General questions about PoliNations
PoliNations is an epic super garden of magical proportions which came to Birmingham in September! With giant fabricated trees sitting amongst thousands of plants and flowers co-planted by Birmingham residents - the site hosted a spectacular free events programme celebrating colour, beauty and natural diversity.
This super-natural wonderland brought live music, poetry, workshops, light shows, unexpected plant-life origin stories and much more to the residents and visitors of Birmingham!
PoliNations ran from Fri 2 - Sun 18 September 2022.
PoliNations planted in Victoria Square and Chamberlain Square in Birmingham.
PoliNations is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online from March to October 2022.
The landmark programme features 10 very different creative projects, all made for UNBOXED – and includes hundreds of events, experiences and activities, both live and online. Every event in our programme is free.
2pm – 10pm 2nd of September
8am - 10pm 3rd - 18th of September
8am – 12am 17th of September
PoliNations is created, produced and led by the Bristol based arts organisation Trigger, and a collective of creatives and experts in horticulture, arts, science, and architecture. Check out our About Us page to find out about everyone involved in the project.
Trigger are shapeshifting creatives who dream-up, create and produce bold and brave live and digital events. They interrupt daily life, reimagine and revive public spaces, and put audiences and togetherness at the heart of everything we do. Their work is accessible, inclusive and boundary pushing, and is often large-scale and often outdoors. They create epic, imaginative spaces, fly giant dragons and grow magical pop-up gardens. Want to hear more? Go to our website.
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The event will be funded by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK which is funded and supported by the four governments of the UK, co-commissioned with Belfast City Council, Creative Wales and EventScotland.
Of course! We’ll be sharing some elements of the programme online so you can join in on the action from anywhere in the world, and our app will come with even more fun ways to engage with PoliNations wherever you are!
PoliNations will be free and open to everyone, you will not need a ticket to get in. Only our workshops will be bookable in advance through the full programme but there will always be spaces available for walk ups!
Yes! Everything is free for everyone to enjoy.
Yes! PoliNations is aimed at all ages. Two of our events will be aged at 14+ these are the Catwalk Extravaganza and Live performance by Soweto Kinch: White Juju.
Toilets will be on site. They will be clearly labeled on site, or you can find them on the site map.
This will include 2 accessible toilets. Changing place toilets can be found nearby at Birmingham New Street station and the Bullring.
PoliNations will be open come rain or shine so if it’s looking grey it’s not a bad idea to bring an umbrella!
Unfortunately, no animals will be allowed on site with the exception of assistance dogs.
Lost property can be found at the information point on the site.
PoliNations is open to everyone, whatever your age!
Most live events will be aimed at all ages, however the Catwalk Extravaganza and Live performance by Soweto Kinch: White Juju, are aged at age 14+.
There will be no food or drink available to purchase on site, but there are a number of local shops and restaurants surrounding the site where you can grab a bite to eat.
Please be assured that the safety and health of all staff and visitors, is our main priority so we are closely monitoring official guidance from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England, UK Government, local public health authorities as information evolves.
If you are attending, please follow the most up to date information on the Coronavirus that is available at:
Smoking is not permitted in PoliNations.
The most sustainable way to get to the site will be by walking or cycling. Taking public transport is also a great alternative - details of how to get to our site can be seen below.
Please note parking in the city centre is limited.
The nearest train station to Victoria Square are Birmingham New Street (0.2 miles, 6-minute walk) and Birmingham Snow Hill (0.4 miles, 9-minute walk).
The West Midlands Metro runs regularly with the closest stop at Birmingham Town Hall. For more information on where it runs and how to buy tickets visit the West Midlands Metro Website - https://westmidlandsmetro.com
The closest bus stops to Victoria Square are for buses 9, X10, 82, 87 and 89. Bus services are operated by National Express West Midlands.
Birmingham benefits from segregated cycle routes into the centre from Selly Oak and Perry Barr as well as an extensive canal network providing traffic-free routes. Find out more about Birmingham's cycle routes on the Birmingham City Council website.
Don’t have a bike? Don’t worry, you can hire an E-bike! A dock is located near Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. To find out more visit West Midlands Cycle Hire.
Access to parking will be limited and we want to avoid congestion within Birmingham City Centre, so we encourage you to get to the site via walking, cycling or public transport. Birmingham is a 'Category D Clean Air Zone'. What this means is that owners of high-polluting vehicles will be charged for driving within certain parts of Birmingham – including around and near the Location of PoliNations. To find out if your vehicle will be charged visit Brum Breathes website.
The nearest parking to Victoria and Chamberlain Square is Paradise Circus Car Park and Town Hall multi-storey car park. It is operated by Birmingham City Council and charges will apply. If you display your Blue Badge, parking is free with no time limits.
The site will be wheelchair accessible and many of the events will have BSL interpretation and Audio Description available. For full details of access provision please visit the Accessibility page on the website.
Yes, the whole of the PoliNations site will be accessible for wheelchairs.
We will have accessible viewing areas available for our Mother Tree and Main stage areas. Places will be limited so we would encourage people to reserve in advance by e-mailing email@example.com to ensure you get a spot.
The closest Blue Badge Parking is on Swallow Street. Spaces are also available in the Town Hall Car Park and on Pinfold Street and Waterloo Street. More information on this can be found on the Birmingham City Council Website.
There will be lighting effects on the PoliNations site each morning during the Awakening, in the evening during the Sunset Cycle and during some live events. While flashing or strobing lights will not be standard, and audiences will be alerted within our programme and with signs onsite.
We are dedicated to keeping our carbon footprint as small as possible while still presenting an engaging, high-quality event. Our environmental impact and sustainability is considered across all aspects of the project since its conception and will continue to be a priority throughout.
We aim to be open and have been sharing our sustainability journey throughout the life of the project, so our audiences (you guys) can see how and why we come to our decisions. Check out our blogs and Q&A's surrounding the sustainability of our project here.
There will be thousands of different plants on site ranging from trees to ferns to shrubs to grass!
All the plants and trees are grown in the UK with the shrubs sourced from Europe but still grown in the UK. We will also have hundreds of Marigolds grown by members of the local community from across Birmingham and the West Midlands.
We’re working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to redistribute the plants from our super garden back into the city! Plus, everyone is invited to visit us on the final day of PoliNations to pick up a selection of plants for your home, garden or community space that will contribute to the growth and development of Birmingham's green spaces!
To minimise the environmental impact that concrete creates, we will be hiring pre-formed concrete blocks (the type you see on building sites) which will be returned for future re-use. It was necessary to concrete for some aspects of the PoliNations site as it is the only viable material to act as ballast at various points on the site.
The Trees are grown in non-peat soils and composts. The shrubs are also grown in peat-free compost. The Herbaceous and annuals are grown in a peat-reduced compost.
PoliNations will be welcoming schools to book on to workshops in the WonderSphere and to do self-led tours on site. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a free downloadable education resource for use in classrooms, home schools or just for fun.
Our curriculum-linked pack for KS2 learners will take your class on a journey, along the silk road to present day, unveiling the multicultural history of UK gardens.
Our education pack includes three different lessons with vibrant visuals and videos to show on your whiteboard.
Head to our website for the free downloadable link.
Yes, there will be official photographers and videographers on site during the event.
No, drones are not permitted on the site.