InterMission Festival launches in Birmingham to celebrate diversity, inclusion and gender balance

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A new festival has been launched, set to take place at Birmingham’s The Mill in Digbeth on Saturday July 22.

InterMission Festival is a one-day multiroom affair which involves live music, sound workshops, industry workshops and food stalls, exploring sounds from the UK’s leading jazz, afro, global, electronica and hip hop scenes.

It promises to have diversity and inclusivity as its core values, with a “culturally rich and gender-balanced event, celebrating music and creatives from underrepresented backgrounds”.

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Whilst there are more acts to be confirmed, currently on the programme are jazz and hip hop collective Steam Down (pictured), Shy One, Tash LC, QuinzeQuinze, LYZZA, Selextorhood DJ Collective, Saffron Records Mix Nights and more. You can find the full line-up here.

Away from the two stages of live music, the day-to-night programme offers a creative area with music industry talks, DJ workshops led by Pioneer, mental health workshops, a roof top takeover from female & gender-minority DJ collectives and an outdoor yard with food traders and stalls.

“I’m so excited for the launch of InterMission,” says festival founder Betty Adesanya, who has worked in the UK and European festival sector for over 10 years. “Birmingham is such a culturally rich place, it was important to me that the festival program reflects this; a celebration of different people and artists coming together in a space that feels safe, that’s curated with them in mind. From personal experience, music festivals aren’t always a space that minorities feel included, so InterMission is an invitation for all to join.

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“It’s been great to collaborate with local female and gender-minority collectives Selextorhood and Saffron Records: Mix Nights who’ll be hosting a roof-top takeover. We’ve announced some super talented artists already, some local, some international and there’s still more to come.

“There’s also the music education aspect of InterMission, with a great program of workshops and talks planned; Pioneer will be running DJ skill sessions (for all levels) and our panel will be addressing some of the imbalances and barriers within the industry and inviting those who are interested in moving into the live music and events industry a chance to ask questions and explore experiences from a range of professionals.

“We need to keep pushing for more diverse and gender-balanced festival line-ups, but we also need to address the lack of black and minority promoters, agents, event managers, and live industry professionals running the shows. I’ve been working in the live music and festival industry for years and when it comes to the people at the top making the big decisions there is a long way to go.”

Read this next: Bristol music non-profit and record label Saffron is fundraising for its survival

Tickets for InterMission Festival are available now. Get yours here.

Niamh Ingram is Mixmag’s Weekend Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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