Whether you’re a shade-seeker or the kind who likes to soak up every inch of sunlight while it’s around, you’ll want to finally break out of hibernation this July. From fun music festivals to epic activities to try out with friends like rollerblading and sampling hot sauce, here’s our guide to the best things to do in Birmingham this July.
1. Tuck into bulgogi burgers and fried chicken wings at this new Korean inspired restaurant
Located on Station Street, close to New Street station and one of England’s oldest cinemas, The Electric, Itaewon is a new concept from the people behind Wheat Bakehouse opening from July 8. The menu at Itaewon is where the blend of the different cuisines comes together as you’ll find both Korean-inspired, international crowd-pleasers and global favourites like burgers, wings and even the classic brunch dish Eggs Benedict reimagined with a twist.
2. Listen to the masterful works of Vivaldi by candlelight at Birmingham Botanical Gardens
On July 1, Vivaldi’s works are coming to Birmingham. You can expect to hear his iconic Four Seasons series of violin concertos and more, all bathed in the intimate ambience of candlelight. All of this in an exceptional venue – the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. From the variety of exotic plants to their specialised glasshouses and butterfly house, it’s a location you’ll want to explore for yourself. Add to this 60 minutes of enchanting Vivaldi, and you can see why this concert is special. You can get yourself tickets here.
3. Head to Digbeth for the return of Supersonic Festival
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.
4. Enjoy a summer of sport at this pop-up sports bar with beer towers, cocktails and a giant screen
This summer is set to be a scorcher especially with the sports taking place this season and Birmingham is the place to be watch all the action unfold. The Bullring & Grand Central has unveiled its giant sports screen and new bar The Sporting Social as we gear up for a sports-packed summer. The large screen, located in St Martin’s Square, will be showing all the action from some of the biggest sporting events taking place this summer, including Wimbledon (27th June – 10th July) and UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament (6th July – 31st July). Plus, we mustn’t forget the Commonwealth Games (28th July – 8th August) taking place in good ol’ Brum too. The Sporting Social also has a menu packed with Instagrammable cocktails and beer towers available.
5. Make this July a fiery one with this Birmingham festival dedicated to all things hot sauce
Hot Sauce Society lands in Birmingham this July and the event will see over 25 independent hot sauce makers from the UK and beyond gather to serve up a feast of fiery flavours to chilli lovers. Taking place on July 9 in The Custard Factory’s indoor events space, there will be two sessions (11am-3pm and 4pm-8pm) and can be purchased for £7, including a cocktail on arrival. Guests can expect to meet the makers, try, taste, and discover a whole world of speciality hot sauce, whilst DJs will provide the soundtrack and fierce food from a number of traders will fuel the festivities.
6. Have a great day out at Handsworth Park for the best reggae and ska tunes at Simmer Down Festival
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.
7. See the Queen’s Baton pass through the West Midlands in the lead up the Commonwealth Games
Travelling via land, air and sea, more than 180 communities in England will be able to witness the Queen’s Baton on a route spanning 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres) in the lead up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The Queen’s Baton Relay is set to travel the length and breadth of England for a total of 29 days, before arriving at the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on July 28. From energetic cities and historic market towns, to rolling countryside and rugged coastline, the baton will head as far south as Cornwall and as far north as Northumberland. The baton will arrive in the region on July 18, followed by a visit to the Severn Valley Railway and arriving by helicopter in Shrewsbury, before finishing at Birmingham’s Aston Hall on the day of the opening ceremony.
8. Hear the soulful songs of Adele at a spellbinding candlelight concert coming to Birmingham Cathedral
Hello, it’s us, we were wondering if after all these years you’d like to listen to Adele’s biggest hits by the soft glow of candlelight? This mesmerising concert will whisk you away on a journey through the singer-songwriter’s most popular songs. All you need to do is grab a ticket, take a seat among the stunning surrounds of the Birmingham Cathedral on July 9 and let the sound of her powerful ballads wash over you. Grab tickets here.
9. Sip on copious amounts of vino at Birmingham’s new and largest wine bar Vinoteca
A brand new wine experience is coming to Birmingham this summer, with works now underway at the highly-anticipated bar and latest addition to Paradise Birmingham, Vinoteca. Priding itself on working closely with producers to curate one of the UK’s most extensive wine lists, including 60 organic, biodynamic and sustainable selections, Vinoteca’s mission is to ‘redefine the wine bar’ by offering a relaxed and laid-back experience that can be enjoyed by all. As well as an award-winning wine list featuring more than 200 bins from across the world, the 4,500 sq. ft restaurant will serve seasonal British dishes using locally sourced produce, with a weekly set lunch menu.
10. Soak up the sunshine at the West Midlands’ biggest music and arts festival
MADE 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 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.
11. Get summer off to a rolling start with a spot of rollerblading and good times at Roller Jam
Birmingham’s first designated roller disco, Roller Jam, is now open in Digbeth, which includes multiple bars selling cocktails and more, where you can overlook the skating arena. You’ll find a spacious skating rink with private booths, live DJs, stage shows, immersive sound, electrifying light and laser shows, large cinematic screens, The Funky Bear Diner, plus a mezzanine platform for you to chill out with a drink or two with friends whilst taking in the dramatic views of the historic canals of Digbeth. And if skating isn’t your thing and you don’t want to risk face-planting in front of your friends, then you also have fun at Roller Jam’s pool tables, air hockey tables and arcade area too.
12. Sample an array of rums at the Birmingham Rum Festival at the Cuban Embassy
Birmingham Rum Festival will once again return to The Cuban Embassy in Moseley for its fifth instalment on July 2. There will be some fabulous rum brands joining this year’s line up, including Diablesse, IM Drinkin Rum, Island Slice, Wildjac, Eminente and B Rum as well as the newly launched Elsha. This festival is a superb celebration of rum with the taste of the Caribbean, against a backdrop of fantastic Latin American style. At Birmingham Rum Festival, you’ll learn all about where the rum in your glass came from and the rich history behind each sip and there will be a range of cocktails available to try, plus the option to take home a bottle (or two!) of your favourite from the rum shop.