NoVate Direct Legal Solutions’ owl, The Birmingham Children’s Hospital Owl, will be flying away from his current perch on Steelhouse Lane on Sunday 27 September. But anyone who has missed him on their Big Hoot Trail will still get a chance to see him, as organisers of The Big Hoot have announced that the giant owls will come together one last time at a special Farewell Weekend on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 October.
A final chance to wave goodbye, the stunning sculptures will nest for one last weekend at Birmingham’s Eastside City Park, next to Millennium Point, before being auctioned on Thursday 15 October to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.
The Big Hoot, presented by public art specialists Wild in Art, in partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital, has won the hearts and minds of everyone in Birmingham and beyond this summer, with visitors flocking from far and wide to explore the city’s streets, parks and open spaces, all of which have been turned into a virtual aviary.
The October goodbye weekend will give Birmingham one last opportunity to take pictures of their favourite owls, or see for the first time any of the sculptures they haven’t yet managed to get out and visit; all against the stunning backdrop of Millennium Point.
Open to the public on Saturday 10 October from 12noon to 6.30pm and Sunday 11 October from 10am to 5.30pm tickets for the Farewell Weekend are limited and expected to sell out fast, so visitors are urged to book early to avoid disappointment.
Tickets can be purchased from www.bch.org.uk/big-hoot and cost £4 per adult, £2 per child (aged five to 16 years old) or £10 for a family of four (two adults and two children under 16 years of age). Children under five years old can enter for free. All profits from the ticket sales will go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.
All the large owls from the 10-week trail will be showcased with the exception of three community owls, which will be returned to the communities that created them. This includes ‘Oliver’, ‘Papa Winson’ and ‘Perry Chocobow Swanet’.
The sculptures that have been indoor owls for the entire 10-week trail, including FreeRadiOwl #30 and Owlfred #46, will be located inside Millennium Point for the Farewell Weekend.
Following the two-day goodbye weekend, the owls will be sold to collectors and businesses at Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. The auction will be hosted by Fieldings Auctioneers, co-founded by Nick Davies from BBC’s Flog it! and Will Farmer from BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, and is expected to raise £500,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The bidding for each owl is expected to start in the region of £3,000-£5,000, with favourites such as Dr Whoot and Ozzy’s Owl expected to raise considerably more. Those interested in registering for the auction should visit www.thebighoot.co.uk/auction or email firstname.lastname@example.org.