Outdoor event showcase: launching the Green Heart Festival
The Green Heart is the newest addition to the University of Birmingham’s range of venues.
Its purpose? To restore a space to think to the heart of campus.
Where once stood an unsightly car park and a library built for a much smaller institution, you’ll now find rolling green lawns, 160 new trees, and bright beds of wild and native plants.
The 12-acre space opens up a view from Pritchatts Road to the clock tower, ‘Old Joe’.
The Green Heart Festival
The weekend of 8-9 June 2019 saw the launch of a year-long festival in honour of this new space, on a theme of ‘celebration’.
The packed programme blended family-friendly fun with an insight into how current University research promotes wellbeing. Events ranged from an interactive artwork that allows you to hear the stars ‘singing’ to live echocardiograms, plus walks, talks and live interactive dance.
Saturday evening featured a ‘prom’ performed by student music groups and orchestras, with fireworks lighting up the skies above Aston Webb.
The event was closed on Sunday afternoon by the CBSO, led by musical director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. They were joined by choirs from across the city and University, creating a mini ‘festival within a festival’.
The Green Heart Festival will continue for a whole year, bringing together students, staff and the whole community.
An outdoor venue with a difference
The launch weekend was the perfect showcase for this unique setting.
Even with the great British summer doing its best to dampen spirits for the first few hours of Saturday, the charm of the space is obvious.
The wide lawns will easily accommodate marquees, stages and other event equipment. The stepped grass amphitheatre makes it easy to provide views for larger crowds, without requiring raked seating. Wide walkways allow easy access for set up and de-rigging, as well as stalls and catering.
The Green Heart is accessible, with gently sloping walkways and even surfaces. It’s eco-friendly, too, with energy-efficient lighting, a PaveGen pavement that powers chargers built into benches, natural drainage from clever planting, and habitats for endangered species.
And it’s all just a few minutes’ walk from University train station, with a high-frequency service from Birmingham New Street that takes around 6 minutes.
What’s available at this venue?
As you can see, it’s ideal for events and performances, with AV and catering options to suit every audience – human and otherwise!
The new Teaching and Learning Building (opening 2020) is situated next to the Green Heart. This impressive new space will offer a 500-seat lecture theatre, breakout rooms and relaxed spaces for discussion.
With a marquee on the Green Heart outside for exhibitions, and the option to use Chancellor’s Court (beside the clock tower) too, it’s a whole new option on campus for academic conferences.