10 big events coming to Birmingham in 2020

Whatever your taste, Birmingham’s thriving scene has something for you. From festivals to exhibitions, the city’s ‘what’s on’ calendar is bursting at the seams in 2020.

There are so many great events coming to Birmingham this year that it’s been difficult to narrow them down – but here are ten great things to look out for in the city over the next 12 months.

  • Cézanne and the Modern French Print

Generally regarded as one of the most influential artists in the history of modern art, Paul Cézanne painted people and landscapes in terms of patterns and geometric shapes and inspired artists including Pablo Picasso.

Between 7 February and 7 June, the Barber will be home to an important Cézanne print; Les Baigneurs, Petite Planche. This iconic painting returns to one of the painter’s most famous motifs: bathers in the landscape.

Alongside this must-see work and other Cézanne prints will be work by other major French artists including Manet, Millet and Renoir.

Cézanne and the Modern French Print, 7 February – 7 June, Barber Institute of Fine Arts

  • Cirque du Soleil – Crystal

Cirque du Soleil returns to the Resorts World Arena in April with a brand-new all-ages show: Crystal. The first experience on ice from the globally famous troupe, you’ll see world-class ice skaters and acrobats challenge the laws of gravity with never-before-seen acrobatics.

Crystal takes you on a tale of self-discovery, inviting you to ‘suspend reality and glide into a world that springs to colourful life with astounding visual projections and a soundtrack that seamlessly blends popular music with the signature sound of Cirque du Soleil’.

Cirque du Soleil – Crystal, 8 – 12 April, Resorts World Arena

  • The Gin To My Tonic festival

For one weekend this April, The Gin To My Tonic Festival brings together over 100 different gins from across the UK.

Each gin has been selected based on outstanding craftsmanship, delightful flavour and the most enjoyable drinking experiences, meaning you can go on a journey of gin discovery!

As well as a wide selection of high-quality gin, you’ll also be able to choose from an array of vodkas, rums, whiskies and bourbon.

The Gin To My Tonic Festival, 24 – 25 April, Factory Works at Custard Factory

  • The Gymnastics World Cup

Top gymnasts from all over the world will descend on Birmingham this March with the aim of securing a place to represent their country at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The afternoon session features the male gymnasts before some of the world’s leading female gymnasts take to the floor, beam and vault in the evening.

This is a must for all sports fans, and the chance to see some of Great Britain and the world’s leading gymnasts just months before they battle it out for Olympic glory.

Gymnastics World Cup, 28 March, Arena Birmingham

  • Crufts

The world’s greatest dog show returns to Birmingham this March, celebrating every aspect of the role that dogs play in our lives.

More than 20,000 dogs will compete for the prestigious Best in Show title, and you can also enjoy fantastic displays and shop at more than 550 trade stands. There is also a ‘Discover Dogs’ area where you can meet more than 200 breeds of pedigree dog.

Crufts, 5 – 8 March, Resorts World Arena

  • Michael Ball and Alfie Boe

One of the UK’s best-loved musical duos come to the Arena Birmingham in March as part of their ‘Back Together’ tour.

Having achieved the UK’s best-selling album of 2016 with their debut Together, the pair have since scored two top three albums with Together Again and Back Together. Fresh from their recent starring roles in a West End production of Les Misérables, Ball and Boe bring their unique voices to what promises to be a special night of entertainment.

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, 1 March, Arena Birmingham

  • Birmingham Jazz Festival

The Birmingham, Sandwell and Westside Jazz Festival returns for its 36th year in 2020.

Held across ten days in July, this popular festival will once again bring top-drawer musicians from across the world to Birmingham for a series of (mostly) free gigs taking place at restaurants, public spaces, bars and museums.

Last year there were more than 230 performances, talks, workshops and film showings at more than 110 locations across the West Midlands.

Birmingham Jazz Festival, 17 – 26 July, various venues

  • Celine Dion

One of the world’s most instantly recognisable performers, Celine Dion is simply one of the biggest names in music.

This year sees the Canadian chanteuse return to the UK for her first tour in three years, performing songs from her acclaimed new album Courage alongside popular favourites. With two nights in the city as part of a lengthy world tour, this is a great chance to see one of the most widely respected pop superstars perform hits from her first English album in six years.

Celine Dion, 8 – 9 September, Arena Birmingham

  • Les Misérables

One of the most beloved musicals of all time, Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical Les Misérables returns to Birmingham Hippodrome in June 2020.

This brilliant new staging has taken the world by storm, and the magnificent score includes the songs I Dreamed a DreamOn My Own, One Day More, Do You Hear The People Sing? and Bring Him Home.

Seen by over 120 million people worldwide in 52 countries and in 22 languages, Les Misérables is undisputedly one of the world’s most popular musicals.

Les Misérables, 30 June – 18 July, Birmingham Hippodrome

  • Elton John (SOLD OUT)

After more than 50 years as one of the world’s most recognisable stars, Elton John has finally announced his retirement from touring.

The iconic ‘Rocketman’ has announced two dates in Birmingham as part of his globe-spanning ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, and it will be the last time fans get to see one of pop culture’s most enduring performers.

Elton John, 9 and 11 November 2020, Arena Birmingham/Resorts World Arena



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