Birmingham is a puzzle, what makes it great is the same things that make it derided—it’s a blank canvas where people can shape their own lives. Picking one aspect to promote will always result in showing a city that other people don’t recognise. Yes we’re the bedrock of the Industrial Revolution and responsible for oxygen, celluloid, the rubber and the vacuum cleaner, the birthplace of tennis and the Football League and home to some fantastic culture (and also Doctors) but: as we are too big to be defined by that the average Brummie isn’t going too interested in any part of it. Had we only got “humour” like Liverpool, or “money” like London then we could be boastfully defined—but we only have self depreciation and modesty. Luckily we’re the best at it.

Once upon a time there was Birmingham: It’s Not Shit. It was a place that reacted against how the local media treated the city, it tried to show the place without polish. People liked it, so they sent in things and to be nice we posted lots of them. But that sort of muddied the waters.

So we’re going for a fresh start, here’s the story of how we got here.


Paradise Circus—A Manifesto

A Global City with a Local Miscellany

  1. Birmingham is not shit.
  2. That’s not to say everything that happens in it is not shit.
  3. Each has to decide what bits are and aren’t shit for themselves.
  4. We decide here, this is Paradise Circus.
  5. Birmingham is not shit but that doesn’t mean we have to churn your press release.
  6. Birmingham is not shit but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send the press release about your band or your art happening to all the other really good blogs that might like it, like Created in Birmingham (which is not shit, a lot of the time). Just don’t send it here.
  7. Birmingham is not shit, is not shit. It’s also not a news source, hyperlocal blog or anything of that sort. It’s now Paradise Circus.
  8. We will write, film, photo, make and record things about Birmingham. That is all.
  9. You have the right to respond, we have the right to ignore you.
  10. We wish you nothing but love (if you’re not shit).

Who are ‘we’

At this point we are Jon Bounds (founder of BiNS) and Jon Hickman with contributions from the decent types listed in the sidebar.

“It didn’t start because local media was dying, it started because local media was crap.” Jon B on BiNS.


Paradise Circus, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK