A spectacular finale of music from Black Sabbath and dancing Peaky Blinders brought the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 to a spellbinding close at the Alexander Stadium this evening.

The eleven day sporting concluded with a who’s who of Birmingham and West Midlands music talent as one artist after another took to the stage to entertain a worldwide audience on Monday (8 August).

Tonight, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games came to a close with a show-stopping musical production at the newly redeveloped Alexander Stadium to a live audience of more than 30,000 and a global audience of more than a billion people.

The closing ceremony of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 was a firecracker of a showBirmingham 2022
The closing ceremony of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 was a firecracker of a show

The fiery climax of the show included a surprise appearance from self-proclaimed ‘Prince of Darkness’ Ozzy Osbourne performing Black Sabbath’s classic hit ‘Paranoid’ alongside guitarist Tony Iommi (who previously took part in the brilliant opening ceremony), drummer Tommy Clufetos and bassist Adam Wakeman.

Osbourne, 73, who has battled ill-health in recent years which has forced him to cancel concerts, seemed to glow with energy as the Alexander Stadium erupted in rapturous applause. The performance from the veteran singer was an emotional moment for many fans with people standing up and singing along to the song.

Osbourne greeted the crowds by saying: “I love you, Birmingham – it’s good to be back!”

The production featured a special performance from contemporary dance company Rambert from their upcoming show at the Birmingham Hippodrome called Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby – written and adapted for the stage by creator Steven Knight, and choreographed and directed by Rambert’s Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer.

The multiracial troupe of dancers arrived into the Alexander Stadium in vintage 1920’s vehicles to enact a spine-tingling scene as Selly Park’s Laura Mvula sang a reworked version of the Peaky Blinders theme song Red Right Hand.

The thrilling closing ceremony delivered an exhilarating musical production with an all-star cast of the Commonwealth Games’ host region’s diverse set of artists which included acts such as UB40, Ocean Colour Scene, Apache Indian, Beverley Knight, Dexys Midnight Runners, Goldie, Jacob Banks, Jaykae, Jorja Smith, Ash, Mahalia, Musical Youth, Neelam Gill, Panjabi MC, Raza Hussain, Talulah-Eve, The Selecter, and around 50 bhangra dancers and drummers dressed in colourful outfits.

The closing ceremony celebrated the many diverse cultures and communities of BirminghamBBC
The closing ceremony celebrated the many diverse cultures and communities of Birmingham

The Birmingham 2022 closing ceremony presented an opportunity to celebrate diversity, champion equality and unite people across the world.

Pre-set in 1950’s post war Birmingham, Misty Buckley’s iconic set design and TAWBOX’s notable cinematic music and choreography style explored the real stories from real people who together made the city the thriving post-industrial heart of the UK.

Featuring dance performances from a stellar cast of professionals and volunteers, the closing ceremony took audiences from 1950’s post-World War II and the arrival of Commonwealth Communities to help rebuild Great Britain, through to the infamous Rum Runner nightclub that embraced the ‘New Romantic’ crowds of the 1970s, to the ‘Daytimer’ club gatherings of British Asian communities in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

It ended with a tribute to the youth from the diverse communities of Birmingham, showcasing the power of togetherness and inspiring the next generation to ensure their voices are also heard.

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