Fans flock to Birmingham for 'first class' Peaky Blinders festival - with PICTURES
By order of the Peaky Blinders! Hundreds of fans of the hit BBC show turned out in their flat caps and flapper dresses to Birmingham for the first day of the hotly-anticipated Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival.
The streets around Digbeth became a Peaky Blinders village for the weekend, with a 1920s fashion show, a museum featuring props from the series, and a huge stage with a line-up of top musical acts.
Queues started building early on as revellers arrived for the start time of 12pm – and the festivities will run well into the night.
After being shrouded in secrecy for weeks, former Oasis star Liam Gallagher took to the stage to perform during the early evening as the festival's "mystery guest".
He announced on Twitter the day before his appearance today: "Fix up look sharp The Gallaghers r on there [sic] way to drink and have fun with the Shelbys as you were LG x."
Gallagher was joined today by Primal Scream and Nadine Shah on the five music stages at the event.
Liam Gallagher took to the stage to screams from fans, opening the night with hit Rock ‘n’ Roll Star. He kept the crowds buzzing with other popular tunes Wall of Glass and Shockwave, before playing “Columbia” - which he said was “for the Oasis fans”.
Dressed in a Peaky-style flat cap and an oversized black jacket, the singer had only revealed he was attending the festival at the end of this week - much to the delight of festival-goers.
Peaky Blinders, which is primarily set in Small Heath, Birmingham, has taken the world by storm since is was first released in September 2013.
Now on season five, the show is rumoured to have attracted celebrity fans Brad Pitt, Snoop Dog and Tom Cruise, among others.
Starring Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy – who sadly were not at the festival – parts of Peaky Blinders were filmed at Black Country Living Museum in Dudley.
Anya Hawkes travelled from Droitwich to the festival with her son Kai and nephew Liam.
She said it was a “pretty cool” first day.
“We didn’t know where anything was at first as it’s so big, but we went along to the gypsy yard which had a really nice vibe. It felt like we were on set sometimes with all the actors around. We’re all Peaky fans so it’s pretty cool to be here.”
And partners Gerry Dunnion and Teresa Campbell are from Erdington and visited with their two friends from Manchester.
Gerry said: “We’re really excited by today, it’s first class. We’re just here to have a really great day out.”
Paul Anderson, who plays hardman Arthur Shelby, Harry Kirton, who plays the younger Shelby brother Finn, and Packy Lee, who is Johnny Dogs made appearances around the festival throughout today – delighting superfans – along with Kate Phillips, who plays Arthur’s estranged wife Linda.
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight also took part in a question-and-answer session, and visitors received style tips during the Peaky Blinders fashion show.
The creative director of David Beckham’s British menswear label Kent & Curwen also exhibited its official Peaky Blinders collaboration. It was rumoured that David Beckham himself was set to appear at the event... although this has not been confirmed.
Knight’s Garrison Tailors clothing range also hosted a catwalk show, and Aunt Pol’s Fashion and Beauty Boutique was open for business.
There was also a Peaky Blinders museum featuring props from the series.
What's happening on Sunday?
For the second day of the festival, Mike Skinner will also be performing a DJ set, with appearances by Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Slaves.
Anna Calvi, who wrote much of the music for the latest series, appeared on Saturday and will also be back on Sunday.
There will also be more Q&As with director Steve Knight and the cast.
Visit aegpresents.co.uk/home/peakyblinders for more.
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