Colmore Food Festival 2020!
It was with sad heart that an announcement was made to cancel this years’ 10th celebratory event in the city of Birmingham. An event I would have hosted for 9 consecutive years in a row. Usually taking place as we hit the summertime for the beginning of July, it is alive with an enormous collection of bars, restaurants, hotels, eateries, coffee shops, bakeries, Michelin Starred Chef’s and plenty of live entertainment too!
Drawing an audience of over 30,000 people this is always a special event in the Colmore Business District and is a must annual visit in many a diary. To celebrate this year, I teamed up with the CBD, some local businesses and an array of talented artists from Mr & Mrs Grey, as they performed live in each venue to acknowledge this special weekend. Check out the video link attached.
I also had the privilege to have a quick interview with Michelle Wilby, Chief Executive Officer of Colmore Business Improvement District, who answered some questions about the annual food festival event:
1. What does the 10th year mean to you and what are the current effects of the Covid-19 issue? The 10th anniversary of the Food Festival is a milestone for the BID and I was very proud and excited as to how we were going to celebrate it this year. COVID-19 has been an enormous challenge for everyone and we are all trying to anticipate what our new ‘normal’ might look like. We are working hard at the BID to support the leisure and hospitality venues however we can and are making plans to provide some parklets in the district, which will provide some informal seating at various locations – watch this space. We are looking forward to welcoming businesses safely back to the District to bring back the buzz and vibe that is #Colmore Life.
2. The joy you’ve experienced from it over the years? It is always such a high point for me, the culmination of a lot of hard work and the chance to share food and drink with all the great people who work in the District and make some new friends.
3. Why is it a highlight in the CBD diary each year? What can be better than having such an opportunity to show that Colmore is more than just business, everyone knows we work hard, but we also play hard and this gives us a chance to ‘let our hair down’ celebrating together with our great leisure and hospitality venues.
4. What does it do for the venues and businesses involved, and what is the overall impact on Colmore Business District area and Birmingham? It is such a fabulous opportunity for the leisure and hospitality venues to get together, talk, share ideas, and enjoy each other’s company. There are so many gems in the District to eat and drink in and to be able to showcase this locally and nationally is brilliant. Birmingham is a foodie destination and we love to have the opportunity to show how Colmore Business District is part of that story.
5. What are your top 10 moments from the festival over the last 10 years?
1. The first festival – it was nerve wracking but very emotional when it went so well (thanks to Tahreen Kutub!)
2. Going home feeling decidedly ill after eating too much, but not regretting it for a minute – it was the early days, I was excited
3. Dancing with so many different people over the years, celebrating the festival – my dancing feet love it!
4. Aston Performing Arts – I don’t need to say any more
5. Going to the festival in a wheel chair – the previous Saturday I had had a nasty encounter with a speed boat … nothing was going to stop me being there!
6. Glyn Purnell’s chat on the stage, never fails to entertain
7. Dancing with a pigeon – I do love the entertainers!
8. All the food and drink every year it gets better
9. Working with the BID team, Event Men and you Phil on the event, we have the best times
10. Seeing the culmination of all the hard work of whoever has organised it over the years– thanks to Tahreen, Liz, Lucy and of course Katy Paddock!!
Michelle Wilby, Chief Executive Officer of Colmore Business Improvement District