Birmingham brought the house down as it celebrated the official handover of the Commonwealth Games to the second city from Australia’s Gold Coast.
During the closing ceremony in Australia, Lord Mayor Cllr Anne Underwood received the flag in front of a TV audience of up to one billion.
Showcasing Birmingham’s Diversity, Youth and Talent, Victoria Square erupted in an explosion of colour as dancers performed a number of different routines across an uninterrupted shot.
The Floozie In The Jacuzzi was transformed into a tropical wonderland complete with Drag Queens, while pre-recorded raps, celebrations and chats played as the wonderfully choreographed performance
Speaking from the closing ceremony Birmingham’s Lord Mayor Anne Underwood urged viewers to make their travel plans to visit Birmingham now, and stated “We are a very young and diverse city – we will showcase our city’s youth and diversity.”
The Commonwealth Games were awarded to Birmingham for 2022 and by the very high bar set for itself on this handover performance, the games in 4 years time will be a breathtaking spectacle.
Performing to ELO’s Mr Blue Sky in a 5 minute uninterrupted shot was a bold move, started by poet Amerah Saleh as she ushered viewers out of a door that appeared to be backstage in the Gold Coast, but opened out onto Birmingham’s Victoria Square.
“Birmingham you have stayed back too long. Told them to take the limelight for a while. They sparked coloured lights in celebration of everything but never in celebration of us.” Amerah explained.
Despite the mention by the BBC commentator of “months” of planning, the whole event, including casting and rehearsals was put on in just over a month. If this is what the team behind delivering the event in 2022 are capable of in a short space of time, just imagine what is to come with 4 years of planning.
Cllr Paulette Hamilton, Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care said, “I am so honoured that Birminghamhas managed to pull this off, not on it’s own but with the help of many others, and we will at last be able to show what this City is capable of.
“At this moment in time I am beaming, I am so so proud as we have pulled this off in a matter of weeks.”
These are exciting times ahead for Birmingham, and we look forward, along with the rest of the city, to what is in store.
Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, speaking in Victoria Square after the spectacle said: “I think this has been a fantastic day for Birmingham, it was our first opportunity to show what we’ve got ahead of Birmingham 2022, to present ourselves to the Commonwealth and the wider world.
“I think that all of the young people that have been involved in puling off this dance routine today have been amazing and we’re really showcasing the diversity and youth of this city and of course the talent.
“It’s one of the reasons we were awarded the games on a shortened time frame because we are a city that can deliver as you have seen today.”