Brum BiFest 2010

After Birmingham’s second BiFest, we caught up with Phil, one of the movers and shakers…

Tell us how it came to happen?

After the success of last year’s event the group felt we had to continue with the work done by Natalya and Bethan and keep Brum Bi Group on the map.  Spillo did most of the work really such as getting the venue and funding.   Natalya got the postcards/flyers printed to Spillo’s design and I did a lot of leg work putting them in venues around Birmingham.  We hope to keep this Brum Bifest on the calendar as an annual event and attract more people next time.

Best things about the day?

As with all Bi events the great feeling of coming together with friends in an environment where bisexuality is the norm.

Some of the stuff that went on – aerobics, morris dancing – was different from the ‘usual’ BiFest discussion fare.  How did those sessions come about?

I thought you might ask that! Brum Bi Group’s wonderful Kath is a qualified aerobics instructor and fellow morris dancer.  She suggested the aerobics as a workshop as a way of getting people to feel good and happy and raising  endorphin levels to combat stress, shyness etc.  From the amount of happy, smiling and slightly sweaty faces I saw, I would say she achieved that.  And of course we were able to admire her exquisite figure in a rather fetching leotard!

Myself, Kath and other bi group members are dancers with Brethren border morris so we thought why not dance at our community event, as a village morris side  would at the local fete or fayre, so we took a chance and went ahead and did it.  This also went down well with many on the day, some joined in with a dance at the end and one enjoyed it so much she has started dancing with a local group in Cheshire.

And bisexual morris dancing?  Is there something bi about it, how did that session come to be?  How did it go from your perspective?

Border morris is quite an anarchic form of dance, originating in the Welsh border counties and danced by itinerant farm workers during hard times,it was outlawed as a form of begging hence the blackened faces and strange outfits worn as a disguise to prevent dancers being recognised by the landowners.  Modern border sides tend to be mixed and the outfits can be quite raunchy at times with dancers wearing stockings and items of kink gear so I suppose it would appeal to many in the bi community

Our side, Brethren Border Morris, was started by four of us who are also Bi group members and we have it in our constitution that we aim to recruit from the lgbt community.  All are welcome of course but they must respect that.  The venue was ideal as it had space for those not interested in watching as well.

It was a new team for Brum BiFest this time.  How did it go, what did you learn / any top tips for anyone else thinking of putting something like this on?

Yes it was a new team with help from the old team too!  The main thing we learned was that the bi community is just that,a real community where everyone is prepared to help with organising and running workshops and get involved on the day.  Tips?  Just do it!  Advertise well and invite everyone you can think of.  We had fewer people this year due in part to clashing with other events but had to hold it on that weekend to get the venue as part of the shout arts festival.  Maybe we can avoid clashing next year.
Thank you to all who came on the day and all who helped with funds, staffing the entrance, cleaning up etc.  You made it happen.