I was invited to attend Staying Cool‘s ten year anniversary event – Staying Cool Reaches Creative Heights – on behalf of BE FESTIVAL, Birmingham’s annual European arts festival. I’m currently working with BE as a marketing and PR intern which, by the way, is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had – I’m working with a lovely, hard working and hilarious team and constantly learning more about the industry I love. I’ll be writing a blog post about BE FESTIVAL closer to its run (3 – 7 July).
On Thursday I had the pleasure of attending Staying Cool Reaches Creative Heights with one of my colleagues at BE, and we experienced an evening I will never forget. Staying Cool runs a luxury boutique apartment hotel in one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings – The Rotunda – situated alongside the renowned bronze bull sculpture and Bullring shopping centre, two of the city’s key silhouettes.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed warmly by the hotel’s general manager, Gavin. He and the other Staying Cool employees at the event (shout out to the lovely Cory and Alex!) kindly offered us a range of delicious refreshments, followed by an informal tour of the apartment.
The atmosphere throughout the apartment was relaxed, welcoming and fun. The air was filled with discussion about Birmingham and its creative industry – past, present and future – which is to be expected at a party filled with those passionate about culture!
I had the pleasure of meeting James, the artistic director of Stan’s Cafe Theatre Company, which was particularly exciting having studied his work as part of my degree! I brought along my camera and filmmaker Tom, of The Electric Cinema, took the time to discuss with me how best to use lighting in photography and film for my blog along with lens recommendations (though it’ll certainly be a while till I can afford a £50,000 lens!). On the topic of photography, I spoke to Fraser and Martin from IGers Birmingham, who were absolutely lovely and discussed with me Birmingham’s arts scene and how to get the best out of my camera to capture it.
Award-winning creative director, artist and public speaker Amrit Singh spent the evening at the window – not in a sad music video way – he created an piece which entailed drawing Birmingham’s most iconic sites onto the glass! He is incredibly friendly and even let me contribute (literally one spiral – I was too intimidated to do more) to the piece! Check out his Instagram here!
And finally, the photos you’ve been waiting to see: the views. The event ran from 6pm onwards so we had the incredible (and surreal) opportunity to watch the sun set over the city, which was absolutely breathtaking. I won’t say anything else – the photos speak for themselves.
Have you been to Birmingham before? Which cities around the world do you think are the most exciting creatively?
Thank you for reading my post!