Three keys in Birmingham

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022

Now that the #keytothecitybrum project is over, I can reveal my full journey around the sites. I have grouped them into themes whether I visited the sites on the same day or the story of the unlocking the venues were linked together by themes. The first Chapter was described earlier in my blog where I picked up my key and visited my first venue “Artfull Expression”.

This chapter covers the story of my visits to the IKON Gallery, Symphony Hall and Selfridges.

kon Gallery 

My second key venue took me to the IKON gallery.  When we arrived, the receptionist on the front desk gave us directions.  Our key opened a rather inconspicuous cupboard in the entrance hall.  Once opened there were the letters ‘Miss You’ lit up in Neon.  That was the surprise and I laughed out loud.  I loved the installation.  

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival,
Art work by Savage

My photo buddy, Nicky was convinced there was something else and looked for some form of opening beyond the cupboard space.  The reception staff were very knowledgeable and helpful, explaining that this neon letter writing was created by the artist Savage who had lifted the letters from Graffiti in the City of Birmingham.  I did return to the IKON gallery to see the “Made in Birmingham/Made in Sydney” exhibition as this was advertised during my visit.

Symphony Hall

I realise that the #keytothecityBrum is a large undertaking and that many people are going to descend on your location.  The Symphony Hall had placed an ornate box which the key opened.  Once inside there was a QR code to scan which linked to a YouTube channel. I understand that if you were lucky there were prizes to be gained but we were not winners.  

I was disillusioned with the venue as the Symphony Hall looked uninviting, and the box office personnel were not that interested in what was taking place.  Compared to the other venues, this was the most disappointing.  The success gained from this location was that we had used our key, opened the box and therefore another key location was done.  I left thinking that so much more could have been done and it was an opportunity missed.


This was a fun door to open and Selfridges had put a lot of thought into what you would find.  The key gave you access to the music system in the menswear floor of Selfridges.  It was a bright yellow compartment with a bright yellow door.  Once inside you accessed a touch screen that allowed you to add your choice of music being played in the store.  My choice was “Whiskey in the Jar” by Thin Lizzy.  The bright yellow colours against the dark surrounds were a photographer’s dream and I had fun taking lots of pictures.  Well done Selfridges.  To oversee the music in the menswear department was an inspired choice.

My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.

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