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 the golden retriever cafe and buying cool sneakers, here’s our guide to the best things to do this July in Birmingham.
Oh. My. God! It may not have been your day, week or month, but The FRIENDS™ Experience is sure to make your year. Opening its purple door at the NEC in Birmingham on July 8, this immersive experience will feature interactive sets, original props and familiar costumes. Relive your favourite scenes on recreated sets such as Monica’s immaculate kitchen, Joey and Chandler’s apartment, the gang’s favourite haunt Central Perk, and of course, the FRIENDS™ fountain. Get your tickets to The FRIENDS™ Experience by heading here.
On July 13, the works of iconic film composer Hans Zimmer are coming to Birmingham. Cinema lovers will undoubtedly know the name. His scores have defined movie soundtracks for decades from Rain Man to Pirates of the Caribbean, Dune to Kung Fu Panda and countless more since 1977. 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 Hans Zimmer, and you can see why this concert is special. You can get yourself tickets here.
3. Tuck into the return of the Colmore Food Festival
After a four-year hiatus, the much-loved Colmore Food Festival returns on July 20 & 21. Taste an array of tantalising local foods all in one place and celebrate its 10th anniversary in Birmingham. The free festival will return in a new location this year, on the grounds of St Philips Cathedral. Where guests can expect an affordable plethora of mouth-watering mini dishes from local traders’ latest menus. Visitors will be spoilt for choice!
4. Cuddle up with cute doggies at this pop-up Golden Retriever Cafe
Following super-successful events in London, POP+BARK will bring the ultimate Golden Retriever Cafe to the Resorts World on Saturday, July 8. For all golden retrievers and goldie-loving humans in the Midlands, experience the world’s only Pupuccino Bar. Rudi’s The Doggy Barkery will also be serving beautifully iced pupcakes, dognuts, jammy doggers and more. There will also be doggy-sized furniture, fun props, and photo opportunities. And while they play, you can mingle with like-minded owners!
5. Enjoy a uniquely Mexican fine dining experience
Birmingham’s newest Mexican restaurant, The Mayan, opens this July at The Mailbox. Expect a fusion of traditional Mexican dishes with a contemporary twist, including everything from fine-dining-style tacos and empanadas to Mexican stews and ceviche. Doubling also as a specialist Mezcal bar, a curated selection of mezcal and tequila-based should also quench your thirst.
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. If you love roots reggae and its fantastic history, this one’s for you. Taking place in the beautiful Handsworth Park on July 16, this free family festival celebrates Birmingham’s rich cultural diversity. Headlining this year is Maxi Priest, alongside an array of local artists, musicians, and DJs.
7. Celebrate the anniversary of the Commonwealth Games with this 10-day festival
To rekindle the magic in Birmingham during last year’s Commonwealth Games, Birmingham Festival 2023 will let Brummies relive the sporting fever this summer with one-year anniversary celebrations. Taking place in Centenary Square, the 10-day programme of free events will echo the city-centre experience of the Commonwealth Games. From July 26 to August 6, there’ll be live music and performance, creative and participatory activities, and big-screen content.
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 29 and let the sound of her powerful ballads wash over you. Grab tickets here.
9. Head to paradise with this new pop-up cocktail bar at the Bullring
Club Paradiso has settled down on St Martin’s balcony at the Bullring, bringing a slice of Ibiza to Birmingham. Embrace the VIP lifestyle with vibrant colours, abundant flowers and sand beneath your feet, all against a backdrop of summertime tunes. A live DJ will entertain the crowds every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening; while a selection of refreshing cocktails is also available to enjoy.
10. Soak up the sunshine at the West Midlands’ biggest music and arts festival
MADE Festival returns to innercity Birmingham on July 29. Heading to The Digbeth Triangle on July 29, expect a day and night jam-packed with the hottest electronic musicians and DJs, food traders in association with Digbeth Dining Club and local street artists. Across 11 stages, MADE Festival’s lineup includes Hybrid Minds, Shy FX, Girls Don’t Sync, Flowdan (Live), Gardna (Live) ft Eva Lazarus, Luude, Ben Hemsley, Holy Goof, Oden & Fatzo (Live), Latmun, Danny Byrd, Charlie Tee, Endor, Bklava, Seb Zito, Serial Killaz, Pola & Bryson, Venjent and many more.
Sneakerheads Unite! The biggest sneaker festival in Europe is making its return to Birmingham on July 22. Crepe City blends a festival with sneaker culture, supplying the best stockists and resellers in the country. Birmingham staple TRPHSE will handle the entertainment, banging out big tunes all day long, while Crep Protect and StockX will help with all of your sneaker needs. Get your tickets here.
12. Go greased lightnin’ with Secret Cinema
Secret Cinema will bring the much-loved musical Grease to life on its Birmingham debut. Grease: The Live Experience will provide an outdoor spectacle like no other as Rydell High comes to Outdoors at the NEC (July 26 to August 13). Step back to 1959 and experience the magic of one of the most iconic movie musicals of all time. Tell me more, tell me more! Blurring the boundaries between performers and audience, fans can sing and dance their hearts to the film’s classic soundtrack; roam the corridors with the Pink Ladies; watch the T-Birds at work in the auto shop; or face off against the jocks on the sports field. Learn more here.