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About Fierce

About Fierce

Performance / Parties / Politics / Pop

Fierce Festival is one of the UK’s most respected festivals of Live Art & the leading organisation for Live Art in the West Midlands. It has an international reputation for agenda setting curation & intelligent commissioning that has seen Fierce commissions tour worldwide. The festival embraces theatre, dance, music, installations, activism, digital practices and parties. Fierce fills the city with performances in theatres, galleries and other out-of-the-ordinary spaces.

Fierce believes that live art is the ‘engine room’ of our culture. It is a space where new performative ideas find a form for their expression and create surprising, provocative and inspiring collective moments for audiences in the West Midlands and beyond.

Fierce is committed to supporting emerging, overlooked, unusual & difficult live art practices from around the world and invites visionary artists interested in ‘liveness’, from a range of artistic disciplines, to work in Birmingham. Beyond the festival frame, Fierce plays a pivotal role in the local arts ecology, developing the cultural offer of the city & supporting local artist communities with its Fierce FWD artist development programme & year round initiatives including its popular Club Fierce late night events series.

Fierce’s work is informed by an intersectional queer politic that seeks to challenge established understandings of art & give a platform to marginalised artists who have no choice but to embody their politics. These voices, stories & ideals, we believe, need to be told in order to reflect the ever changing, diversifying society in which we live.



About Fierce

Fierce History

Fierce Festival was founded in 1998 by Mark Ball, who went onto be Artistic Director at LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) 2009 – 2017, and then joined Manchester International Festival as Associate Director. In 2009, Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison took over as joint artistic directors of Fierce. The duo introduced a ‘slow burn’ programming model centred around developing and commissioning new works specific to the city, alongside national and international touring works reworked for Birmingham. They produced five editions of Fierce Festival as joint artistic directors between 2009 and 2015. Laura now works as Director of the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and Harun works with Helen Walker, as part of the collective practice THEY ARE HERE.

In December 2016 it was announced that Aaron Wright would take up the post of Artistic Director from Spring 2016.

Fierce Festival is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation with regular funding confirmed until 2022.

Fierce is a member of Live Art UK, the national network that brings promoters and facilitators together to support and facilitate Live Art infrastructure for artists and audiences. Fierce is also a member of the European WEB network. WEB is an informal, international network for creation and presentation, active since 2009.

Contact us

Email: contact [at]

Registered office address (for invoices and postal communication):
Fierce Festival
Unit 3, Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham, Digbeth, B5 5RS

Registered Company No: 04609212
Registered Charity No: 1110138

Team Fierce

Meet Our Team


Our Board

Meet Our Board


Curatorial Policy

Fierce Curatorial Policy


Privacy Statement

Privacy Statement

About Fierce