At Birmingham Design Festival we’re working to make venues as accessible as possible to all potential attendees. We have limitations based on the size of the organisation (we’re a small team who work in their spare time on the festival) and the number of unique venues we have but are keen to do everything we can to make sure your time with us is enjoyable.
This page features information on our access opportunities across the festival, if you want to know any more information please send us an email or fill in the form at the bottom of this page.
Major venue capacity information
To help understand the general atmosphere at a BDF event please find the below capacities for each of our larger talk venues and workshop spaces. This should help you gauge business at peak times. All talks are delivered in theatre-style seating, events are ticketed but unreserved with seats provided on a first come first served basis.
BCU Parkside – P350: 250 capacity
The Old Library: 120 capacity
BCU STEAMhouse: 60 capacity
BCU Curzon – The Hive: 100 capacity
Mama Roux’s: 350 capacity (120 for Digital Play)
The Giant Screen: 378 capacity
BCU Conservatoire: 450 capacity
The talks and workshops at BDF offer a relaxed atmosphere but can be quite busy. Whilst most venues accommodate large groups well with structured seating we recommend avoiding Mama Roux’s if you feel claustrophobic or anxious around too many people in a tight space.
If a venue is not listed above it is likely one of the smaller drop-in workshop venues that hold a low amount of people in a relatively open environment.
Tickets for carers
We offer one free ticket for our main events per access user to allow a carer to attend for free. If you are attending an evening talk, adding a wheelchair accessible ticket will unlock a free general admission ticket, simply add an additional standard adult or student ticket to benefit.
If you require a different form of assistance please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the form at the bottom of this page and we will add the tickets manually.
Wheelchair access & limited mobility
The majority of our venues at BDF have been chosen with wheelchair access in mind. Because of the nature of our programme, if you are visiting the festival and have restricted movement it’s best to get in touch via email at email@example.com or fill in the form at the bottom of the page. Daytime talks and workshops offer unreserved seating, with the majority of the seating temporary. As a result, we can move seats to accommodate wheelchair users at any time, but it’s best to know in advance. The exception of this is BCU Parkside – P350, which has accessible seats located at the front of the auditorium.
Please note Medicine Bakery & Gallery is not wheelchair accessible.
Our Friday night main event Celebrating storytelling at The Giant Screen offers 4 wheelchair accessible spaces and can be booked via the events page. The same applies to Building bigger brands at The Royal Conservatoire with 6 spaces available.
The festival is an expansive event that takes place across Digbeth. As a result, there is up to a 20 minute travel time between venues for attendees with no access requirements. This is the distance between BCU Parkside and The Old Library, many venues are much closer. We include 30 minutes between every talk to allow attendees to travel between venues. Download our festival map to get familiar with the travel times to help you plan your time.
Signed talks & workshops
Regrettably, due to our small budgets, we are not able to offer BSL supported talks this year. This is something we hope will change as the festival become more established and you can expect signed talks making their way into the programme over the coming years.