Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom and home to one of the country’s largest Irish communities. Every year, it hosts the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the UK (and the second largest in Europe, after Dublin). To raise money for Birmingham’s largest single-day event, its organizers launched OktoberFeis, a beer and music festival that takes place in autumn.

The name of the festival alludes to two events. The first one is Oktoberfest, an annual folk festival that takes place in the German city of Munich and is primarily associated with high-quality Bavarian beer. The second one is a Feis, which is a traditional Gaelic arts and culture festival that involves singing and dancing (in a narrow sense, this term is used to refer to Irish dance competitions). So, OktoberFeis is kind of a combination of both. It involves Irish beer, music and dance – everything you need for a fun night out.

The inaugural OktoberFeis took place in October 2018. Its main goal was to raise funds for the next St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade to ensure that it will remain a fixture in the city’s calendar. The fundraising event was organized by the Birmingham Irish Association and Dig Brew Co., a craft brewing project based in Digbeth, Birmingham.

OktoberFeis is a weekend-long event featuring the finest of Irish and local brewed beers, along with the best of Irish music played by local bands. For example, the debut festival featured performances by Josh Powell, James Reidy, Lampa, The Hurling Boys, The Deluge, Reel Note Ceili Band, Salt Creek, Hooley, and more.

The festival takes place in the city’s Irish quarter (by the way, Birmingham is the only city in England to have an Irish quarter). From Friday night to Sunday night, festival-goers can sample craft beers from more than 10 local and Irish breweries, enjoy hearty Irish style street food and pizza, listen to live music, and attend meet the brewer events.

In short, OktoberFeis is a real feast of Irish culture, quality beer and festive mood where everyone feels welcome.





Related Articles