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4 Squares Weekender to Celebrate Birmingham's New Library

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Ballet, opera, performing arts and musical youth
Birmingham will mark the opening of Europe's largest lending library with a series of spectacular free outdoor arts events at the city's four central squares over the weekend of September 6-8.

4Squares Weekender Birmingham
Entertainers galore at the free 4 Squares Weekender

Leading art organisations in Britain's second largest city come together to perform live music, dance, art, film, circus and theatre for the 4 Squares Weekender.

There is something for the whole family during the celebrations that mark the opening of the new £189million Library of Birmingham.

The 4 Squares Weekender kicks off next to the new library at Victoria Square at 9.30pm on Friday September 6 with the large scale show As the World Tipped by Wired Aerial Theatre and produced by Birmingham Hippodrome.

4Squares Weekender Birmingham
As The World Tipped aerial show

Billed as an epic piece of outdoor storytelling, the show is set on a vast 12m screen high against the night sky. As the World Tipped combines breathtaking staging, film and fearless aerial performance.
The performance is repeated at 9pm on Saturday September 7.

During the same Saturday and the following day, further events and arts performances will take place at Oozells, Centenary, Chamberlain and Victoria Squares.

Events at each square include:

Oozells Square
There is the chance to build a giant city from clay outside Ikon Gallery while Birmingham Contemporary Music Group performs new music inside Ikon's galleries.
There will also be special performances from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, plus dances from sampad and a contemporary circus from Pif-Paf, courtesy of mac birmingham.

Centenary Square
This square will be transformed into a Musical Picnic by Town Hall Symphony Hall with visitors treated to performances from Birmingham saxophonist Soweto Kinch.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre provide impromptu surprise performances and intimate food-inspired stories from four converted caravans.
In the Library of Birmingham itself, visitors can hear the magical music of Ex Cathedra and Birmingham Opera Company.

Chamberlain Square
The Drum's Simmer Down stage hosts reggae, ska, bhangra, sufi and hip hop from the likes of Musical Youth and Tippa Irie. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery present a full day of film courtesy of Flatpack Festival, whilst Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange take over Town Hall with dance performances and chances to join in.

Victoria Square
Nofit State Circus entertain with impromptu stunts, professional performances and taster workshops.
Birmingham street food will be on offer, with vendors cooking up flavours from around the world.

4Squares Weekender Birmingham
Sharanjit Bansil in Eat!

4 Squares Weekender is presented by the consortium Birmingham Arts Partnership (BAP) and the first event it has conceived, programmed and promoted. It is produced by Birmingham Hippodrome on behalf of BAP.

Stuart Griffiths, Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome, said: "Birmingham's arts organisations offer some of the most vibrant and exciting programmes in the country. We are delighted to come together to welcome the new Library of Birmingham at this incredibly exciting time for our city." 

4 Squares Weekender is supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and the European Regional Development Fund through its Investing in the City Region project managed by Marketing Birmingham. Cllr Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said "4 Squares Weekender is a great way for Birmingham to celebrate its cultural vibrancy."

Over the weekend, keep up to date with events through the Twitter hashtag #bham4sq and see live updates at 4squaresweekender.tumblr.

More information can be found at
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When: September 6 - September 8
Where: 4 squares in Birmingham - Chamberlain Square, Centenary Square, Oozells Square, Victoria Square and
Cost: Free
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