The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has announced details of A Thousand Welcomes, the opening event which will kick off the 10-day, free-to-attend Birmingham Festival 23.

The festival, which marks the one-year anniversary of the 2022 Commonweatlh Games, has been commissioned and supported by Birmingham City Council and delivered by the team behind the 2022 Games.

Taking place on 28 July, the festival site on Birmingham’s Centenary Square will feature a big screen that will play newly-commissioned short films, B2022 highlights and messages from surprise guests.

The final part of the evening will take place on the fountain area of Centenary Square in front of the festival’s stage. The event’s hosts, BBC presenter Ayo Akinwolere and DJ and Radio 1Xtra presenter Kaylee Golding, will introduce speeches and interview guests before welcoming a live music finale courtesy of Birmingham Music Archive.

The entire event will run on Centenary Square until 6 August. Arts Council England and the University of Birmingham have been announced as principal partners. Hollywood Monster – the printing and signage contractors for Birmingham 2022 – was announced as the event’s presenting partner.

A collaboration with Team England, the English Commonwealth Games team, will see several medal-winning athletes from Birmingham 2022 feature on the evening. Athletes will parade before a performance from Birmingham Conservatoire-trained Mezzo-Soprano, Samantha Oxborough (who performed the national anthem at the 2022 Opening Ceremony) with The Choir with No Name (who were part of Birmingham 2022 Festival’s opening event ‘Wondrous Stories’). They will be supported by community BSL choir Music in Motion – who came through the Festival’s Made in Brum open call.

The 10-day programme of free events will be announced on 28 June. When the festival was announced in March, an open call to submit performances for its Made In Brum community programme was launched, which organisers said had a “fantastic response” in just a few weeks.

Drawing from Birmingham Music Archive’s On Record album – the specially-commissioned ‘Sonic Love Letter’ to Birmingham for the B2022 Festival last year – the final part of the evening will feature a mix of Birmingham’s musical talent. Singer, dancer and multi-instrumentalist Bambi Bains will kick off, followed by SANITY, before headliner Friendly Fire Band take to the stage for the finale. Soulful house DJ Echo Juliet and BBC Asian Network’s Bobby Friction, will perform sets on the square before the event starts.

Steven Knight CBE and former gold-medal-winning Team England Netball Captain, Ama Agbeze, are patrons of the event.

Festival creative director Raidene Carter said, “We think Birmingham deserves a massive pat on the back for what we all achieved last year, and we want everyone who comes along to remember that they played some part in it all and should feel an enormous sense of pride. A Thousand Welcomes will be entertaining and rouse positive emotions; by re-looking at some of the highlights of last year, but through a new cultural lens, we hope to recreate some of that big Summer of 2022 atmosphere, relive some of the memories and importantly, show just how creative the Games were.”