Birmingham 2022 has today unveiled the all-star line-up that will perform at the Commonwealth Games’ upcoming Closing Ceremony (8 Aug).
Bringing to an end 11 days of incredible sport, this high octane production will celebrate the diverse musical heritage of the West Midlands, championing the genres and trends that run through this great Commonwealth city; from rave to reggae, street and grime to R&B, drum ‘n’ bass and rap.
Masterminded by Creative Directors Amber Rimell and Bronski from TAWBOX, the Ceremony – staged at the Alexander Stadium – will showcase the best of the region’s musical talent past, present and future.
Returning home to perform in an ultimate celebration of the Games’ host city, artists in the line-up includes: Apache Indian, Beverley Knight, Dexys, Goldie, Jacob Banks, Jaykae, Jorja Smith, Laura Mvula, Ash, Mahalia, Musical Youth, Neelam Gill, Panjabi MC, Raza Hussain, Talulah-Eve, The Selecter and UB40.
In a tribute to one of Birmingham’s major global exports of the past decade, the Closing Ceremony will feature a sequence from the much-anticipated nationwide theatre show Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, staged here with a special performance of a newly-commissioned track from Laura Mvula, inspired by Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’, the TV’s infamous theme.
Written and adapted for the stage by creator Steven Knight, and choreographed and directed by Rambert’s Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer, the theatre production will receive its world premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome on 27 September as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.
Throughout its history, Birmingham has been enriched by its embrace of generations of Commonwealth communities, emerging as the multicultural city that it is today.
This rich cultural legacy will be woven into Monday’s show, with unforgettable sets taking the 30,000 strong audience on a journey through a changing Birmingham, alongside tributes to Wolverhampton’s ‘80s street art scene and a look at the legendary Broad St music venue and how it inspired music and fashion globally.
With an iconic set design from the acclaimed Misty Buckley, this will be a major moment for the region with the world watching, in a final celebration of the energy and vibrancy that has characterised these home Games.
Chief Creative Officer of Birmingham 2022, Martin Green CBE said:
“With this Closing Ceremony, we wanted to create a spectacular line-up of global artists from the West Midlands for an exhilarating musical production to conclude an unforgettable 11 days of sport and culture.
“The medley of high-octane performances will celebrate the vibrant energy and cultural heritage of this incredible city, as we bring these spectacular home Games to a fitting end.”
Birmingham 2022’s Closing Ceremony will also include a formal handover to the state of Victoria, Australia, who will be the hosts for the 2026 Commonwealth Games. Featuring its own cast of talent, the Victoria 2026 performance will stage an electrifying fusion of its First Peoples’ traditions in art, culture and natural beauty.
To be broadcast live on BBC One and iPlayer, the Birmingham 2022 Closing Ceremony will signal the end of 11 days of spectacular sport, after 4,500 of the Commonwealth’s finest athletes competed across 19 sports and eight para sports, in the largest event ever to be staged across the West Midlands region.
The ceremony will take place on Monday 8 August at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.