With the leaves beginning to look a bit weary and school back in, is summer really over already? Nope. Here are a few great ideas to send it out with a bang in Birmingham, Chester and London before diving into a colourful English autumn jam-packed with events and entertainment.
Now in its 14th year, Artsfest (7-9 September) brings larger-than-life acts from around the world to Birmingham city centre, setting the streets alight with an eclectic mix of performance and spectacle. And what’s more it’s all completely free.
Featuring the award-winning Birmingham Opera Company, the world-renowned Birmingham Royal Ballet, acoustic, folk, rock, classical guitar, jazz, slam poetry, an island made from living trees floating sedately along the canal and even a Shakespearian Boy Band, Artsfest will carry you on an epic journey set to a unique soundtrack of high-energy noise fused with pulsating exotic rhythms.
Definitely not to be missed at 8.30pm on Saturday is Birmingham Town Hall changing shape. Aided by stunning 3D visual effects projected onto the grand old façade, the stonework itself will seem like its moving to sets by Mercury Award winner Talvin Singh and others as a mesmeric variety of dance acts weave and spin below.
The almost-2,000-year-old city of Chester is an enticing mix of heritage and top-class shopping, entertainment and dining. And it doesn’t get much classier than the Audi International Polo & The Roodee Challenge Cup. Polo players will ride on to Chester Racecourse for the second largest tournament of the season, creating a classic sporting spectacle between 12 and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Unfurl the picnic blanket or enter the exclusive Sponsors’ and Players’ Enclosure and watch the horses and riders battle it out as they gallop up and down the field, mallets swinging. That, plus Chester’s captivating history, beguiling attractions and delectable dinning will keep you enthralled all weekend long.
The Thames Festival marks the closing weekend of London 2012 and the city’s final celebration of the year. And what a year it’s been for London. One of Europe’s most spectacular (and totally free!) festivals celebrates the cornucopia of vibrant cultures thriving in London through music, dance, performances, river races, interactive art and more. Sunday evening will burst into colour with over 2,000 dancers, drummers and masqueraders flooding along Victoria Embankment in an illuminated Night Carnival.