Looking forward to Bristol in 2013

1 01 2013

Gromit Unleashed
In July, 60 Gromit sculptures will take to the streets of Bristol for 10 weeks, before being auctioned to raise money for the Children’s Hospital. The Snowman author Raymond Briggs and Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, are the only two artists confirmed so far, with more announced soon.

Gromit Unleashed

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The first collaboration between South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company and Tom Morris since War Horse at the National, A Midsummer Night’s Dream comes to the Bristol Old Vic on February 28 and runs until May before touring throughout the world.

Playable City
An unusual artwork in a public space will come to Bristol as part of the first Playable City commission from Watershed. The shortlist of 10 includes such brilliantly bonkers ideas as 3D body-scanning scanning booths scattered throughout the city, huge colourful building blocks, interactive lampposts and tweetable digital songbirds.

Tom Odell plays at the Thekla
The Brits Critics’ Choice winner and BBC Sound of 2012 nominee is playing at the Thekla on March 8, having last been seen there supporting Jake Bugg only last month. The 22-year-old singer-songwriter follows in esteemed company winning the Critics’ Choice award, which has previously been won by Adele, Emeli Sandé and Jessie J.

As-yet unnamed steak house opening on Corn Street
A new steak house is due to open this year on Corn Street underneath the Commercial Rooms pub in what used to be Markwick’s restaurant. The most exciting thing about this new venture is that it is by the team behind Hyde & Co and the Milk Thistle, two of Bristol’s finest bars.

River Cottage Canteen opens
One restaurant definitely opening this year is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Canteen (below), in the Victorian St John’s Court at the top of Whiteladies Road. The new restaurant, which will be designed by Simple Simon Design, promises a combination of seasonal, local, organic and wild food, on a daily changing menu.

River Cottage Canteen Bristol - inside artist impression

The relaunch of the Bristol Ferry Boat Company
Sad news at the end of last year about the demise of the Bristol Ferry Boat Co. was soon followed by news that all five boats had been purchased at auction by a consortium led by Ian Bungard, the man who launched the original business 30 years ago. The iconic yellow and blue boats could be back in service within a few weeks.

The Bristol Improv Festival
The debut appearance of a festival which is a week-long celebration of improvisation, including Instant Wit, an improvised soap opera, eight teams from across the UK going head-to-head in a performance art brawl, workshops and more.

Full Court Press opens
Named after a defensive tactic used in basketball that is meant to signify its “no compromise, all-out approach”, Full Court Press – due to open in the next few weeks – will serve speciality coffee from the likes of Clifton Coffee Company, HasBean and Roundhill Roastery, with pastries from Hart’s Bakery.

Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival
Another new festival this year is the Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival, taking place at the Colston Hall over the first weekend of March. Artists confirmed so far include Arturo Sandoval, John Scofield, Richard Galliano, Bireli Lagrene, Andy Sheppard, Pee Wee Ellis, Clare Teal, Lillian Boutté and Chris Barber.

Bristol Jazz Festival 2013 ticket



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