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Blast Off!!
9th April 2019

Blast! is like no other festival because it has been produced with, and for, local people.

The festival invites 40 outstanding artists, photographers and curators to showcase work, develop projects and collaborate with communities to present stories about everyday life. With exhibitions, film screenings, events, talks and walks across Sandwell, Blast! will be presented on the streets, the Metro line, in shops, libraries and pubs, on historic buildings and in the community halls and venues of Sandwell. The festival takes place over six weeks in each of Sandwell’s six distinct towns: West Bromwich, Tipton, Rowley Regis, Oldbury, Smethwick and Wednesbury; it’s open to everyone and is free.

Blast! takes place from Friday 24 May to Saturday 29 June 2019, and you can find more information on the website; festival brochures will be available across the six towns.

On the opening weekend, 24-25 May, free events will be held in West Bromwich including exhibition opening parties, talks and guided tours. All welcome!

Join us; it’s going to be a Blast!

www.blastphotofestival.com

West Midlands Metro As festival partner, West Midlands Metro is supporting the Blast! Festival of Photography, Talks and Walks in the run up to, and throughout, the festival period. Look out for Blast! posters along the tram network; a poetry performance on the tram by Emma Purshouse and local poets (25 May); and photographer Niall McDiarmid’s exhibition will be displayed on poster sites on platforms at Wolverhampton St George’s, Wednesbury Parkway, Wednesbury Great Western Street, Lodge Road and West Bromwich Central. Keep an eye on the Blast! website (www.blastphotofestival.com) and @Multistory social media for more info. #BlastPhotoFest2019

www.blastphotofestival.com/artists/emmapurshouse

www.blastphotofestival.com/artists/niallmcdiarmid

Blast! is produced by Multistory and is funded through Arts Council of England’s Ambition for Excellence Programme and is supported by Sandwell Council.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Culture plays a vital role in making the places we live vibrant and exciting and we’re delighted to be investing in Multistory’s Blast! Festival, celebrating the Black Country’s art, culture, history and people. We’re pleased that funding from the National Lottery through our Ambition for Excellence programme is going to enable more people to access and be inspired by extraordinary arts and culture, as Sandwell comes alive with photographic exhibitions, talks, walks, workshops and screenings this summer.”

Emma Chetcuti, Director of Multistory, said: “Blast! is a festival like no other, made with and for local people who have collaborated with outstanding photographers and artists. It is accessible and designed for maximum engagement of local people. Blast! is a celebration of community, stories and hope. We hope you’ll join us for the launch weekend in West Bromwich on 24 May and 25 May, and visit all of the six towns during the festival period.”

Multistory is an ambitious community arts charity based in West Bromwich in the borough of Sandwell that documents life in Sandwell and the Black Country as part of an ongoing body of photographic work and digital archive. Multistory commissions acclaimed photographers and writers to work with local people to tell their stories of everyday life; recent commissions have included projects by Martin Parr, Polly Braden, Susan Meiselas, Corinne Noordenbos and Jon Tonks.

Media If you are interested in any of the following, please contact Amy McLauchlan amymclauchlan@multistory.org.uk

• A selection of free to use high-res press images; a comprehensive selection is available on request.

• To attend specific exhibitions or events over the six week period.

• An interview with Multistory and / or one of the festival artists.