The Last Dance for Birmingham International Dance Festival
The city says goodbye to its signature dance festival after 15 years.
We are sad to share that 2022 was the last edition of Birmingham International Dance Festival (BIDF), due to the removal of Birmingham City Council funding.
As a result of the bankruptcy of Birmingham City Council, coupled with a change in their festival strategy following the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival in 2022, vital city funding is no longer available for BIDF.
Without this essential funding stream to match the investment we receive from Arts Council England, we cannot deliver a festival of the scale, purpose and ambition of BIDF. We are therefore deeply saddened to share that our 2022 festival was our last.
We’re now working with colleagues, partners, artists and funders to look to the future and develop new collaborative programmes that will continue to have ambition for dance, the city of Birmingham – and its creatives, audiences and participants.
Back in 2008, we launched BIDF, a major biennial international festival of dance. BIDF was produced by FABRIC, the organisation created from the merger of DanceXchange and Dance4, and was intended to draw increased attention to the region’s impressive dance scene; to expand the potential for dance programming, commissioning, and collaboration; to offer new opportunities for people of all walks of life to see and participate in dance; and to position Birmingham as a world centre of dance and an internationally significant cultural city.
And over the next 15 years, we delivered that in abundance.
The largest dance festival in the UK, and signature festival for Birmingham, BIDF took over the city’s theatres, squares and parks with the very best in dance and choreography.
Our programmes celebrated major international companies alongside exciting local artists and fresh young talent. We invested in new commissions, stimulated new collaborations, built new partnerships, and opened up opportunities for more dance to be made, supported and presented in the city. We challenged perceptions of what dance can be and where dance can be seen.
We generated paid work for artists, producers, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, designers, technicians and the wider creative workforce – and together we gained new skills and expertise that has enriched the region’s cultural ecology.
BIDF attracted visitors from across the region, the UK and beyond, to celebrate dance with us, contributing to the city’s economy and showcasing Birmingham as a vibrant cultural destination.
In theatres, city streets, civic squares, schools, galleries, shop windows, canals, parks, and playgrounds – in person and online – thousands of audiences and participants joined us in surprising, hilarious, moving, challenging, thought-provoking, entertaining, joyful, memorable, dance experiences.
BIDF captured the imagination, inspired local pride, and opened new possibilities for people to engage with dance and with our city.
We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved – and we extend our heartfelt thanks to our audiences, and everyone who has worked with us through rainstorms and heatwaves, over the past fifteen years to make this possible.BIDF highlights
Over its lifetime, BIDF has delivered over 3,200 events, generating 674,730 engagements with audiences and participants, almost 14,000 volunteer hours and over £20 million economic activity.