Alabama's cultural and entertainment capital, as well as its biggest city, Birmingham, boasts a great array of live events year-round. The Birmingham metro area is home to approximately a quarter of all Alabama residents, who, along with visitors to the city, enjoy entertainment options ranging from world-class theater to concerts by famous singers and bands. A full host of professional performing arts companies, plus plenty of venues large and small, mean there's always a show to see in Birmingham.
Things to do in Birmingham
Birmingham locals await a number of annual events that take place in the city, among them the Birmingham Folk Festival at Avondale Park and the long-running Southern Heritage Festival. In late August, there's the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival at various downtown venues, and the Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival showcasing national and local jazz acts.
Resident performing arts companies in Birmingham include the Alabama Ballet, Birmingham Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Opera Birmingham. Many of their performances take place at the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The city's Uptown entertainment district is anchored by the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), which comprises a theater, concert hall and other venues. It's home to Birmingham Children's Theatre, one of the oldest children's theaters in the country.
Birmingham doesn't have any major professional sports franchises, but the city's Legion Field hosts college post-season football games, including the Birmingham Bowl since 2006.
Venues to check out in Birmingham
Birmingham features several historic venues, including the Alabama Theatre, which first opened in 1927, and the Lyric Theatre, which reopened in 2016 after a major renovation. Both host major shows and concerts. Also of note is the Carver Theatre, home of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.