BIRMINGHAM: THE UK’S FASTEST GROWING MUSIC CITY

During the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, Birmingham was part of the fabric of modern music, with bands and artists like The Move, Electric Light Orchestra, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Moody Blues, Joan Armatrading, Steve Winwood, Fine Young Cannibals, UB40 and Duran Duran all making a name for themselves on the world stage and putting the city firmly on the musical map.

Output from the Midlands slowed down somewhat during the ‘90s and 2000s but, nonetheless, produced musical success stories including Ocean Colour Scene, Goldie, The Streets, Editors, Jamelia and Guillemots. But fast forward to 2016, and Birmingham is having its inevitable musical revival – with new talent emerging at a rapid rate and the eyes of the UK’s music press, as well as managers and record labels, fixed firmly on the city’s indie scene.

All the excitement is based around the inner-city suburb of Digbeth, which has been named by NME magazine as ‘the Shoreditch of Birmingham’. In 2012, local bands, such as Peace, Swim Deep, Evil Alien, Troumaca, JAWS, Heavy Waves, Poppy & The Jezebels and Victories at Sea, created so much buzz whenever they played live in the area, that a whole new genre developed around them – ‘B-Town’; a nickname for the city itself. In 2016, bands including Cut Glass Kings, The Assist, GLEAM, Swerve, Semantics, Paper Buoys, Breeze, Riscas, Handwaxx, Spilt Milk Society and Sugarthief are carrying on the B-Town mantle and venues such as The Rainbow, Hare & Hounds and The Sunflower Lounge are rightly helping to celebrate Birmingham’s place among the best in new UK music.

Recent figures also help to back up the word on the street. According to UK Music’s 2016 Wish You Were Here report on the contribution of live music to the UK economy, in 2015 the West Midlands region generated £271 million from music tourism visits. This came from a total of 874,000 visitors which helped support 3,432 jobs in the local area, in towns and cities including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Stoke and Warwick. The report stated that Birmingham, in particular, featured “a wealth of music activity across all different genres” with venues like The Glee Club, O2 Academy Birmingham, O2 Institute Birmingham and Genting Arena all offering cutting-edge programmes and “world class music for every audience”.

With all this recent activity around Birmingham, it’s easy to see why BIMM has chosen the city as the location for its brand new Institute – BIMM Birmingham.

If you’d like to speak with someone about studying at BIMM Birmingham, please call our Admissions Team on 01273 626666 or email [email protected]. We’d love to help you get yourself noticed in the UK’s fastest growing music city!

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