2018 has been a breakthrough year for The Crossing venue at the Digbeth campus. From hosting the world renowned Supersonic music & arts festival for the 3rd year running, the largest regular record fair in the Midlands, concerts from jazz sensation Kamaal Williams and Irish star Derek Ryan, to sell out events with legendary American singer/songwriter Kurt Vile and US band Parquet Courts. The Crossing has been dubbed 'the hidden gem of Birmingham venues'. In November alone, events at the venue brought over 2,000 people into the college and provided many opportunities for Music & Media students to obtain real industry-based work experience, as well as bringing in additional revenue to the college.
Venue co-ordinator Nik Wells said “We've been working hard to build up the profile of the venue over the past few years, with selected events that really showcase the high level of production and flexibility of the space, in an attempt to offer an alternative independent venue option to promoters and audiences in Birmingham instead of the usual O2 Institute/Academy venues. Promoters are naturally reluctant to use an unknown venue but I've been working with some colleagues in the industry to get them to try some events here and the success of these has really begun to put The Crossing on the map. The feedback from the artists, promoters and audiences has been amazing.”
Adam Regan, boss of Leftfoot Venues and Events said “I've known and worked with Nik for years and when he invited us down to check the venue out we were very impressed by it so we programmed a number of concerts with some quite big artists to see how it worked there. We couldn't have asked for more really. Nik, Nils and the team worked tirelessly to ensure that every requirement was met and the level of production and support was second to none. It was like working with a close knit family and we are already looking at booking dates for next year with a number of international acts.”
Back in May, legendary band The Damned (who are credited with releasing the first punk single and album in 1976 as well as having 9 Top 40 hits) used The Crossing for production rehearsals before supporting the Hollywood Vampires (with Alice Cooper & Johnny Depp!) at the Genting Arena. Nik said “A friend who works with the band and who had previously visited the venue contacted me to say that they needed somewhere to do production rehearsals before their tour with the Hollywood Vampires, so we were able to accommodate them while they rehearsed their set and tested their new lighting system before the tour.”
With 2019 already looking exciting with more promoters looking to book international acts at the venue, as well as the 15th Supersonic festival, more record fairs, more work experience and networking opportunities for students and thousands of new people being exposed to the college brand, The Crossing is well on the way to establishing itself as a real jewel in the college crown and in the city's live music scene. Thanks to all the team that have worked incredibly hard this year to make this happen - Nik Wells, Nils Edstrom, Grant Smith, Nikki Hildick, Jules Tye and the Estates and Security staff to name but a few. To see what's coming up at The Crossing, like the Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/thecrossingdigbeth/ or check the website at www.thecrossingdigbeth.co.uk