Last year, the return of festivals after ‘Freedom Day’ (remember that?) was just the tonic but now Birmingham’s festival calendar is back and it’s full to the brim with some of the best music performances. So grab your mates, crack open the cans of beer, get the glitter out and prepare to dance the summer away. Here’s our guide to some of the top Birmingham music festivals running throughout summer 2022.
1. Supersonic Festival (July 8-10)
Returning after their spectacular sell-out 2019 edition, the “mother of all British underground festivals”. [The Quietus] is back! Supersonic Festival are bringing their complete line-up in advance of their return between July 8 and 10 with a new location on the outskirts of Digbeth in Birmingham. The initial line up announced includes guest curators Jerusalem in my Heart and Decolonise Fest, plus performances from Richard Dawson & Circle, The Bug feat. Flowdan, Old Man Gloom, AA Williams, Thou, June of 44, No Home and more. Since 2003, Supersonic have been hosting superior weekends for adventurous and curious audiences, bringing together live performances by some of the world’s most extraordinary artists and audience participation to create a one-of-a-kind festival – in order to celebrate the best in creativity that the underground has to offer. A limited number of day tickets are now from £30.
2. Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival (July 8-10)
Birmingham’s Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival returns this July with another incredible line-up of world-class artists and the hottest new talent. The festival kicks off in style on July 8 as Midlands’ Two-Tone heroes The Specials headline the main stage, with their blend of ska, reggae and punk rock. They’ll be joined by Nightmares On Wax, taking to the decks on the Leftfoot Takeover Stage, as well as hip-hop turntablist DJ Yoda and Manchester soul project Children of Zeus, while up-and-coming artists Coops and Maya Delilah prove the future is very much in safe hands. Completing the opening day’s bill are Tom Ford, Rosie Frater-Taylor, Hemai, Leftfoot DJs, and Juliet Echo and Selextorhood. Adult weekend tickets are available from £135.
3. Wireless Festival (July 8-10)
Europe’s biggest celebration of contemporary black music Wireless Festival returns to Birmingham, bigger and better than ever in 2022. Taking place at a brand-new site outdoors at the National Exhibition Centre for a full festival experience, with brilliant transport links and no wellies in sight. Huge headliners Dave, Cardi B and J. Cole are confirmed to appear and were recently revealed in a hilarious video from UK cultural icons and media personalities Chunkz, Yung Filly, Harry Pinero, Yung Filly, Nella Rose and Tiffany Calver. Adult weekend tickets start from £245.
4. Simmer Down Festival (July 17)
Simmer Down is one of the largest and most diverse festivals in Birmingham. Headlining the launch event are Jamaica’s legendary ska and reggae pioneers The Skatalites. It will be headlined by ASWAD plus one of funk and disco’s preeminent bands, HEATWAVE alongside an array of local artists, musicians, and DJs. If you love roots reggae and its fantastic history this one’s for you. Situated in the beautiful surroundings of Handsworth Park, it is a free family fun-day festival, which celebrates Birmingham’s rich cultural diversity by paying tribute to the centrality of reggae and other musical genres that have contributed to Birmingham as an international city of culture. Adult tickets start from £11.
5. Solihull Summer Fest (July 23-24)
The Solihull Summer Fest team are said to be bringing their biggest line up to date promising “the ultimate feel-good music festival”. The award-winning R&B singer-songwriter, Billy Ocean, is joining the incredible Sunday line-up at this year’s Solihull Summer Fest. In addition to Billy Ocean, the show on July 24 features Belinda Carlisle, Kool & The Gang, Bad Manners, The Real Thing and Dr & The Medics. On July 23, festival goers will get to see Shaggy, Sister Sledge. Boyzlife, Shalamar, Lemar and back by popular demand, Artful Dodger returning to the main stage. Tickets, including VIP options, are currently for sale, with adult weekend tickets starting from £77.
6. MADE Festival (July 30)
The West Midlands’ biggest and best music and arts festival returns on July 30 for a huge eighth edition with its biggest line-up to date and a new home at Dunstall Park in Wolverhampton. Getting there is easy as it’s just a 16 minute train ride from Birmingham with return shuttle buses ready to go. This year’s MADE Festival sees more stages than ever before and artists already confirmed include AJ Tracey, Eats Everything, Andy C, Pa Salieu, Ms Banks, Bru-C, DJ EZ, Shy FX, Kings Of The Rollers, TQD, Prospa, Jaguar, and many more. As ever, MADE Festival delivers the big names while still supporting the brightest rising talents across UK rap and hip hop, drum & bass, house, disco, jungle, reggae and bass music, and is set to cement its reputation as a highlight of the UK summer festival calendar. Tickets start from £55.
7. Páirc Festival (August 26-28)
Páirc Festival is all set to bring the biggest names and best talent from Birmingham and Ireland to the outdoor grounds of the former Stadium Club, the New Irish Centre in Kings Heath. Imelda May joins Páirc Festival, alongside fellow Irish legends Hothouse Flowers, Beoga who co-wrote Ed Sheeran’s hit ‘Galway Girl’, Damien Dempsey and Hermitage Green, and The Father Teds and Lampa heading up Birmingham’s offering to the bill. Also taking to the stage is one of Birmingham’s biggest musical exports and Britpop legends Ocean Colour Scene, who headline the Friday launch event and will be joined by Birmingham’s four-piece indie band. The Clause. Sunday will round off celebrations with Finbar Furey and Nathan Carter headlining, joined by Irish icons The Sharon Shannon Trio, The Dublin Legends and The Kilkennys, alongside homegrown talent and Birmingham Irish bands, On The Sesh and Bang On The Ear. Attendees can also enjoy Páirc’s street food village, Irish Dance School, market stalls celebrating local makers and traditional Irish produce, plus outdoor bars and beer tents. Adult weekend tickets start from £67.
8. Moseley Folk & Arts Festival (September 2-4)
Celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2021, Moseley Folk & Arts Festival is one of the best-loved and most anticipated music and arts festivals in Birmingham, attracting an enthusiastic and loyal audience of music fans and families to the picturesque suburban oasis of Moseley Pool and Park, Birmingham. Running from September 2-4 at Moseley Park and Pool, the annual event will see appearances from Jethro Tull, Dr. John Cooper Clarke, The Coral, Midlake, poet Simon Armitage, and Vashti Bunyan. Adult weekend tickets start from £145.