THE LEGITIMATE PEAKY BLINDERS FESTIVAL TAKES OBER DIGBETH, BIRMINGHAM WITH A SENSATIONAL OPENING DAY!
Saturday 14th of September, Digbeth, Central Birmingham opened its doors to the Shelby Family with the first-ever Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival. The inaugural official gathering of Peaky Blinders fans and music enthusiasts was a raging success with punters, musicians and everyone in between involving themselves in the festivities and being transported to Birmingham in the 1920s.
Cast members Paul Anderson (Arthur Shelby), Sam O’Neill (Major Campbell), Sam Clafin (Sir Oswald Mosley), Harry Kirton (Finn Shelby), Kate Phillips (Linda Shelby), Finn Cole (Michael Gray), Samuel Edward-Cook (Danny ‘Whizz-Bang’ Owen) and Emmett J. Scanlan (Billy Grade), joined Steven Knight and director Anthony Byrne to open the inaugural Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival with a lively Q&A on the Arena Stage and even sang Happy Birthday to Sam Neil before parading through the streets of Digbeth on golf buggies waving and high fiving fans. Tomorrow Anthony Byrne will be in conversation with Steve Knight and Packy Lee (Johnny Dogs) at 14:10 on the Arena Stage.
Breathtaking ballet shows from Rambert took place across the day on the Arena Stage, captivating and taking the audience on a beautifully choreographed journey down the 1920s world of the Peaky Blinders.
At 4pm we were treated to a successful showcase of British inspired tailoring from Garrison Tailors, Steven Knight’s luxury menswear brand. The collection epitomises the spirit of Peaky Blinders and contemporary style and comprised of items including their new for 2019 Union Cut range and Shelby Tweed Waistcoat, Arthur and Thomas Tweed Suits, from their Made in Britain range featuring 100% wool. Their more casual range of Henley T-shirts was also presented. The show was rounded off with a special thanks from the man himself, Steven Knight.
Richard Hawley and Jehnny Beth, who covered the infamous Peaky Blinders theme tune, ‘Red Right Hand,’ made special guest appearances during Anna Calvi’s set, which was inspired by her Series 5 score. Calvi performs a second set tomorrow at 16:25.
‘Secret’ Global Superstar performer, R Kid, Liam Gallagher, told us to ‘Fix up look sharp The Gallaghers r on there way to drink and have fun with the Shelbys as you were’ on Twitter, prior to taking the stage for his special guest slot in the early evening to a packed out crowd. Liam performed songs from his new album, Why Me? Why Not as well as sending the crowd into a frenzy for Oasis hits Columbia and Supersonic. The rock n roll star made it a family affair bringing his sons Lennon and Gene, daughter Molly, brother Paul and girlfriend Debbie to the gig.
The immersive theatre by Dank Parish and Martin Coat, one of the creative directors of Boomtown, brought the festival to a standstill when their hour long performance through the streets of Digbeth – just a stone’s throw from where the first ever Peaky Blinder activity took place – brought the tension to an ultimate high between the Shelby and Lee families. The showdown climaxed with a staged bare-knuckled fist fight inside the Shelby boxing ring, which was used in Series 4 of the show itself.
Packy Lee (Johnny Dogs) brought all the eclectic hits to the Mill Stage giving VIP audiences a place to dance the night away whilst headline Scottish rockers Primal Scream wrapped up the main stage, whizzing through their huge collection of hits.
Audiences were amazed by the Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival finale performance by Rambert to an exclusively rework of Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’ by Raven. The performance included the historically accurate Rambert show of Swan Lake in Birmingham in the 1920s, which show creator Steven Knight has adapted for Season 5.
John Empson, festival promoter, said: The first day of the inaugural Legitimate Peaky Blinders festival was a resounding success! The crowd embraced the day dressed in incredible Peaky outfits, and we had packed out venues around the site with the audience enjoying everything from the music, ballet, theatre, fashion shows, Q&A talks and spoken word. Highlights included Liam Gallagher’s secret set – the worlds worst kept secret – and Anna Calvi with surprise guests. An animated on-stage discussion featuring cast members with Steven Knight and Peaky Blinders Director Anthony Byrne and Executive Producer Caryn Mandabach played to an adoring crowd. Digbeth proved to be the perfect location, the weather was incredible and the crowd loved it. Tomorrow we look forward to doing all over again!