Home of Metal


“I’m really proud to be a Brummie and to call Birmingham my home, that’s why I’m supporting the Home Of Metal events and message. Your surroundings and experiences influence your music  so it’s important for people to know where that music came from.” Tony Iommi Black Sabbath

After over 5 years of dreaming, planning, championing and charming, Capsule managed something quite extraordinary in the summer of 2011.  Music fans as well as gifted curators and producers, Capsule threw down the gauntlet to the region.  Where were the shrines to Heavy Metal? Loved the world over, Heavy Metal in its many forms had its roots in Birmingham and the Black Country.  But you wouldn’t know to visit it.  Nary a plaque, tour or tea towel marked one of the region’s most prolific cultural exports.  But Capsule changed all that.

Home of Metal is a celebration of the music that was born in the Black Country and Birmingham, and is a project created and produced by Capsule.



By enlisting partners throughout the West Midlands and beyond, Home of Metal grew from a whisper to a roar.  First a day long event at Supersonic Festival, then a digital archive project growing interest and involvement from the grass roots to Home of Metal 2011. A major exhibition at BMAG and events all over the Black Country featuring Mark Titchner at New Art Gallery Walsall and a Black Country weekender complete with film screenings, family activities and the UK’s first Heavy Metal academic conference.

At last fans in Birmingham and the rest of the world had a chance to pay homage to the music and its industrial home. 

–  Over 200 000 people attended events and activities as part of Home of Metal
–  The total economic activity for Home of Metal is estimated at £2.69 million
–  The PR value was over £1 million
–  Home of Metal events and activities had visitors from countries such as USA, Australia, The Philippines, South Africa, Canada, Egypt, India, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Iceland and Finland.
–  At least 80 volunteers were engaged in the exhibitions and events of Home of Metal
–  Capsule fundraised £450 000 through both public and private investment
–  35% of all visitors to the exhibitions were visiting to the museum/gallery for the first time
–  92% of all respondents felt that their overall experience of the exhibition was either ‘very good’ or ‘good’.

Watch the trailer from Sky Arts documentary about the project



The Home of Metal Open Days, think ‘Antiques Roadshow’ for Heavy Metal fans, invite fans to bring their memorabilia and stories and contribute to the ever-growing Home of Metal Digital Archive.

Capsule built on 13 years experience of developing audiences to develop a project that maintained the fans at the very core; informing the archive, events and collections on display. Key to Home of Metal’s success has been the authenticity of the project, coupled its inclusiveness.

Working with a team of volunteers to deliver these events, the Open Days informed the exciting series of exhibitions to come. These volunteers are made up of a wide range of people whose interest in the project stems from music, social history, regional pride and more. Capsule worked closely with a number of research volunteers from 2008 to 2011 to guide them in their research interests.

The Home of Metal digital archive is an opportunity for fans from all corners of the globe to share their passion for Heavy Metal music and contribute stories and memorabilia by uploading images, sound files and film footage.

Music fans are invited to contribute to the archive with Heavy Metal related wares, securing Birmingham and the Black Country’s identity as the Home of Metal.

The Home of Metal Digital Archive has developed as a unique resource and forum for music fans globally. The archive was officially launched in 2010 with an exciting event at SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas with Lemmy from Motorhead, establishing the archive as an international resource.

The archive features artefacts and unseen memorabilia from fans, industry figures and musicians. Artefacts are given weight with audio material, such as exclusive interviews with Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne Judas Priest as well as fans describing their gig experiences and memories.




Alongside world renowned design team Studio Myerscough, Capsule transformed the Gas Hall of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to create a multi faceted exhibition. After devising the narrative, sourcing the collection and making invaluable connections with dedicated fans through to corporate sponsors, Capsule curated and produced Home of Metal – 40 years of Heavy Metal and its unique birthplace.

As well as featuring key pieces from music history, the exhibition explored the social history of the region, from its metal bashing industries to the post war home life of working class families, beginning the story of Heavy Metal.

Capsule explored the impact Heavy Metal has had on visual art with You Should Be Living: The Visual Language of Heavy Metal. Inviting international artists and commissioning a dynamic new piece of work by Napalm Death founder Nicholas Bullen and French artist Damien Deroubaix, Capsule highlighted the impact of Heavy Metal motifs on contemporary visual culture.

An artist hugely inspired by Heavy Metal, Capsule invited former Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner to talk at the Metal Symposium in 2007 and have maintained a strong relationship with this artist throughout the Home of Metal project. BE TRUE TO YOUR OBLIVION was a major solo exhibition that explored this influence and showcased new works by the internationally renowned artist.

Home of Metal proudly hosted the UK’s very first Heavy Metal conference. International leaders in the field of Metal studies gathered in the genre’s birthplace for the first time. Delegates travelled from Europe, South America, USA and the Middle East.

Throughout 2011’s season of events, Home of Metal has been enthusiastically reaching new audiences. The project is aimed at a broad audience, from music fans, social history enthusiasts to cultural tourists. Key to this, Home of Metal produced a number of educational projects aimed at young people and families.

Working with highly regarded artist duo Juneau Projects, Home of Metal hosted a number of quality projects for families to play music, make costumes and learn something new about their hometown.

Home of Metal proudly celebrated the heritage of the region; important to this was spreading the message to many audiences. The project was hugely successful in reaching both an international and regional audience.

Capsule built on 13 years experience of developing audiences to craft a project that maintained the fans at the very core; informing the archive, events and collections on display. Key to Home of Metal’s success has been the authenticity of the project, coupled with its inclusiveness.

Home of Metal was not only unique in its content, but also in its delivery. For the first time, each public museum and art gallery in the Black Country joined up to deliver a shared season of events. Capsule liaised with multiple, diverse partners to produce a season that drew on different elements of Heavy Metal.

A strong visual element has always been key to Capsule’s work and Home of Metal’s strong branding is an example of the care and attention that is given to every aspect of a project. Capsule created a recognisable identity for Home of Metal that referenced the traditional visual culture of Heavy Metal whilst also feeling firmly contemporary.




The PR value for the Home of Metal season was valued at over £1 million

The Home of Metal message, celebrating the Black Country and Birmingham as the birthplace of Heavy Metal, has captured the imagination of many. An impressive range of press coverage has come about in conjunction with 2011’s season of events. From broadsheet newspapers and art journals, to music magazines, Home of Metal has inspired diverse and attentive press.

Press coverage was gained from:

The Sunday Times, Guardian, Financial Times, The Sun, Independent on Sunday, The Times, Guardian (Travel), The Spectator, Guardian (Film & Music), Art Review, Metal Hammer, Time Out, The Wire, Bizarre, The Juke, Creative Review, Gay Times, Eye Magazine, Artforum, Museums  Journal, Sky Arts, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio 2 (Arts Show)