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Fierce FWD at PA/NG

mac Birmingham’s next local artist’s event PA/NG kicks of on March 3rd, promising ‘the best in local emerging artists spanning music, live art, performance and digital art at mac. Co-curated by The Vibe and featuring cameos from nationally-acclaimed artists, PA/NG will be part-gig, part-meal (soup provided!) and part-opportunity to meet other like-minded young people.’.

This edition of the night will also feature Fierce FWD artist Vivian Ezugha showcasing her work in progress “anyi na-aga otú ndi ocha si mba (we are going to the white man’s country)”.

PA/NG will be a great opportunity to engage with local talent, and get a glimpse of the calibre of work the Fierce FWD scheme is producing this year.

Tickets here

Diverse Actions Awarded ‘Ambitions for Excellence’ Grant

Live Art UK’s Diverse Actions initiative, on which Fierce is a partner, has been awarded Arts Council England’s ‘Ambitions for Excellence’ grant.

‘Over three years, commencing in April 2017, LAUK member organisations will support 14 bursaries, 9 workshops, 15 residencies, 15 commissions, 3 international masterclasses, 15 tours, a publication and a symposium.

The legacy of Diverse Actions will be held by the practitioners who participate and benefit from the initiative – those new to Live Art and those who extend their practice.’

Read the full article from Live Art UK here

Job Opportunity – Operations Manager


Dina Roncevic, Car Deconstruction at Fierce 2014 photo by James Allan

Fierce Job Opportunity

Job Description: Operations Manager

Fierce is entering a new and exciting phase with the recent appointment of a new Artistic Director, Aaron Wright. We’re looking for someone on an interim basis to work alongside Aaron to take responsibility for the operational aspects at Fierce, based in our new office in Digbeth.

Fierce is an international festival of cross art form performance centred in Birmingham. Fierce Festival started life in 1997, and is the most established festival of Live Art in the UK. The festival embraces theatre, dance, music, installations, parties, activism, digital and participatory practices. Fierce fills the city with performances in theatres, galleries and other out-of-the-ordinary spaces. Fierce also delivers a year round programme of projects and local artist opportunities.

The Festival is looking for an experienced Operations Manager to join the team between now and April 2017 on an interim basis to help support the operational side of the business and some fundraising support. This is being offered as a freelance role based on 40 days between now and the end of April at a set fee of £5000.

If you are interested in the position please request a full job description from

Deadline for submissions 09.00 am on 7th December 2016.

Application emails should be marked Freelance Operations Manager Application

For more information about Fierce visit our website

Announcing the Fierce FWD 2016 artists

Image: Fierce FWD artist Louisa Robbin

Image: Fierce FWD 2016 artist Louisa Robbin

Fierce is delighted to announce the artists chosen for the 2016 round of Fierce FWD. Fierce FWD (previously Platinum) is a development programme for emerging Live Artists living or working in or originally from the West Midlands.

The Fierce FWD artists 2016 are Suriya Aisha, Sean Burns, Thomas Doherty, Vivian Chinasa Ezhuga, James Harris, Myah Jeffers, Malik Nashad Sharpe, Louisa Robbin, Benedict Stewardson, Emily Warner and Kaye Winwood & Olivia Winteringham. You can find out more about the artists and their Fierce FWD projects over on the Fierce FWD pages which will be updated as the projects progress.

We are also delighted to announce a new collaboration with Birmingham Repertory Theatre who we’ll be working with to deliver a programme of talks and workshops for the Fierce FWD artists and the participants of the Theatre Makers strand of their own Rep Foundry development programme.

Each of the FWD artists receive a £500 micro bursary to start to develop a new project. They might want to spend it on materials, studio time a research trip or something else entirely. Furthermore, over the course of the next six months the Fierce FWD artists will undertake a number of research trips to Live Art events around the UK including SPILL Festival of Performance, In Between Time: Bristol International Festival, Steakhouse Live and Arika.

Fierce FWD is generously supported by Arts Council England and Jerwood Charitable Foundation.



Fierce FWD 2016: Call for Applications

Permutations in the City, Neil Callaghan and Simone Kenyon, Fierce 2015

Permutations in the City, Neil Callaghan and Simone Kenyon, Fierce Festival 2015

Fierce FWD is a development programme for artists working in Live Art and performance conceived and produced by Fierce and supported by Arts Council England and Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Fierce FWD offers the opportunity for artists to develop an idea for a live performance/experience in the public realm alongside a period of research and field trips.

The programme is for emerging artists living or working in the West Midlands (outside of full-time education) or those with strong ties to the region, perhaps through studying or growing up locally. In keeping with Fierce being a Live Art festival this scheme is aimed at those developing projects for live performance and experiences. We define Live Art broadly and expect to receive a broad range of proposals encompassing performance art, body art, experimental theatre and dance, contemporary performance, socially engaged projects, art activism, progressive cabaret and club performance, one-on-one performance, durational work, site-specific projects, immersive parties, performative events and other experimental live practices.

We take a similarly broad approach to the term ‘emerging’, this scheme isn’t intended just for young people and recent graduates, but anyone that defines as emerging. Perhaps you’ve recently started experimenting with performance in your practice, perhaps you’re re-emerging after a hiatus, or shifting focus to make your practice more of a professional commitment.

For this round of Fierce FWD we’re particularly interested in supporting artists to develop new work for the public realm and non-arts spaces. Have you got an idea for a carpark, city square, railway station, park, garden, bingo hall, swimming pool, rooftop, shop front, arcade, supermarket, public toilet, river, church, football ground or restaurant? Or perhaps you’ve got an idea for a project that would exist digitally, online or as an audio piece, or abstractly as a competition, stunt, tour or game?

The programme has two stages:

Part 1

In September Fierce will select between eight and ten Fierce FWD artists. Each artist will receive a micro-bursary of £500 to try an artistic experiment, develop a piece of work or conduct some research towards a project. Alongside this, the Fierce FWD artists will participate in an intensive workshop delivered by one of the UKs foremost practitioners in making work in the public realm. Furthermore a number of research trips will be undertaken by the group and facilitated by Fierce to see high quality work around the country – with a bursary for each participant to do so. Research trips may include SPILL Festival of Performance (Ipswich), Arika (Glasgow), IBT: Bristol International Festival, Juncture Festival (Leeds), Sacred Festival (London) and more. Each Fierce FWD artist will also have their practice profiled to an international audience via a page on the Fierce website. Over this period that will start in October and run until March 2017, the cohort of Fierce FWD artists will support each other through facilitated discussion sessions.

Part 2

From the eight Fierce FWD artists two or three will receive additional funding, mentorship and producing /curatorial support to develop a finished site-specific work for Fierce Festival, running the 16 – 22nd October 2017.

How To Apply

Please send proposals to by noon on Monday 26 September with the subject line ‘Fierce FWD 2016’. Proposals should be up to two pages (max 1000 words) that include:

  • An introduction to who you are.
  • Your reason for applying for Fierce FWD and your connection to the West Midlands.
  • A description of your proposed project, research or enquiry.
  • A broad outline timeline and how you propose to spend the initial £500.

We will assess the proposals on the quality of the ideas and would like you to be realistic about what can be achieved within the given budget.

In addition you may also include:

  • An up-to-date CV.
  • No more than 2 video clips of your previous work.
  • No more than 8 images of your previous work.
  • No more than 3 links to your website, blog or other online work.

If you would like to apply via a video message, please do so, and ensure it contains the same information as requested above, within a 5 minute maximum duration.

We particularly encourage applications from black, queer and disabled artists.

We may not be able to provide detailed feedback on all proposals. We also advise that due to other schemes in the region Fierce FWD is not best suited for playwrights and traditional theatre makers who are better supported via other scheme’s in the region such as Rep Foundry.

If you have enquiries about the scheme email your question to and we will reply as quickly as possible.


Monday 26th September at noon.





Photo by Alex Eisenberg

Photo by Alex Eisenberg

14th December 2015: Fierce Festival, an international biennial of cross-art form performance in Birmingham, today announces the appointment of Aaron Wright as its new Artistic Director. Currently Programmes Manager at the Live Art Development Agency, Aaron will take over from Fierce Festival’s current Artistic Directors Harun Morrison and Laura McDermott in April 2016.
Over the past five years at the Live Art Development Agency, Aaron has co-curated international programmes of live art and has worked as a guest curator and consultant programmer for the National Theatre, The Arches and Cambridge Junction.
Eileen Evans, Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees said: “On behalf of the Trustees, I’m delighted to appoint Aaron Wright as the new Artistic Director of Fierce Festival. We were struck by Aaron’s passion and ambition for Fierce and the city of Birmingham. A dynamic curator and agitator, Aaron’s deep relationship with UK and International Live Art ecologies and commitment to their future really shone through. Building on Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison’s successful tenure and Fierce’s track record of nurturing young, inspiring leaders, the board are committed to working with Aaron to grow Fierce in new and exciting directions.”
Aaron Wright said: “I’m thrilled to return home to the West Midlands and take the helm of an organisation that has been a huge source of inspiration to me. Working at LADA, the world’s leading advocate for Live Art, has given me the best possible experience, expertise and networks for this new role. After Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison’s visionary tenure, Fierce is well and truly on the map as one of the most exciting, provocative and playful festivals of Live Art in the world. I hope to continue Fierce’s history of premiering radical international work in the UK, whilst supporting more established UK practitioners,in turn contributing to a healthy national Live Art scene. I’m eager to grow large local audiences for Fierce without compromising its agenda of staging boundary pushing art. Fierce, at its core, is an agitator unwavering in its interrogation of the status quo. I can’t wait to see where it might mislead us all next.”
Harun Morrison and Laura McDermott said: “We are delighted by the appointment made by Fierce’s board. Aaron Wright has impressed us over the years with his independent projects and work at the Live Art Development Agency. We look forward with excitement and curiosity to what promises to be a bold new future for Fierce.”
For press enquiries, please contact:
John Diviney, Brunswick Arts / 07720 337 488
Notes to Editors
Fierce Festival
The next Fierce Festival will take place in October 2017. Across 2016 Fierce will launch a year-round program and the second call out for its West Midlands emerging artist development scheme Fierce FWD.
Aaron Wright
Aaron Wright is a curator and producer of Live Art. He joined the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) in 2010 through the DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries scheme and has been their Programmes Manager since 2012. At LADA he has co-curated international programmes of Live Art and speaks regularly on the subject. Aaron has also worked as a guest curator and consultant programmer for the National Theatre, The Arches and Cambridge Junction, as well as co-producing club night Knickerbocker at The Yard Theatre. Aaron also works as producer for the performance artist The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein and is a member of the Steakhouse Live collective. He holds an MA and a BA from the University of Birmingham and is a trustee of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.




#Sergina is a gender-ambiguous, multi-locationable drag queen performed by Elly Clarke (mostly) and others, who sings and performs songs both online and off about trying to love, exist and get laid in a world that is increasingly experienced through screens. In a society that is increasingly narcissistic, #Sergina is everybody’s #selfie, and no one’s. She is up for grabs and she is untouchable. She is an image and she is flawed (and confined) by her flesh/s. She is a self-sculpted c-celeb. Her self is worn (out) on different bodies. She competes with her own image, and usually loses.

#Sergina’s Stimulatingly Sexy Simultaneous Simulation of Herself a 15 minute rehearsed live performance of Sergina’s songs performed simultaneously by 5 different bodies performing from their own localities, observed by live audiences, linked up by technology, through which it is also broadcast. In every location, #Sergina will be half obliterated by her mirage images projected onto her from different corners of the world. It will be a huge IRL Google Hangout, where every body is a simulation of an original whose authenticity it is itself dubious.

Local Times and Venue Information:
Raul de Nieves at Secret Project Robot Art Experiment
Join Facebook Event here!

Vladimir Kriscanski Takac at G12 HUB)
Join Facebook Event here!

Liz Rosenfeld at Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke
Join Facebook Event here!

Daisy Johnson at The Island
Join Facebook Event here!

Elly Clarke at The Lowry
Join Facebook Event here!

If none of these places are nearby you can watch online Via This Is Tomorrow and Sergina’s Youtube Channel! Elly Clark will be launching Shout Festival from 8pm at BOM this Thursday 12 Nov.


The Dawn Of PRAWN!



9AM – 2AM

While it would be snooty to slag Birmingham’s LGBT scene off for being too ‘mainstream’, there’s no denying the fact that it’s nowhere near as diverse as it should, or could be. As much fun as a night out on Hurst Street can be after a litre of gin, for a major city with over a million inhabitants, a growing economy and the youngest population in the UK, the lack of alternative spaces has always seemed rather odd. But then again, what the hell does alternative even mean? And how relevant would an alternative gay scene be to the inhabitants of a city that places its Michelin starred restaurants above all other forms of cultural expression? Do the city’s gays even give a shit about alternative gay stuff? Or should we just accept Hurst Street for what it is, and get on with the serious business of being ethically minded consumers during our non-working hours, expressing our individuality through the things we buy and eat, as opposed to the music we listen to and the environments we choose to get pissed in?

It’s difficult to identify the ‘real’ alternative from that which has just been marketed as such. The whole concept now revolves around consumption, with club promoters borrowing language from the world of advertising in order to sell their nights. Parties are repackaged and sold on as ‘brands’. Purpose built venues are described in terms of how ‘intimate’ they are, and seemingly everywhere that doesn’t play pop music is referred to as the ‘underground’. Amidst all the talk of bespoke alternative clubbing experiences, it’s easy to forget what it all actually means.

Some might say it’s found in the music, others, especially in the LGBTQ community, explore the alternative through drag and performance. If we’re looking for a definition of alternative in relation to night time entertainment, perhaps it might be accurate to say that it’s about breaking with consensus; the opportunity to experience sights and sounds that you might not normally encounter and if anywhere needs to break with consensus – to challenge the status quo and mix things up a bit – it would be Birmingham’s gay scene.

Tapping into the rich musical heritage of the LGBT community, PRAWN will be launching on Friday 13 November at the Wellington Hotel; an iconic venue famed for hosting same sex marriages before they were legal.
Situated on the edge of the Gay Village, the opening night will feature top Brummie DJ talent in the form of Leftfoot regular, Spinx, and Cache resident, Christie. Artist and A3 Project Space Director, Trevor Pitt, will be donning his ‘TREVA’ alter ego and warming things up with a very special engagement party set.
The music will include stuff you won’t have heard before, some stuff you might have heard before, there will be old stuff and new stuff, and it’s completely free.

Spitting Art – a new podcast series by Bek Berger

Spitting Art is a podcast dedicated to chatting to interesting artists around the world. Spitting Art is brought to you by Bek Berger “an explorer, a producer and currently situated on the opposite of her world”. Originating from Melbourne, Australia, she is currently in residence with Fierce Festival in Birmingham. Have a listen to the first podcast featuring Selina Thompson who will be presenting Race Cards at Fierce Festival this year.

To find out more about Bek Berger or to get in contact visit

Spitting Art has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council of the Arts, The Ian Potter Cultural Foundation, The Copyright Agency Career Fund and The City of Moreland.  

ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham


ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham
in association with Selfridges Live + Loud

2 – 4 Oct 2015

The ICA, in association with Selfridges, presents ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham. The off-site project coincides with Selfridges’ Live + Loud and is the ICA’s first project in the city. ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham aims to reference recent trends in contemporary urban sub-cultures and features a temporary exhibition and music programme that draws on Birmingham’s mix of industrial and post-war brutalist architecture, celebrating the city as a centre for creativity and a source of inspiration.

Participants include Fergadelic, Tim & Barry / Just Jam, Tyrone Lebon, Ben Sansbury and Ashley Williams.

To accompany the exhibition and events programme, Voodoo Rays provides New York-style pizzas and drinks inspired by local Birmingham flavours.

Join in the conversation on social media with


Tim & Barry present Tom of England

Fri 2 Oct, 8pm-12am

Tom of England will headline the opening live music event with support from Tim & Barry and their signature psychedelic visuals.


JUST JAM Present Barely Legal, Crack Stevens, Scratcha DVA and Tsunga

Sat 3 Oct, 8pm-12am

Just Jam will present and broadcast a programme of live performances by Midlands and UK based contemporary electronic musicians including Barely Legal, Crack Stevens, Scratcha DVA and Tsunga.


Getting there

Event location:
119 Floodgate Street,
Birmingham B5 5TL

—> For full opening hours, please visit the website.

Whether you’re a Birmingham local, or visiting from further afield, it’s easy to get to the event location.

—> Visit our website for more information on planning your journey.

The project is organised in partnership with Selfridges & Co and supported by the Arts Council

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