Some strange things are afoot in Longbridge – with strange lights and hints of an alien presence.

Pop down to the new town centre on Saturday evening and witness art installations, performances, musicians, a lantern parade, film and more.

You can also join in with a number of workshops – view pre-festival workshops available on Friday 24th October.

The first Longbridge Light Festival is part of the Longbridge Public Art Project which has seen artists, both local and international, working in the local community to examine the past, present and future of Longbridge. The theme of the festival is ‘Back to the Future’.

The project is led by Birmingham based arts group WERK and funded by Bournville College, the Arts Council and Birmingham City Council.

As part of the light festival weekend, an international conference Trans-it-ion is being held at Bournville College conference centre today, with innovative keynote speakers from around the world exploring urban art projects.

Saturday 25th October Programme


Click here workshops on Friday 24th Oct

Dress Your Bike Workshop
Time: Saturday 4pm – 9pm
Location: Northfield (Mill Lane) & Bournville College Reception, ‘The Street’
Prepare for the River Rea cycle route by lighting and dressing up your bike using inventive methods and materials. In partnership with Bournville College Art and Design students and Bike man Dan.

Homemade Science Fiction Effects Workshop
Artist: WERK
Time: Saturday 6pm – 9pm
Location: Bournville College Reception, ‘The Street’
Create your own lo-fi science fiction effects using simple materials and tools. This workshop involves drawing and painting onto plastic OHP sheets. Project them onto buildings in the new town centre on the Saturday night!

Utopian Hats, Jewellery and Accessories – Aladdin Sainsbury’s
Artist: Robert Grose
Time: Saturday 6pm – 9pm
Location: Bournville College Reception, ‘The Street’
This workshop will involve making hats, jewellery and accessories from recycled materials to go with your sci-fi costume.

Unidentified Flying Object Lanterns Workshop
Artist: Beth Fisher
Time: Friday 6pm – 8pm, Saturday 6pm – 9pm
Location: Bournville College Reception, ‘The Street’
Construct a UFO Lantern from recycling and upcycling old materials. Carry it around the festival and take it home to use again. Note: takes between 30 − 45 minutes to create. Please bring along a clean jar..

A Sense of Place Workshop
Artist: Northfield Arts Forum
Time: Saturday 12pm – 3pm
Location: Bournville College Reception, ‘The Street’
An arts and crafts workshop run by Northfield Arts Forum, creating a wonderful window display for the Longbridge Light Festival. The finished displays will then be used as part of the backdrop for the “Music! Dance! Draw!” Project finale show in February/March at the NAF Arts March event. In partnership with Northfield Arts Forum.

Dr Bike Workshop
Partner: Dr Bike with Centro
Time: Saturday 5pm – 9pm
Location: Northfield (Mill Lane) and outside Bournville College Conference Centre, College Street.
Centro will be providing; free Dr Bike cycle safety checks, free cycle security marking, subsidised gold rated D locks, information on cycling maintenance & training courses for all the family.

Futuristic Animations Workshop
Artist: Juneau Projects
Time: Saturday 6pm – 9pm
Location: Austin Park
Using coloured lights and a series of basic images, children will be able to create their own futuristic animations of Longbridge.

Face-Painting Workshop
Artist: Beaniebugs
Time: Saturday 6pm – 9pm
Location: Austin Park
Free alien face-painting.

Christingle Making Workshop
Artist: Gods Heart for Longbridge
Time: Saturday 6pm – 9pm
Location: Bournville College Reception, ‘The Street’
Create a sci fi spin on a Christingle. In partnership with God’s Heart for Longbridge.


Cycle Route
Time: Saturday 5pm – 7pm
Location: Rea Valley Route, Northfield (Mill Lane) to Longbridge (Tessal Lane)
The Northfield to Longbridge section of the River Rea route will be temporarily illuminated with handmade art works created by local community groups and schools. Walk or cycle along as the sun goes down and enjoy the inventive, lo-fi light effects. In partnership with In partnership with Network West Midlands, Birmingham City Council and local Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guides.
‘Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads’
For more information about how you can take part in the cycle route please contact

Remember Our Future?
Time: Saturday 7pm
Location: Greenlands Social Club
Time: Saturday: 8.30pm
Location: College Street
Artist Ailie Rutherford will be inviting audiences to take part in an exciting event to delve into the future of Longbridge. Don’t worry if your memory is rusty. Come along, join in and help Longbridge’s strongest man conduct a vision of our future. Events take place at 7pm at Greenlands Social Club and 8.30pm in Longbridge town centre.

Lantern Parade
Time: Saturday 6pm
Location: Bournville College Reception to Austin Park
Performed by Students from Turves Green Girls’ School, The Longbridge Light Festival Lantern Parade features a series of apparently unlit ‘lantern sculptures’ created by artist Ruth Claxton and carried by students from Turves Green Girls’ School. The Lantern Parade will also see students from Turves Green Girls’ School showcasing ’wearable lanterns’ that they have created in the build-up to the festival.
Take a flash photo of the lanterns with your camera phone. Shine a torch at the lanterns to make them light up.

Spoken Word
Time: Saturday 7pm – 7.30pm
Location: LPAP | SPACE
Spoken word live performances by Beatfreeks and Birmingham’s former poet laureate, Spoz.

Live Artiste Perfomances
Time: Saturday 9pm-Late
Location: Greenlands Social Club
Greenlands Social Club will be opening their doors to non members on the night of the festival where they have a full programme of exciting live artistes to entertain you into the night. Please note the is for over 18’s only.

Live music
Time: 6pm onwards
Location: Costa Coffee
Local musicians, including Longbridge singer songwriter Ellie Dowen, will be performing live.

Dance Performance
Time: Saturday 6pm – 7.45pm
Location: Sainsbury’s Cafe
A contemporary sci-fi infused dance performance. In partnership with Amy Greaves School of Dance and Sainsbury’s.

Jazz Band
Time: Saturday 8pm – 10pm
Location: Beefeater
Live performance from a jazz band in Longbridge Town Centre’s Beefeater. In partnership with Beefeater.

Film Programme

Flatpack Futuristic Film Cafe
Artist: Flatpack
Time: Saturday 6.10pm – 9pm
Location: Bournville College, Conference Centre, College Street
Time: 6.10pm Film: Lunar Toons Space-age family shorts.
Time: 7pm Film: Magic Lantern Show Moving glass slides presented by Mike and Theresa Simkin.
Time: 8pm Film: Slow Light Shorts and animation


Guardians of Our Streets, Nosiest of Neighbours, Polluters of the Night
Time: Saturday 6pm – 6.45pm
Location: LPAP | SPACE
Tweeting lamp posts, big brother, swing set lamp posts and what is a SMART city really? Join Stuart Lester for an eye opening workshop, talk and gain insight into what these giant metal structures mean to us and how innovative, sustainable and cutting edge technology is fast becoming the norm within lighting and our built environment.


  1. Hi yesterday afternoon i was approached by Racheal she stated that the funding was over 400 thousand pound for a one day event is this true? If so I’m appalled by this in this financial crisis

  2. not my cup of tea,but i cant see a problem with it.
    art is subjective and events like this could inspire the next generation.,,as for funding I’d have thought that as long as that money has gone into the local economy it can only be a good thing for the area. especially at a time when art budgets are being cut.

  3. Disgrace if that was the cost b31 do you know how much it cost for this day project. If it was that much it’s horrifying considering the cuts that happening. Was local jobs created through the project.

    • Hi. I’m not sure of the exact figure but it is in that region – BBC News quoted £370k last year.

      The funding has been from various sources – Bournville College, Arts Council, National Lottery and, I believe, some from Birmingham City Council.

      Just to note though, the funding was not for the light festival alone, but for a whole project involving a large number of artists working in the community for the last 12 months. There’s also to be a sculpture on Longbridge island but haven’t heard much about that for a while, will try and find out!

      Sas | B31 Voices

  4. What ever happened to the award winning mini surely that belongs on the island by the famous Q gate entrance.

    The other sculpture should go in the new town centre not on the island. Longbridge is to me the home of the mini.

    It looked great thats why it won the award please bring it back we need it ASAP.


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