Birmingham’s cutting edge arts festival Fierce Festival will not take place next year while its organisers focus on fundraising to take the event to a new level.
Helga Henry, director of Fierce Earth which runs the Fierce Festival, said: “The festival isn’t dead, there just won’t be a festival in 2009 in the way there has been in previous years.”
But Fierce said it would continue to produce ambitious public projects throughout 2009 and support the festival’s partners who want to stage their own events next May and June.
Ms Henry said Fierce wanted to build on the success of its tenth birthday festival Fierce Ten, which saw events such as Tunnel Vision - a sound and lighting installation by Luke Jerram and Dan Jones in the 500 metre disused Royal Mail tunnel connecting the former mail sorting office at The Mailbox to New Street Station.
In 2005, the festival attracted national attention when it brought Belgian performance artist Benjamin Verdonck to Birmingham.
In a performance titled The Great Swallow, he lived for seven days in a reconstructed swallow’s nest 130 ft up on the side of the Rotunda.
“We’re working hard to give Birmingham the Fierce festival it deserves - we want Fierce Festival to be all it can be for the city and that needs a wider range of partners than we currently have,” said Ms Henry.
“We want to do more of the stuff that puts Birmingham on the map, such as the Great Swallow or Tunnel Vision, stuff that makes you go ‘wow’. We want to programme new commissions, international work, new collaborations and appoint an artistic director.”
“To do that, we need to lever down more partners and more funding so the festival can meet our artistic ambitions,” she said.
The festival has been without an artistic director since Mark Ball stood down.