ArtsFest is coming to Wolverhampton!

8 – 30 June 2018

Artsfest celebrates the creative and cultural life of our region. It includes dance performances, art workshops, theatre shows, poetry readings and much more.

Organised by the University of Wolverhampton, events take place across June… check out our highlights below:


Different Future, Shared Past
8 – 30 June
Lighthouse Media Centre 

Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary presents the work of newly-arrived artists and emerging Wolverhampton artists in collaboration with local community projects. Different Future, Shared Past celebrates the refugee and migrant community of Wolverhampton, marking the 20th anniversary of Refugee Week.

21 June: Meet and Mingle: Music, workshops and art: bring food and share as part of the City of Sanctuary exhibition and project.


A Walk Along Queen Street
8 June – 24 July
Wolverhampton Art Gallery


As part of the Queen Street, Wolverhampton Townscape Heritage Scheme local volunteers researched the history of several properties along Queen Street.

They used a range of sources, including documents, maps and photographs, to highlight areas of continuity and change. Their findings are presented in this exhibition alongside archive images, maps and documents that shine a light on this important thoroughfare.


Windrush 70
9 June – 29 July 
Wolverhampton Art Gallery


This exhibition of photographs, artwork, video and memorabilia has been specially curated to mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of The Empire Windrush in Tilbury Docks on 22 June 1948, bringing West Indian migrants to Britain.

The show features a projected slideshow of photographs by acclaimed photographer Nick Hedges, showing Caribbean workers in Black Country industries in the 1970s, as well as previously unseen photographs capturing the community spirit in Caribbean churches in the Wolverhampton region during the same period.

Paintings by locally-based Jamaican artist Sylbert Bolton will also be on display, along with vintage video footage of Wolverhampton’s African Caribbean Achievers Awards, and recorded memories of some of the people who arrived in Britain from the West Indies in the post-war period.


Degree Show
9 – 30 June: 10am – 4pm
The George Wallis Building

degree show

Each year students from the University of Wolverhampton’s Faculty of Arts showcase their work in a public exhibition.

The School has exhibited the work of more than 8,000 since opening its doors at the first degree show in 1969, and features some of the brightest new artists and designers in the country.

Also, on 9 June:

  • National Saturday Club Exhibition – MK214
  • Print making Demonstration – 10.30am Ground Floor
  • Ceramics Demonstration – 11am Ground Floor
  • Photography Demonstration – 2.30pm Lower Ground Floor

You can buy exclusive artworks, supporting the careers of our students, graduates and staff: discover exclusive including prints, glass, ceramics, t-shirts, textiles and homeware at the Made in Wolves pop-up shop on the ground floor.


11 June – 13 June 
Tilstone Studio, Arena Theatre

Every day we filter out ambient sound: traffic noise, birdsong, electrical hum, aircraft noise and more. Explore the way you react to these familiar, but unfamiliar sounds, with 50hz: Andrew McNiven and Dr Louise Fryer are exploring the idea of ‘attention’ and the audience relationship with the everyday.


The Royal Ballet: Swan Lake
12 June: 19:15
Lighthouse Media Centre

The Royal Ballet performs a new production of Tchaikovsky’s magnificent classical ballet with production and additional choreography by Liam Scarlett, Artist in Residence.

Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful woman, Odette, he is enraptured. But she is under a spell that holds her captive, allowing her to regain human form only at night.

Ballet in four acts – approximate running time three hours (including two intervals)

Tickets: £18 (£12.50 for under 15s) Call: 01902 716 055


Animation Day – part of ANIM18 A year of British Animation
12 June: 10am to 7pm – open to all BFI Film Academy alumni, UK wide. 3.45pm to 7pm – open to all young people aged 14 to 25 years.
Arena Theatre


A unique opportunity for young people to hear from some of the UK’s leaders in animation. Featuring guest speakers with screenings and top tips, the event will focus on progression routes and opportunities for aspiring animators.

10am to 7pm – open to all BFI Film Academy alumni, UK wide.
3.45 pm to 7pm – open to all young people aged 14 to 25 years.

The event is FREE – more details and tickets. Funded by BFI Film Academy, Arts Connect, ANIM18, & The University of Wolverhampton.


14/48 Wolverhampton
15 – 16 June: 19:30-22:30
Arena Theatre

14/48 Wolverhampton is the Wolverhampton satellite of ‘The world’s quickest theatre festival’ in which 14 new plays are written, directed and performed within a 48-hour timespan.

The concept is simple: assemble some of the most talented artists in the region, apply a stringent deadline, add a few extra resources for good measure and see where their combined creativity leads them. The Arena Theatre is giving audiences the exciting opportunity to witness seven brand new plays each day – written, rehearsed and performed in 48 hours.

‘It’s a brilliant, amazing energetic night of new theatre, twice. You’d be mad to miss it!’

Tickets: £7/£5 concessions. Festival tickets are £10 full price and £8 concessions (for both nights’ performances, when purchased together).

Booking link:


Tao Tales
17 June: 10.30am – 3.30pm
Lower Mall, Mander Centre


Deep inside an oriental forest wanders The Conjurer. His magic keeps the forest enchanted and all are under his spell apart from his unreachable love, the ever-changing Moon. To fly to her he must perform his greatest feat yet, to transform into a mighty dragon.

Will his flames of desire threaten to destroy the forest? A love story of magic and mysticism, the Conjurer and the Moon is a visually rich theatrical circus piece.


Human Flow – A film by Ai Weiwei
18 June: 6pm
Lighthouse Media Centre

ai weiwei

Wolverhampton Amnesty presents this film by renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. More than 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war. This film examines the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.

Tickets: £7/£4.50 students/under 25s.  Call 01902 716 055 to book.

Booking link:


Unruly Woman
18 June: 7.30pm
Tillstone, Arena Theatre

daisy black

This brand new show from storyteller and academic Daisy Black presents medieval tales from around Europe about women who gain the upper hand – or, occasionally, the upper arse.

These are stories of sex, of disguise and deception, of arse-kissing, and of women finding creative, naughty and cunning ways to overcome the restrictions placed upon them by their gender and class. Interlacing medieval fabliaux and romance with bawdy folk songs, this one-woman performance pays homage to literature’s original ‘nasty women’.


Samarpan – A Celebration of Classical Indian Dance
23 June 2018: 7.30pm
Arena Theatre


Samarpan translates as ‘dedication’. This evening of Indian classical dance celebrates the dedication of practitioners in the UK today.

Indian classical dance has many disciplines within its family tree including: Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Odissi and Manipuri. The form is renowned for its geometry, rhythmical footwork, intricate hand gestures and virtuosity.

Please join us for an entertaining evening of Indian Classical Dance, celebrating the rich diverse South Asian heritage and culture present in the UK today.
Tickets: £12 / £10 concessions


Dieter Blum in Conversation: A Pragmatist at Work
26 June 2018 : 5pm – 7pm
George Wallis Building, MK045


Presenting the work of Dieter Blum for the first time in the UK…

This talk accompanies exhibitions organised by Daimler AG’s Art Department and Wolverhampton School of Art’s Photography Department.

Dieter Blum is one of Germany’s most highly-regarded photographers. He was awarded the Médaille Vermeil of the Paris-based Société Arts-Sciences-Lettres in 2015 in recognition of his 50-year career.

From his beginnings in commercial photography, he was the only non-American to participate in the iconic Marlboro advertising campaign. The common trait in all of Dieter Blum’s work is the intensity of the moment, captured and transformed into images which often acquire monumental and almost sculptural qualities.

In conversation with Dr Renate Wiehager, Curator and Head of the Daimler Art Collection, Stuttgart/Berlin, this event will give insights into Dieter Blum’s working practice and creative personality.


An Unconventional History of Maidenhood, Mothering and Mistresses
28 June: 7.30pm
Tilstone, Arena Theatre

Writers Katy Wareham Morris, Ruth Stacey and Sarah James draw on history, literature and art for their poems and narratives about women’s roles and experience in society – now and in the past.

Booking link:


Adjudication: Flexus Dance Company
30 June: 7.30pm
Arena Theatre


Inspired by the commitment and beliefs of a faith system, ‘Adjudication’ connects personally to an individual’s journey and struggle of acceptance, readiness and judgement. When standing at customs, will you have packed appropriately for the next journey and be prepared to unveil the contents of your luggage? ‘Adjudication’ is a collaboration work with the Wulfrun Singers, the Adult Choir of St Peters Church, Wolverhampton.

Tickets: £12 full price / £10 concessions / Matinee £5

Booking link:


  • For full Artsfest listings see the dedicated page at the University of Wolverhampton website.