Thousands of people came out to help West Bromwich town centre come alive with adventure on the 13th and 14th of August for a weekend of performance, cinema, photography and giant Bumble Bees.

Creative Black Country, in partnership with Sandwell Council and West/ Bromwich BID, put together an exciting programme of events for this year’s Sandwell Arts Festival transforming the town with a lively, packed weekend called Imagine That!

Over 500 people from community groups across the Black Country helped the artistic team at Oldbury’s Creative Arts to make a stunning ceramic garden of over 1,000 flowers that will take over the Arts Cafe at Sandwell College Central Sixth Campus, New Street.

People were invited to discover West Bromwich through the lens of photographers such as Martin Parr, Liz Hingley and Mahtab Hussain as Multistory presented a special selection of photographs and films made with, for and about local people.

Birmingham’s Flatpack headed to the Black Country with a day of films and shorts at the Town Hall while
Creative Black Country proudly unveiled ‘The Ant’, a converted 3 wheeled Reliant Ant truck which has been turned into a mobile stage. The Ant hosted puppet show Midsummer Mayhem outside the Arts Cafe, on Saturday. Playwright William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, was the inspiration for the show which is told through beautiful and mesmerising puppetry and promises to  have all ages falling about with laughter and spellbound by its artistry.

An iconic vintage red phone box was used in Corey Baker Dance’s energetic and vibrant new outdoor solo show which featured an athletic performer and a display of precarious manoeuvres in The Phone Box.

Saturday was be captured by ‘The Commentators’; the once “famous” sports commentators have fallen on hard times and had been busy training up a team of 5–12 year olds from the Lyng Estate Media Club. They showcased their commentating skills to bring visitors all the action from the centre of West Bromwich on the 13th August.

Cradley Heath Creatives brought the ‘Oss box’ and invited visitors to take pinhole camera photos in their camera obscura workshops inside their unique renovated horse box.

Bug mask making and rainbow face painting kept the kids occupied while Black Country Touring invited roaming performances including the Strolling Gardeners, who ‘grow’ children in giant flower pots; the vintage loving Dancing Day-trippers; Nutkhut’s swirling Prince and Princesses; and the sweet and balmy Bizzy Lizzy.

On Sunday Balkanic Eruption provided a day of live music with a feast of Romany Balkan Beats and mashed-up party fun.


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