Birmingham is funny city for events. If you look at the official marketing there’s not much going on beyond the big ticket shows and lots of shopping. But it’s a big city in a bigger urban sprawl and there’s plenty happening under the radar. You just have to do a bit of digging and you’ll soon be rewarded.

I’ve been interested in and involved with the Birmingham arts and culture scenes for over a decade and have worked with a number of people and organisations that do good things in this city. This is a small list of “if you like Photo School you might like…” that barely scratches the surface but hopefully serves as a good start in your personal explorations.

Still Walking is a yearly festival of guided tours run by the fantastic Ben Waddington who helps local experts and enthusiasts on very specific topics become guides, guaranteeing a unique perspective on Birmingham.

Flatpack is a film festival which goes beyond mere cinema screenings, running a lot of events that tie into their themes, often including walks around the city.

SoundKitchen are a group of composer/artists who have run some very good Sound Walks in the city, encouraging you to use your ears as a photographer uses their eyes. A marvellous way to retune your perceptions.

Digbeth First Friday - Once a month all the smaller galleries and art spaces in Digbeth co-ordinate their efforts and open their doors, showcasing the more experimental and alternative cultural activity of the city. The website also serves as a directory and gateway to the quirky.

Birmingham Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Birmingham museums and tends to bring together small operators for their festivities, so digging through their archives can be fruitful.

There’s plenty I’ve forgotten about, and much much more I don’t even know that’s going on, so if you have something to recommend do let me know!