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BAB, WE'RE BACK! 16 - 22 OCTOBER 2017


Fierce Volunteers: We want you!

We are looking for enthusiastic and reliable people to play a vital role in creating an unforgettable festival experience across the city of Birmingham.

Be part of the action and volunteer with Fierce Festival 2017. If you are passionate about the arts, we would love to hear from you!

Upcoming Fierce Volunteer Drop In Sessions – all welcome

Come along for an informal chat with the team to learn more about becoming a Fierce volunteer and how you can play a vital role in creating an unforgettable festival experience across the city of Birmingham.

When: Tuesday 26 September from 6-8pm or Monday 2 October from 6-8pm

Where: Map Room at Cherry Reds Café, B1 1BN

More information on volunteering and how to apply can be found here.

Can You Feel It? Fierce & Club Culture

Michele Rizzo: HIGHER

It’s no secret that Fierce loves a party, and over the years we’ve thrown some truly Fierce ones. From bum printing in a basement (yep – bum in paint; bum on wall), to a surprise appearance from The Knife’s Olof Dreijer (in drag), a man literally walking on fire and performance artist Brian Catling strapping nine personal alarms to his face in the middle of the dancefloor and setting them off – and that was all just one party: Harminder Judge’s Holy Mountain Party, Fierce Festival 2012.

Fierce believes club culture is a legitimate, political, innovative and beautiful culture equal to anything hanging in a gallery or on a stage – or anywhere else in the Fierce programme. If we look at histories of club culture time and time again we see queer and POC communities at the centre of new musical and cultural developments – from disco and ball culture in New York to techno in Detroit. These developments have often accompanied difficult social circumstances against backdrops of white supremacy and racial injustice, homophobic police forces and crises such as AIDs, with the dancefloor acting as a place of solidarity, release and ecstasy. This year at Fierce we present a number of events that consider electronic music, the politics of the dancefloor and communal joy.

Lucy Suggate’s iconic solo dance work PILGRIM is set to music from techno producer James Holden’s acclaimed 2013 album The Inheritors. “It is a reminder of the ancient and enduring kinship between Dance and Music and the deeply transformative qualities of both. The work is haunted by remnants of English folk heritage and pagan sensibilities shifting between hypnotic and euphoric states”. In Barbara Ehrenreich’s fascinating book Dancing In The Streets she charts a history of collective joy that is as old as the human race itself. From fossilised footprints found in French caves that suggest dance like movement to modern day carnival Ehrenreich argues that dancing is something inherent in all of us playing a significant role in many religious and cultural events. PILGRIM is a primal and ritualistic performance that is seemingly both ancient and contemporary. Over 45 minutes Suggate let’s go taking the audience through various states of exhaustion and euphoria.

For choreographer Michele Rizzo clubbing is like going to church. In Rizzo’s dance piece HIGHER three lone figures attempt to become one to an infectious soundtrack by Warp Records artist Lorenzo Senni. Rizzo studied people dancing in clubs to develop this choreography challenging notions of what constitutes ‘high art’ legitimising an often overlooked form of expression (see also Owen Parry’s Fan Art inspired Scheduled for 10pm on the Saturday night of Fierce this is the perfect show to warm up for our big Club Fierce party. We guarantee, by the end of this you’ll be gagging to get up and dance and that’s why we’ve planned our huge Club Fierce festival party immediately after!

Featuring our biggest line up to date, you’re all invited to join us on the dancefloor at Club Fierce: We Are Fierce for some ecstatic communion! Parisian queer DJ Kiddy Smile of Let A B!tch Know Fame headlines the party, Deeply influenced by the sleazy, lazy feel of 80s and 90s house music and the fabulous legacy of the Ballroom scene we’re delighted to welcome him to Birmingham for the first time. Over the years Fierce has welcomed many a nightlife legend and this year is no exception as we welcome NYC club kid Imma Asher for a very special performance. Alongside this Swiss choreographer Marie-Caroline Hominal presents the UK premiere of her gig/show/dance Silver and  Serbian rapper Gnu??i is an exuberant, eclectic singer who has made a name for herself through the creation of pumping club music sure to get you moving. Not least we’re also delighted to welcome LMGM to the decks. Part of the team behind Berlin based party Room for Resistance a queer forward collective focused on community building and creating space & visibility for women, gender queers, non-binaries, trans people, black people & people of colour in Dance Music. LMGM – real name Luis-Manuel Garcia, currently an ethnomusicologist at the University of Birmingham also penned this brilliant article for Resident Advisor An alternate history of sexuality in Club Culture which offers a brilliant introduction to the themes touched upon here.

Oh and for vinyl aficionados – be sure to see Louis Vanhaverbeke’s show Multiverse, drawing on rap and hip hop culture, he manipulates vinyl in a variety of surprising ways – with some killer track selections and even some dry ice.

Hope to see you on the dancefloor!

Aaron Wright
Artistic Director, Fierce Festival

Lucy Suggate: PILGRIM – Friday 20 October 6.30pm
Michele Rizzo: HIGHER – Saturday 21 October 10pm
Club Fierce: We Are Fierce – Saturday 21 October 10.30pm
Louis Vanhaverbeke: Multiverse – Saturday & Sunday 21/22 October 2pm

Further Reading:
Love Saves the Day: A History Of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979
Dancing in the Streets: Barbara Ehrenreich
RA: Lorenzo Senni: Rave voyeur
RA: An alternate history of sexuality in Club Culture
The Quietus review James Holden’s The Inheritors
Meet Kiddy Smile Ballroom Warrior

Watch the Fierce 2017 Trailer!

Fierce Festival 2017 is nearly upon us. We’ve put together a short trailer to give you a glimpse of the kind of thing to expect, comprised of short clips of the artists involved. Watch it below then book your tickets!

Fierce Festival 2017 Trailer from Fierce Festival on Vimeo.

Applications open for PILOT Night at Fierce 2017

As part of Fierce Festival 2017 at AE Harris, Monday 16th October 2017

On Monday 16th October PILOT Nights will manifest once again to kick off Fierce Festival 2017!  This is a chance for artists to present up to 20 minutes of new, work-in-progress material, in front of a real live audience and industry peers – and be a part of Fierce!

At Fierce, we’re looking for those makers at the experimental edges of things. Perhaps its queer cabaret, performance art actions, devised contemporary theatre, solo performance or anything else a bit “arty”, “weird” or “Fierce” – we’ll know it when we see it!

Artists will receive a small fee, professional photo and video documentation of their work, and feedback from the audience.  It will also be a great opportunity to create links within the industry and meet future potential arts partners.

Full details on how to apply can be found on the Pilot Nights website.

Deadline for submissions: Thursday 7th September

Fierce at Birmingham Weekender!

Fierce is delighted to be presenting two events as part of Birmingham’s largest arts festival, the Birmingham Weekender. The Birmingham Weekender takes place this September 22-24th ad features hundreds of events across the city centre.

Firstly, Tram-a-lama-ding-dong! Cabaret on the Metro sees a host of cabaret stars jump aboard Birmingham’s newest mode of transport. Armed with her Casio keyboard, be seduced by the catchy pop hooks of songstress Lorraine Bowen of The Crumble Song and Britain’s Got Talent fame; marvel at the entrancing synchronised dance routines of the strange but true quintet Figs in Wigs and laugh along with Birmingham’s First Lady Mrs Barbara Nice as she rolls out gags faster than the speed of tram. All you need to partake is a ticket to ride! Supported by Midland Metro with pop up performances on-board the trams, 3-9pm between New Street and the Jewellery Quarter stops.

Secondly, end your day with a party at Club Fierce: Deadpan Disco. Nothing to laugh at here, It’s the most straight faced party in town! Expect warped cabaret from deadpan dance troupe Figs in Wigs; armed with her Casio keyboard Britain’s Got Talent star Lorraine Bowen is deadly serious; lifeless cookery demos from premiere bio-queen Victoria Sin and live music from multimedia performance artist and musician Rebekah Ubuntu – all this and more to be announced, plus Club Fierce DJs. Advance booking recommended. Hosted by Yshee Black.

Tickets for Club Fierce: Deadpan Disco can be purchased here.


Announcing Fierce vs. The Yard

We’re incredibly excited to announce a new collaboration with London’s coolest theatre The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick who share our love of cutting edge performance and brilliant clubbing! We’ll be presenting a two week mini season Fierce vs. The Yard at The Yard Theatre, London this October comprising a brilliant double bill of shows that will also be coming to Fierce Festival.

GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN’s Frankenshow will be paired with Boner Killer by New York’s Erin Markey, for an evening of work that’s anarchic, queer, dangerous and really, really funny. Who cares if it’s theatre, performance, stand up, cabaret, or something all of its own. It’s going to be a wild fortnight.

Get your tickets for the London shows here

Get your tickets for the Birmingham shows here



Check out our incredible programme of live art, theatre, music, activism, interventions, installations and the ever-popular Club Fierce!! 50 events; 6 world premieres; artists from 12 countries; over 13 venues across the city; for 6 days. FIERCE IS BACK!

Read the brochure and plan your highlights; tickets go on sale next Monday, 24th July, 10am.

A Friday to sunday Weekend Pass that gets entry to the following eight ticketed shows is available for the heavily discounted price of £65/£55. Only 100 of these passes are available, so don’t hang around!


Here at Fierce HQ we’re all really excited about the brilliant BE Festival, returning to Birmingham next week 4 – 8 July, at one of our favourite partner venues Birmingham REP. For the last few years BE Festival has brought the heart of Europe here to Birmingham, with an amazing and inspiring mix of artists and companies. One of our favourite things about BE is it’s friendly atmosphere and those special shared dinners where artists can mingle with audiences – and who wouldn’t love to chow down their dinner on the main stage of the REP?

We’re still finalising our diaries and working out which nights we can get to (hopefully all of them!), but we’re particularly excited about Indomador with Animal Religion on Tuesday night; Everything is OK from Marco D’Agostin on Wednesday; Performance Municipal by Vicente Arlandis and All The Voices from Tante & Tante both on Saturday 8th July.

See you at the bar, ‘Karma’ in hand for a drink?

Arts Council England Funding News

From Bennett Miller’s Dachshund UN, 2012

Fierce is delighted to report that its application to continue to be a National Portfolio Organisation for the period 2018-22 has been successful.

Fierce’s team and Board are greatly appreciative of the acknowledgement of our work shown by this support, and we’re excited to go forward with our plans for presenting ambitious and challenging live art and performance to audiences in Birmingham.

Bab, we’re back! 2017 Fierce Programme Launch

Image: Last Yearz Interesting Negro/Jamila Johnson-Small photo by Katarzyna Perlak & Carlos Jimenez.

Tuesday 18 July, 6-8pm
Birmingham Hippodrome, PWC Room

Fasten your seat belts: Fierce is back to take Birmingham by storm! We’d love you to join us to hear about our exhilarating 2017 lineup of international performance art, theatre, dance, cabaret, gigs, talks and parties. Expect over 50 events including 8 UK premieres, 6 world premieres and artists from 12 countries.

Please RSVP to, by Wednesday 12th July as space is limited. Everybody is welcome and drinks will be served!

Fierce Festival takes place 16 – 22nd October 2017.

See you then! x