Insurgent and Santù represent the second city’s rock and heavy metal scene at Birmingham Festival 2023

Pics by Nevaeh Anning

Birmingham Festival 2023 took over Centenary Square from 28 July to 6 August, showcasing arts, music, sports, and culture from across the second city – in a ‘joyous, fun and heartfelt homage’ to mark the anniversary of the Commonwealth Games 2022.

And why not? Even the hardened beating blob of the hardest of Brummie cynics (…me) melts a little when standing next to Ozzy the bull in New Street Station. Y’am reet proud of Brummagem bab.

Picking up the baton of Birmingham’s new rock and heavy metal, BIMM held a music showcase event in Centenary Square on Tuesday 2 August – handpicking some of their students to represent the new blood in the genre Birmingham is know the world over for: Insurgent and Santù. And when you run though the list of luminaries that came before, from Led Zeppelin to Black Sabbath, it’s a pretty exciting stage to stand/scream on.

Birmingham Review’s top draw rock and roll shutterbug, Nevaeh Anning, went along to capture some sterling pics for our pages – check out some selected snaps and a full picture gallery from each set below, enjoy.

Insurgent @ Birmingham Festival 2023 / Pics by Nevaeh Anning

With their debut EP, Sentient, available right now, Insurgent formed in 2019 – after meeting during their time at BIMM.

With band members from in and around Birmingham, and the odd interloper from Surrey, the rock four piece take a sharp stab at society’s all too often sheep mentality – with ferocious stage shows that “pack a punch.” Even if it means the occasional ill-timed entanglement, as Insurgent once told “Katie’s dreadlocks once got stuck in Mike’s drum kit and she had to wait for him to get round to hitting that particular cymbal before being able to move again.”

Rock and fu*king roll; the show must go on.

Follow Insurgent on Instagram at


Santù @ Birmingham Festival 2023 / Pics by Nevaeh Anning

Having recently performed on the This Feeling stage at the recent Truck Festival in Oxfordshire – alongside the likes of The Assist, Gen & The Degenerates, The Velvet Hands, Eighty Eight Miles, Leah Wilcox, and Lock-In – Santù have been championed by BBC Introducing and many more.

Formed in 2021, the two circles of the celestial centre piece have been full of promise for the Birmingham born band – building up a solid fan base and industry attention since their debut at The Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham.

With influences from Aretha Franklin to Pink Floyd, watch out for the furry collars and on stage fury of Birmingham’s Santù.


For more from Santù visit

For more on BIMM visit
For more on Birmingham Festival visit