Best Bristol events 2012

28 12 2012

How do you compare a bouncy Stonehenge on College Green to a graffiti festival? With difficulty. So here is a round-up of the best 10 events in Bristol of 2012, in alphabetical order:

Brisfest made a triumphant return to Ashton Court in late September. Except it wasn’t a return. But it felt like one. The prodigal son of the Ashton Court Festival came back to its rightful home, and it was a wonderful celebration of all things Bristol, with the cider running out and the music going on until dawn. Just a shame that the weather on the Sunday was so miserable.

Brisfest 2012

Eat Drink Bristol Fashion
A group of tipis in Queen Square was the arena where some of Bristol’s best chefs showcased their food during the course of a fortnight between April and June. The Pony & Trap’s Josh Eggleton was the brains behind the ambitious project which saw top restaurants and gastropubs present their food for one night at a time.

Eat Drink Bristol Fashion tipis

Love Saves the Day
With music emanating from across the festival site in Castle Park, it was a case of following your ears. If you didn’t like one area, move to the next. As I arrived, Bob Marley’s Sun Is Shining was playing from one sound system, with no small sense of irony in the pouring rain.

Love Saves The Day

Mail, Maps & Motion
Music, film and visual trickery joined forces for this one-off event as part of this year’s See No Evil. Brunel’s original terminal building at Bristol Temple Meads, usually a car park, was transformed for one night only into a spectacular visual and aural playground by the Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio in collaboration with projection experts AntiVJ and the musical creativity of Adrian Utley from Portishead.

Mail, Maps and Motion

More Than Words
Radio 4 came to Bristol for one weekend, with the “art of listening” at its heart. Voices taking part included Clive Anderson, Jonathan Dimbleby, Arthur Smith, Michael Rosen, Roger McGough, Cerys Matthews and Tony Robinson. There was also a special live 70th anniversary edition of Desert Island Discs, presented by Kirsty Young and featuring castaway Jamie Cullum (below), recorded for the first time in front of an audience at St George’s.

Jamie Cullum recording Desert Island Discs at St George's

More than 50 table tennis tables appeared all over Bristol in July as part of Ping!, providing people with opportunities to play social and competitive table tennis, free of charge, with the aim of getting as many people as possible playing the sport and bringing some community spirit at the same time.

Ping vs Captain Bob at the ss Great Britain

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists Bristol premiere
A shot of rum from a busty wench. If only every visit to the Cinema De Lux could start with such an unexpected treat. But this was no typical Sunday evening screening in Cabot Circus; it was the Bristol premiere of Aardman’s latest animated feature film, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists with special guest Hugh Grant, scourge of the free press and in this film, the Pirate Captain, scourge of the high seas.

Hugh Grant

A full size bouncy replica of Stonehenge by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller was at College Green one Saturday in August. Was it art? It didn’t matter when this fun.

Sacrilege on College Green

See No Evil
Nelson Street once again became the centre of the street art world as graffiti artists have for the second year running transformed this once drab and grey thoroughfare into a riot of colour for the second annual See No Evil. A downer to the weekend’s events came in November when Inkie’s piece next to St John the Baptist church began to be removed only for work to mysteriously stop shortly afterwards.

See No Evil 2012

Upfest has come a long way since its start back in 2008, when 20 artists gathered at the Tobacco Factory for an afternoon of painting, beer and music. Fast forward to 2012 and Upfest has become an international event. This year, a New York subway train was even available to be painted. The quote of the weekend that I heard was from a mother to her young child: “Being a graffiti artist is not a career option.”

Upfest 2012



2 responses

28 12 2012
Makala Cheung

Ha typical parent comment. My dad asked me two days ago where I want to be career wise when I’m 60. I said ‘a songwriter’ and he said ‘but thats not a real job’… arg!

28 12 2012

Reblogged this on thewisethingtodo and commented:
It all happens in Bristol – it’s a fine place to live.

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