machine-vibrations of the Universe – an interactive artwork that allows you to hear the stars ‘singing’.
  • The sound of Quantum Technology – take a walk with our physicists and learn about the Quantum Science behind the Old Joe Clock Tower, the railway station and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
  • Heart Beats – view heart cells with our microscope and see an echocardiogram taking place.

Set in the newly completed 12-acre Green Heart, this will be a chance for the local community to see the transformation of campus and enjoy the grass amphitheatre for the first time. The space will play host to a prom-style concert on the evening of Saturday 8 June, led by student music groups, singers and orchestras. Then, on Sunday 9 June, there will be a variety of activities on offer focusing on wellbeing and sustainability.

The weekend will be brought to a close by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO), conducted by its musical director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and 3,000 singers on the main stage on Sunday afternoon. Many choirs, including the CBSO Chorus, CBSO Youth Chorus, CBSO Children’s Chorus and SO Vocal and many others, will celebrate together in this festival within a festival.

There will be a full range of street food and drink throughout the weekend.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood said: “This is the biggest free outdoor event that the University of Birmingham has ever hosted. We are proud to be opening our gates to the wider community, and want all in the city and the region to know they are welcome. Whether they spend half an hour on campus finding out about a life-changing piece of research, bring their picnic for the prom event, or whether they make a weekend of it, we very much look forward to welcoming them.

“We owe significant thanks to the CBSO for being part of this historic weekend, and to our sponsors Willmott Dixon Construction, Churchman Landscape Architects and Pensworth Dairy.”

Those keen to come along are encouraged to register their interest.

The launch event will be followed by a year-long programme of cultural events on campus which will be open to all.

The Green Heart is a major landscaping project which has opened up campus, restoring the views from the North Gate through to Old Joe, as it was intended when the University was founded in 1900. This has been done with a 21st Century approach, incorporating state-of-the-art lighting, energy generating paving and a focus on environment and wildlife.

For further information, please contact Head of Communications and Engagement (Infrastructure) Sally Xerri-Brooks on +44 (0)121 414 3984.