Let’s jump right into it!
1. Birmingham boasts 571 parks!
That’s 200 more than the capital of France! Though, in parts, Birmingham is your typical concrete jungle/urban city, its large areas of nature and greenery just make it all the more special. Some of my personal favourite parks include: Cannon Hill Park (and just a 25 minute walk from campus), Eastside City Park (in a great location between the Bullring and Digbeth), and Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park (catch a glance of a red panda, a monkey and more!)
2. Over 50 festivals are hosted in the city each year!
Though the Frankfurt Christmas Markets and the annual Pride festival are likely the most well-known festival attractions in Birmingham, the most exciting (in my humble opinion) are the Film and TV festival (premiering November 1st-10th this year), and SHOUT’s Festival of Queer Arts and Culture (November 5th-17th). Festivals across the year celebrate swing dance, poetry, spoken word, art, Chinese New Year, cocktails and much more!
3. Theatre is a major part of Birmingham’s culture!
Now, I have mentioned the wealth of theatres and theatrical events Birmingham has in the past. From The Hippodrome to The Old Rep, there really is a multitude theatre ongoing all year round across Birmingham! But what many don’t realize is that there are opportunities to get involved with theatre via performing, light and sound and stage management. Theatres such as The Alexandra and The Hippodrome host summer auditions and interviews to be a part of their summer musical productions (Stage Experience at The Alexandra produced a rendition of Singin’ in the Rain in August of 2019, in which I played Miss Dinsmore and had a blast!) These experiences are open to those aged 24 and under, so a perfect way to get involved with theatre during University!
All in all, I truly believe that you have to have seen and experienced the nature Birmingham has to offer as well as its culture to truly have appreciated living in the city!
And so I challenge you: take a picnic to Cannon Hill Park; attend a festival you have never been to before; go see a play you always wanted to see, or better yet, get involved with one! Then you can say you truly know Birmingham and all it has to offer.