Colors: Red Color

International multi-platinum-selling artist Khalid has today announced four UK dates as part of his headline ‘Khalid Free Spirit World Tour’. The news follows the release of his highly anticipated new album ‘Free Spirit’, which is out now via Columbia Records and Right Hand Music Group.

An AEG Presents event, the five-time Grammy Award nominee is set to take the stage at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena on 21 September.

Since releasing his debut hit single ‘Location’ in 2016 which went on to go quadruple platinum, Khalid has continued to cement his global status as one of music’s most promising breakout stars. Already accumulating a stellar array of awards and wins from the likes of MTV, Billboard and BET, his UK tour offers his legion of loyal fans a chance to experience his latest musical offering.

Khalid recently released his new single ‘Talk’ along with the music video, self-written and produced by Disclosure, ‘Talk’ is the lead single off ‘Free Spirit’.

Following its successful debut at Ovalhouse in 2017, Urbain Hayo’s Custody heads out on a UK tour this Spring, kicking off at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.

Inspired by Migrant Media’s banned cult documentary films Injustice and Who Polices the Police, Custody draws on real-life experiences to interrogate the impact of widespread prejudice and police brutality on BAME communities.

When another young Black man dies in police custody and apparently no one is to blame, it sends shock waves rippling across the community. Reeling from his death, his grieving family struggle to make sense of their loss, while pursuing a lengthy court battle in search of justice and concrete answers.

Weaving together his own experiences of the police’s controversial “Stop and Search” procedure with the stories of families who have suffered grave injustices, Urbain Hayo (aka Urban Wolf) creates a contemporary fictional narrative built on difficult truths about young Black men slipping through the cracks in our society – something often naively assumed to be an American issue.

In January this year, it emerged that there had been a 400% rise in police use of “Stop and Search” powers. Amidst reports of Black people being disproportionately targeted for searches, the Assistant Commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police also called for the policy to be introduced in schools.

Described by The Reviews Hub as “a vital play… emotionally raw and stylistically bold,” this urgent and compelling drama sets out to highlight and provoke debate around one of the most pressing issues of our time.

Creator and actor Urbain Hayo said: “We’re bringing back Custody not only because of its success in London, but also after seeing how effective it was with audience members. Deaths in police custody is an issue that is ongoing and while we’re doing this to share amazing stories, we’re also raising awareness of this.

“There are many regions in the UK where this has happened, and is still happening, but people aren’t always aware of these cases. We’re passionate about keeping up the momentum and sharing these stories beyond London.”

Custody,  showing at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry 1-4 May, is created by Urban Wolf (The Art Machine), written by Tom Wainwright (Banksy: The Room in the Elephant) and directed by Gbemisola Ikumelo (FAITH Drama Productions), with design by Fran Horler, movement direction by Sara Dos Santos and lighting by Will Burgher. The assistant director is Austin Staton, and the producer is Sarah Wrixon for Prime Theatre. Casting for the show includes Muna Otaru as Mother, Rochelle James as Lover, Ewa Dina as Sister and Urban Wolf as Brother.

With The Voice live finals in full swing, fashion brand Curvissa used their ‘Winning Formula’ piece to predict who will be the first to leave, and who will win The Voice 2019. These have been the common traits that we have calculated in our formula based on historic seasons of The Voice. Overall, we analysed seven competitive TV shows, across 75 series, over 18 years to identify what names, ages, professions and birthplaces are most likely to win (or be first to leave) each of the shows.


The formula suggests that one of two girls could win it this year. Nicole Raquel Dennis (24) could be crowned the winner, due to the past winners having an average of six letters in their first name, and the winning age being in their mid-20’s. She is also from London, and after the North West, the South East is the second luckiest location.

The second potential winner could be Deana Walmsley (23), as she is also close to the winning age of 26 and is from Liverpool, which matches a third of the previous winners who were also from the North West.

First Out

The ‘first out’ formula suggests that Emmanuel Smith could be one of the first to leave, as he matches the age to get kicked off first (29).

The other person who may be one of the first to leave, is Jimmy Balito (23) due to the letter ‘J’ being unlucky for past contestants.

Stage and screen star Andy Abraham is to pay tribute to one of the world’s greatest performers, Nat King Cole, in the year that the jazz icon would have celebrated his 100th birthday.

Andy, who achieved fame on ITV’s The X Factor, will take his Nat King Cole Songbook tour to theatres throughout the UK from April, including a date at Solihull’s The Core Theatre on April 26.

Jazz legend Nat sold more than 50 million records during a glittering career, which was recognised with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The centenary of his birth, on March 17, has been celebrated by jazz fans worldwide and Andy, himself a Platinum-selling artist, is delighted to have an opportunity to perform Nat’s music in such a significant year.

Andy cites Nat as one of his greatest inspirations, saying: “I feel extremely honoured that I get to celebrate a true legend in this way. This show really targets people who share my enjoyment of Nat’s music. His legacy, which has lived long in the industry, is something I really admire, and I think the fact that his music is still widely regarded as some of the best the industry, demonstrates the sheer impact he had on the world.”

The show will be a mix of the pianist and vocalist’s most-loved songs, and, will also include thought-provoking commentary from Andy throughout.

Andy has performed on both UK and international theatre stages, including the Royal Albert Hall, and wowed West End audiences in the musical Respect La Diva. He first tasted success as runner-up on X Factor 2005 and has since released four albums. His most successful release, Remember When, sold in excess of half a million copies.

Following on from the success of 2018’s arena tour of Star Wars: A New Hope Live with Orchestra, promoter Senbla will present the next installment of the Star Wars: Film Concert Series. The second film released in the franchise, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, will be performed live in UK arenas in 2019, featuring Osca-winning composer John Williams’ musical score performed live to the film.

Since the release of Star Wars: A New Hope over 40 years ago, the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on both cinema and culture, inspiring audiences around the world with its mythic storytelling, captivating characters, groundbreaking special effects and iconic musical scores composed by Williams.

Fans will be able to experience the scope and grandeur of the beloved Star Wars films in a live symphonic concert experience, as the Star Wars: Film Concert Series continues with Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, with a date at Arena Birmingham on 1 October 2019.

The battle for the galaxy intensifies in this thrilling fifth episode of the unfolding saga. As Imperial Forces launch an all-out attack on the Rebel Alliance, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) flee to Cloud City where they are captured by Darth Vader.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) journeys to the mysterious, marshy planet of Dagobah, where the wise Jedi Master Yoda teaches the young hero the ways of the Force. Little does Luke know that all his Jedi training will be called upon so soon. A stunning revelation-- and a life-or-death battle with Darth Vader—awaits.

Legendary composer Williams is well known for scoring all eight of the Star Wars saga films, beginning with 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope for which he earned an Academy Award® for Best Original Score. His scores for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens were also nominated for Best Original Score. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released on December 15, 2017, and was the UK & Ireland’s biggest film of 2017.

Williams has won five Academy Awards®, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, and 22 Grammy Awards. With 50 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the Academy’s most nominated living person and the second most-nominated individual in history, after Walt Disney.  In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams' score to 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope as the greatest American film score of all time. The soundtrack to Star Wars: A New Hope also was preserved by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry, for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."  Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame in 2000, and he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2009, and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016.  Williams has composed the scores for eight of the top 20 highest-grossing films at the U.S. box office (adjusted for inflation).


A documentary exploring gender inequality in the music genre of Grime airs on BBC Radio 4 next week, which was produced by Birmingham City University Journalism lecturer Marverine Duffy.

‘Where are all the black women in Grime?’ airs on Monday 1 April at 4pm and includes interviews with women who are making waves on the Grime scene, whilst investigating the lack of representation of black women in comparison to their male counterparts.

In the past 15 years, stars such as Stormyz, Dizzee Rascal, Wiley and Skepta have become mainstream names as the Grime genre has grown exponentially.

Marverine was the Executive Producer of the programme for Boom Shakalaka Productions, a company led by BBC 6 Music Presenter, Gemma Cairney. Journalist and broadcaster, Marverine recently joined BCU as the director of four new undergraduate Journalism courses at the Birmingham School of Media. She's best known as a former Newsreader for the BBC, 5 News and Sky News, and has produced several documentaries for BBC 5 Live, 1Xtra and BBC Radio 4.

“This was a great opportunity to work on a documentary about a subject which is close to my heart: Grime music. Back in 2012, I raised the issue of up-and-coming black female MCs in my Radio 1 Xtra documentary, Ladies with Lyrics. The exciting thing is that the breakout star of those young women, who's now arguably the single most successful woman on the scene, is a Brummie: Lady Leshurr.

“I think it's a real shame there's still a reluctance to give women of African and Caribbean heritage their due. They are making huge moves in the scene, and this programme recognises that, and looks for solutions.”

The documentary is presented by Guardian columnist, award-winning author and Grime fan, Yomi Adegoke.


The festival - Holi - mainly celebrated in India and Nepal, marks the beginning of spring - It also symbolises new beginnings.

Falling on the last full moon of the lunar month, on the day of Holi, people throw liquid and powdered colour over each other - the night before, people light bonfires to signify good triumphing over evil.

The colours of the powders each have a different meaning. Red is meant to represent love and fertility, yellow is the colour of turmeric, blue is for the Hindu god Krishna and green symbolises new beginnings.

Water based pigments are now being used in the creation of the coloured powder instead of traditional plant based colours including turmeric.

Aside from India, Holi is also celebrated in Nepal, which has a large Hindu population. A celebration is held in Kathmandu and it has also become popular in other countries around the world including the UK.

Born Roger Charlery in Birmingham of St Lucian dissent, he was a member of 1980s two-tone band The Beat then, later, General Public (made up with former members of Dexys Midnight Runners and Horace Panter and The Specials).

With The Beat they released three albums: the critically acclaimed and seminal ‘I Just Can't Stop It’ in 1980, ‘Wha'ppen?’ in 1981 and ‘Special Beat Service,’ in 1982.  In the early 1990s, he joined members of The Specials to form the new band Special Beat.

He also collaborated with Pato Banton in 1987 on the song ‘Pato and Roger Come Again’. Included on Banton's album Never Give In, the song was a follow-up to their earlier collaboration on ‘Pato and Roger a Go Talk’, which appeared on ‘Special Beat Service’. He joined Pato again in 1995 on ‘Bubbling Hot’, which reached number 15 on the UK single charts. He also sang on stage with The Police on their 2007 world tour.

He undergone surgery for two brain tumours and had treatment for lung cancer. He was 56.

Reality star Josie Gibson has revealed how she dropped three dress sizes in just 12 weeks following the birth of her baby boy Reggie-James.

The Big Brother winner has lost two stone and gone from a size 18-20 to a size 12 using’s ‘Do the Unthinkable’ diet and exercise programme.

The new mum gained four and a half stone during her pregnancy, tipping the scales at 16 stone.

But after starting to suffer from achy joints and sore knees, Josie decided to get back into shape and is now a much trimmer 14 stone.

Big portions of hearty meals like pie and mash caused her to balloon to a size 18-20 whilst pregnant, but the Bristolian has struggled with her weight most of her life.

She had to regularly visit the school nurse as a child because of her size, and was around 18 stone when she was 18.

Having tried a number of diet plans throughout her life, Josie turned to ‘Do the Unthinkable; due to the ease and convenience of the programme – particularly with having a young baby.

The plan allows you to order all the meals and snacks you need each week, and they’re delivered fresh to your door.

It also comes with a complete exercise and workout programme, as well as access to an exclusive online community and round-the-clock help and advice from a team of qualified personal trainers.

Josie, who is a qualified personal trainer, once weighed just 9 and a half stone and was a size 8 after her dramatic weight loss in 2013, but admits she feels just as good at a comfortable size 12.

Commenting on her weight loss, Josie said: “I constantly have to watch what I eat – I just have one of those bodies. If I’m eating the wrong things, then I just balloon.

“Bread is really not my friend and so what did I crave while pregnant? Marmite and cheese sandwiches!

“I’d eat quite a bit of bread and then cook big, hearty meals in the evening and my portion control really wasn’t great, but because I was pregnant, I kept kidding myself that it was ok because I was growing another human.

“I then just lost control which is why I needed my meals delivered and no naughties in the house to get me back on track. The thought of getting any bigger was so scary.

“Most of my weight goes to my bottom half, so I was finding that I was getting aches and pains in my joints especially my knees and legs which made moving about day to day – particularly with a young baby – quite hard.

“I was also in the danger of slipping back into type 2 diabetic territory which can be quite common in pregnancy, but I really didn’t want to go there again.”

Talking about her weight history, she said: “Over the years, I’ve tried pretty much every diet on the planet. Whilst the majority work to a degree, they’re not maintainable and some are actually quite unhealthy.

“I felt great when I was a size 8, but it to was so hard to maintain. Since becoming a mum my priorities have changed so rather than wanting to be really slim, I just want to feel healthy, so I’ll be able to keep up with my little boy as he gets older.

“The thing that attracted me to musclefood’s Do the Unthinkable plan the most was the ease of it. All of your food – breakfast, lunch, dinner plus three snacks each day – is pre-portioned and delivered to you at the start of the week, and all you have to do is cook the meals in a microwave, oven or on the hob.

“There are over 60 different meal choices, so you can have a completely different menu every week which makes it really easy to stick to in the long term.

“You can choose to do the plan for 5, 6, or 7 days too, so if you like having your weekends free or need a bit more flexibility, it’s perfect. There’s also guidance on what to do on your days off as well.”

Speaking about being a first-time mum, she said: “I was under the impression that I was going to be one of those coffee mums that just look like they’ve got everything together and sit in coffee shops with the pram sipping vanilla lattes and feeling great – I’ve had a sharp shock to say the least!

“Reggie-James only sleeps for a couple of hours at a time so being able to chuck all your ingredients into one pan and cook them in ten or fifteen minutes has been a God send, especially when I’m running on just a few hours’ sleep.

“The meals are all made with proper food and are super balanced and healthy, so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re getting all your vitamins and nutrients each day – but you can still enjoy favourites like pizza and curry. Again, this is really helpful as a new mum.

“You get three meals and three snacks per day, but as time went on, I actually felt like I didn’t need the snacks as I was so full up from breakfast, lunch and dinner!

“The exercises are all really effective and easy to follow too. I’ll admit I didn’t do them perhaps as much as I should, but I’ve still achieved cracking results.”



Fans of The Prodigy star Keith Flint have been invited to line the funeral procession route ahead of a service celebrating his life.

Flint, lead vocals on the band's number one singles Breathe and Firestarter, was found dead at his Essex home on March 4.

A church service for family and close friends will be held on Friday.

On Twitter, the band asked fans to line the route to the church near Braintree and "'raise the roof' for Keef".

The band tweeted a map of the procession route through Braintree, starting from Courtauld Road at the roundabout linking Railway Street and Coggeshall Road.

It will head along Courthauld Road, right on to Bradford Street and then left on to Church Lane as it heads to St Mary's Church in Bocking.

The band said fans were invited to line the route from 15:00 GMT, to "pay their final respects & 'raise the roof' for Keef!"

It said if anyone wished to lay flowers or tributes, they should be sent to the church no later than 14:00 GMT on Friday.

"The church service will just be for family and close friends, but there will be speakers relaying the ceremony outside the church for everyone to hear," the tweet said.

An inquest into the 49-year-old singer's death at his Dunmow home heard the provisional cause of death was from hanging.

Flint was born in Redbridge, north-east London, and later moved to Braintree, where he co-founded The Prodigy in 1990 with Liam Howlett and Leeroy Thornhill.

The band, who had been due to tour the United States in May, released their latest album in November and had recently been on tour in Australia.


The National Theatre’s production of Macbeth broke multiple records at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre last week. Not only was there record attendance amongst young people, a total of 6502 audience members attended during the week - the largest audience for a Shakespeare title in the theatre’s recorded history.

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre was selected to be one of six venues involved in the National Theatre’s Theatre Nation Partnership, a three-year scheme designed to increase attendees of Drama. In order to fulfil this, a large-scale audience development project was also launched, focusing on school engagement, converting musical attendees into drama bookers and a drive on increasing the theatre’s South Asian Audience.

Across the week, the Grand Theatre achieved:

  • 53% of the overall audience were first time attendees to the theatre.
  • 3302 students saw Macbeth, totalling 50.7% of the total audience.
  • Total of 90 visits from educational establishments.
  • 12 out of the 19 Wolverhampton schools, colleges and the University attended bringing 859 students.
  • 240 students took part in the Grand Theatre’s first Student Conference learning about Shakespearean performance conditions, understanding the text and directing professional actors in their own interpretations of key scenes.
  • 341 booked the Page To Stage event.
  • 20 teachers took part in the Macbeth CPD project, continuing personal development.
  • Traditional musical attendees made up 6.7% of the Macbeth
  • A Teachers Networking event arranged in collaboration with the Wolverhampton Cultural Educational Partnership (WCEP) attracted over 50 people.
  • Over 100 under 26-year-olds attended which coincided with the theatre’s relaunched youth scheme sixteen25.
“The students really appreciated the day and gained from it, especially in the workshop where the actors demonstrated how adding in all the theatrical elements, lights, props, sound etc, could change an interpretation…I hope The Grand’s collaboration with the National continues as I think having access to such experience and quality is invaluable for local students and enables many to engage with the arts which would not otherwise be possible.” Holy Trinity School, Kidderminster

The Grand commissioned Audience Development Consultant Hardish Virk to further engage with the South Asian Community which makes up 30% of the Wolverhampton Community. On 1 February the total of South Asian bookers represented 1.5% of the Macbeth audience. By the end of the run of Macbeththis figure was 10.5%.

Vicky Price, Associate Director of Development and Communications, “The collaboration with the National Theatre has, and continues to be a thrilling experience for everyone at The Grand the actual show week for Macbeth was fantastic. The team here have worked so hard and their efforts have come to fruition.”


Today marks the 67th annual Birmingham St Patrick’s Festival – sponsored by Dig Brew, which is the world’s third largest St Patrick’s Day parade behind New York and Dublin.

With 90,000 people expected in and around the streets of Digbeth, the parade begins at midday, starting at Camp Hill Island.

St Patrick will lead the procession of organisations, including Samba bands, dance schools, sports teams and classic cars from High Street to St Martins Church.

There will also be live music from more than 50 musicians, including contemporary folk bands – with additional live music across Digbeth - recently described as ‘the heart of the Irish in Birmingham’ by Irish President Michael D Higgins - at partner venues including The Big Bull’s Head, The Old Crown, The Spotted Dog and The White Swan.

An Emerald village is available for the children to enjoy, featuring the Bob Wilson funfair a Formula 1 car simulator and a small petting zoo.

The chair of St Patrick’s Festival Birmingham, Peter Connolly, said: “The festival family has worked especially hard this year to ensure there’s something for everyone as part of the programme.

“Our St Pat Rocks offerings has gone from strength-to-strength since 2015, and we look forward to raising a glass to one of the greats of Irish Folk Music, Finbar Furey, today.

“The support from our community, from local and Irish businesses, and from the city we love and work in all help to keep this incredible civic event growing in size and ambition each year.”


With upwards of 90,000 visitors expected, tomorrow St Patrick’s Festival of fun promises to be the very best ever. And, as a taster, the event’s new sponsors, Dig Brew Co. hosted a little prelude at their independent micro-brewery, in Digbeth, in Birmingham, with traditional dance and music giving a flavour of what to expect.

The exiting Scanlon's School of Irish Dancing (aged 13-16), one of the most in-demand outfits on the circuit, was on hand, as were a selection of the very best Irish musicians, as Festival organisers pulled out all the stops at the county’s newest beer manufacturers.

Of the day’s activities, Peter Connolly, chair of St Patrick’s Festival Birmingham, said: “We are so thrilled to present the St Patrick’s Festival 2019 to Birmingham and to visitors from across the globe tomorrow.

The festival family has worked especially hard this year to ensure there’s something for everyone as part of the programme.

The support from our community, from local and Irish businesses, and from the city we live and work in all help to keep this incredible civic event growing in size and ambition each year.”

Also with a second micro-brewery in Sligo, in Ireland, a delighted Dig Brew Co. Head Brewer, Donncha Burke, said: “We have 5 full-time and 15 part-time staff so to replace Guinness as the main sponsors is a very proud moment for us.

St Patrick’s Festival, which, for the first time in many years, falls on St Patrick's Day itself -March 17 – will set off from Camp Hill Island at midday before travelling along Digbeth High Street to St Martin's Church and close to the iconic Selfridges building - lit green for the occasion - before looping back again.


Extinction Rebellion has announced the full programme for its weekend ‘Spring Uprising’ festival of rebellion, activism and music this weekend in Bristol, with many exciting new acts having joined the line-up.

Pioneer of the UK festival scene DJ Chris Tofu MBE, honoured for his outstanding service to music and festivals and Chief Vibes Master at Glastonbury, will be joined by DJ friends Slamboree Sound System, Dub Revolution, Ghetto Funk Allstars and World’s Tallest DJ. Alongside them, Havana schooled Mercury Music Prize nominee, singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nick Mulvey will contribute his unique Latin-influenced alt-folk to proceedings.

They join an array of music acts already including Sam Lee, Dizraeli, Mesadorm, Bellatrix, Pete the Temp, Honeyfeet and The High Breed, and poets including Salena Godden, Vanessa Kisuule and Kev the Poet.

DJ Chris Tofu MBE said: “This is what it’s all about. I’m gonna do the best set of my life.”

The event, to be held in Bristol’s Motion venue (74-78 Avon Street, Bristol, BS2 0PX), is part of Extinction Rebellion’s planning for what is expected to be one of the largest non-violent civil disobedience acts in decades - International Rebellion beginning 15 April 2019.

The festival also features talks and workshops at which up to 1,000 people at a time will be trained in peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience. Among the new additions to these are talks by Satish Kumar, former monk, co-founder of Schumacher College and editor of Resurgence and Ecologist magazine, andMission Lifeforce, the organisation seeking to make ecocide an international crime overseen by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

There will be workshops by Reclaim The Power, the environmental activist group which grew out of the Climate Camp movement, and Daniel Connolly, who will be teaching how to build a wind turbine from reclaimed materials for less than £30. Also speaking will be Natalie Fee, named Bristol 24/7 Woman of the Year for her campaigning against plastic pollution, and Professor Graham Smith, Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. For part of Saturday evening, the main stage has been given over to XR Youth and Youth Strike 4 Climate, following on from the second national school strike the previous day. There will be a screening of You Can't Evict An Idea, the feature documentary about the Occupy London occupation in 2011-12.

They join a list of speakers already including Mike Bonanno of The Yes Men; Co-founder of Extinction Rebellion Dr Gail Bradbrook; author and founding member of Ecological Land Co-op Alex Lawrie; writer for New Internationalist & Occupy activist Jamie Kelsey-Fry; writer & artist Zoe Young.

Festival organiser Tiana Jacout commented: “What makes it unique is that while many festivals recognise this crisis and the need for activism, this is I believe the first completely dedicated to civil disobedience, that we cannot pay lip service any more, that we need to focus solely on this. We can and will still enjoy the gathering and the amazing music but there’s a higher focus to it as well.”

The site is not set up for overnight stay, attendees are asked to arrange their own accommodation, or fill out the Spring Uprising Accommodation form to offer/ask around Bristol.

The event is supported by music industry and festival organisers such as Boomtown Festival, Buddhafield, Ninja Tune Records, Alfresco Disco, The Green Gathering, Woman Fest and Burn Punk.

Saturday 16 March will see live streams with major Extinction Rebellion UK groups so attendees can meet and talk to rebels from around the country. On Sunday 17 March, the same will happen for international Extinction Rebellion groups from the USA, Ghana and beyond. There will also be a People’s Assembly.

Eight areas to explore, learn and take part

  • Rebel hall - Music, talks and non-violent direct action training for 1000 at a time.
  • Solution Zone – Showcasing local and national solutions to the crisis – co-housing, permaculture, renewable energy, tiny houses, resource use, a citizens’ assembly demo, a special projected zoom call with Extinction Rebellion groups all over the world and more
  • Gallery – Art themed around the ecological crisis. The best 20 will be taken on an Extinction Rebellion art tour this summer (galleries & festivals)
  • The Art Factory – Lets make the rebellion beautiful! To create much of the larger art/banners/ printing that will be used for 15 April onwards – come up and help, learn how to Lino print, print your clothes with Extinction Rebellion graphics, or just hang out with the brilliant scoundrels that are our art team
  • The Sanctuary – Our regenerative culture space, the Extinction café, with communication, grief counsellors and body workers
  • Resistance Exhibition – A photographic journey through social resistance movements from the past 30 years
  • Training Rooms – Smaller spaces for specific activism training throughout the weekend (training of trainers, learn the ‘heading for extinction’ talk etc.)
  • Ethical Food Quarter – With food provided by ethical traders and food waste organisations. No single use plastics here!
Em Weirdigan, Green Gathering festival director and Solutions Zone curator says: "I'm massively excited to be part of a movement that's about rebellion, about civil disobedience ... and about seeking practical answers alongside people who've been working on solutions to climate change and community breakdown for years.

“By rebelling, we can catapult both the severity of the crisis and the fact that there are solutions into the spotlight. Just like The Green Gathering, this Spring Uprising is a festival beyond hedonism - it's about gathering together to save the planet."

Tiana Jacout continued: “This is the next step in our response to the threat to life we all face, a potentially life changing event for attendees. Let’s celebrate coming together, get trained, organised and have a damn good time doing it.

“With thousands of people coming together to face the climate and ecological emergency, this event is intended to help people prepare, organise and celebrate for this historic moment in time together. It will also give individuals the opportunity to find and critically analyse their role in the movement for change.”

The Solutions Zone will showcase amazing organisations and charities that are already doing the work. A community exchange of ideas – bringing back the possibility of a beautiful world, the solution workshops will learn from past civil rights movements and apply them to the current issues.

Expect to hear about permaculture, co-operatives, renewable energy, grassroots democracy, land regeneration, housing and health, food for a future, water conservation, zero waste and zero carbon, circular economies, community building, solidarity in diversity, global justice, sustainable materials, skilling up, technological solutions, independent media and more.

The aim is to inspire people to take action NOW to change their lives and the world in response to the climate change and ecological crises. There will be interactive spaces – stalls, installations and micro-communities – to wander amongst. The Solutions Zone is a space where people can learn new skills, make connections, find community and change their lives, and it’s all curated by the award-winning Green Gathering festival crew.

Solutions Zone TV is linking up with Extinction Rebellion teams internationally and sharing eco solutions from around the world.




Producers Michael Harrison and David Ian have announced that Alexandra Burke  and Jennlee Shallow will play the role of Rachel Marron in ‘The Bodyguard’ at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre at selected performances from Tuesday 25 June – Saturday 6 July.

Joining them will be Benoît Maréchal as Frank Farmer, Micha Richardson as Nicki Marron, Peter Landi as Bill Devaney, Craig Berry as Tony, Gary Turneras Sy Spector, Phil Atkinson as The Stalker and Simon Cotton as Ray Court.

The rest of the company includes Rosie Cava-Beale, Callum Clack, Myles Cork, Kerry Crozier, Sia Dauda, Gustav Die, Chris Edgerley, James Lee Harris, Holly Liburd, Jack Loy, Hannah Millichamp, Helen Parsons, Daniil Shmidt, Jessica Simmons, Yiota Theo and Michael Wade Peters.

Alexandra Burke returns to the role of Rachel Marron following her triumphant run in the show in both the West End and the subsequent sell out 2015/2016 tour. She first rose to fame after winning the fifth series of The X Factor and her debut number one single ‘Hallelujah’ sold over one million copies in the UK, a first for a British female soloist.

She most recently appeared as Svetlana in ‘Chess’ at the London Coliseum and as Roxie in Chicago at the West End’s Phoenix Theatre. In 2017 she reached the final of ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’ Her other theatre credits include Deloris Van Cartier in the national tour of the musical ‘Sister Act.’

Jennlee Shallow’s many theatre credits include Nala in ‘The Lion King’ in both Australia and Germany, Deena in ‘Dreamgirls’ and Sarah in ‘Ragtime.’ Jennlee has also performed in the Cirque du Soleil shows ‘Kooza’ and ‘Viva Elvis.’

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. movie starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, ‘The Bodyguard,’ directed by Thea Sharrock with book by Oscar winning (Birdman) Alex Dinelaris, had its world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in London’s West End in 2012 and was nominated for four Olivier Awards. A sell out 18 month UK and Ireland tour followed, before the show returned to the West End at the Dominion Theatre. ‘The Bodyguard’ has also played in the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Italy, Australia, Madrid, France, and on tour throughout the US and can currently be seen in Stuttgart.

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, ‘The Bodyguard’ features a host of irresistible classics including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.




East London original grime pioneer turned worldwide superstar, Dizzee Rascal, has been added to the Soundscape Festival bill taking over the Ricoh Arena stadium bowl on Sunday June 16.

Chart and dance music fans will be treated to a day of whirlwind acts later this year, as Coventry prepares to host an array of chart-topping music talent.

Dizzee Rascal becomes the seventh artist added to the line-up, as the home of Wasps Rugby prepares for a mammoth day of music featuring huge global acts and the buzz of a traditional festival, with the added bonus of state-of-the-art tech and facilities for discerning music fans chasing a taste of the spectacular.

Soundscape’s line-up speaks for itself, with a range of acts that have commanded headline slots at some of the country’s hugest music events. Dizzee brings his upfront blend of hip-hop to the festival, joining headliner and iconic French DJ and producer David Guetta, playing his only UK date.

Also on the bill is the UK’s brightest new soloist Anne-Marie, chart-topping electropop trio Years & Years, million-selling dance group Clean Bandit, chart sensation Mabel and X-Factor breakout stars Rak-Su, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.

The ultimate performer Dizzee will showcase his number one hits “Dance Wiv Me”, “Bonkers”, “Holiday”, “Dirtee Disco” and “Shout”.

His debut album ‘Boy in da Corner’ is still considered a grime classic and earned him the 2003 Mercury Prize Award and he’s still ripping up the rule-book.

He’ll also showcase his bass-heavy newer material, with songs like ‘Wot U Gonna Do?’ from 2017 album ‘Raskit’ and ‘Bassline Junkie’ from 2013 album ‘The Fifth’, which is sure to get crowds jumping. There will also be new material to enjoy from new EP ‘Don’t Gas Me’. Recent single ‘Quality’ samples the classic 1992 hardcore track ‘The Sound Of Music’ by Nookie and is the ultimate festival floorfiller.

Along with a star-studded programme packed with hits, Soundscape’s world-class staging will be the scene for huge production, dazzling light effects, atmospheric lasers and breathtaking pyrotechnics, putting all music fans right at the heart of the action.

The festival vibe continues away from the excitement of the main stage. Ricoh Arena is set to be transformed into a buzzing revellers’ paradise, with an array of artisan food stalls to help you keep your energy up for your non-stop dance moves, along with swish prosecco bars and mini gin palaces to make you feel refreshed and ready for anything.

Dance, eat, drink, relax – and then, once revived, it’s back to the dancing! Soundscape is set to be the stuff of legends, a staple of the summer live music calendar – and you can say you were there right at the very start!