Guest Blog: Ambassador’s JQ Festival 2018 Experience

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Last month’s JQ Festival attracted people from across the city for a jam-packed programme of activities and events. Organised by the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQBID), and supported by local businesses, the event celebrated the craft, culture and heritage of Birmingham’s historic quarter. This year’s event was different from previous years. A brand new Makers Hub showcased the buzzing maker community and offered workshops for people to learn and participate. ‘Brewery Quarter’ encouraged ale-drinkers to visit and drink at the JQ brewhouses. Visit our online photo gallery to relive all the highlights from the three-day celebrations. If you are a local JQ business we would love to hear your feedback about the Festival. 

JQ Ambassadors Wendy Roach and Justin Ford have written this month’s Guest Blog, providing their insight and highlights of this year’s festival.

Wendy Roach

Wow! How did we manage to get such good weather! It certainly made our weekend far more enjoyable and all of the visitors appeared to agree judging by the many happy smiling faces I saw in the sun. I even saw some regular faces in the crowd who have attended all of our Festivals to date. My mother and husband also attended this year’s Festival and had a brilliant time.

One of the highlights (again!) for me this year was Circus Mash, their interaction with the visitors was fantastic.

The helter-skelter continues to attract the old and the young every year – I wonder what the record is for most rides in a single day? The fact that the rides are free means there’s always a few children who ride again and again until their parents finally manage to drag them away.

Face painting, future football stars, balloon hats, and tote bags – with so much to see and do I don’t think I saw anyone without a beaming smile, it must be contagious.


Justin Ford

My two favourite events this year were Circus Mash and the Friday Night Launch Party. There were really great crowds and loads of people participated. It was really funny seeing kids and adults walking around the JQ with giant balloon hats or fencing with oversized balloon swords. The Brewery Quarter was really popular with the adults, I popped into 1000 Trades and most of the t-shirts had gone.

The atmosphere at the three hubs was very different which offered visitors a nice mix of events to choose from. St Paul’s Square has the jazz and a relaxed feel to it. The Golden Square is busy and full of people, noise and kids having a good time. Makers Hub is a great way to meet the makers and craftspeople who make the JQ what it is. Having multiple hubs really encouraged visitors to explore the area, which is great because the JQ has so much to offer!


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