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7 Awesome Festivals Coming Up In And Around Bristol

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Our favourite festivals coming up in and around Bristol

This has been one of the best Summers ever. Football almost came home, the sun will never leave us and festival season is here! Cue a loss and stormy weather but the last remains a fact! We can’t control how England perform or the weather but we can pick and choose our favourite festivals to enjoy this summer, and here our seven of our favourites which are in, or a short drive from, Bristol.

Upfest – 28th – 20th July

street art

Via Andrew Parsons

Oh well done Bristol, keeping your title of Graffiti Don with Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival! Upfest is an amazing event where over 300 artists and 50,000 viewers descend on South Bristol to admire the amazing creations that are adorned onto every available space.

This year they have teamed up with The Simpsons to create the theme and celebrate their 10th anniversary! Plus, Matt Groening himself has handpicked three Upfest artists to bring Springfield to South Bristol.

As well as enjoying all the art you can also have a dance, drink some cider and eat loads of great street food- plus it’s free!

Bristol Harbour Festival 20th – 22nd July

bristol harbourside

About as Bristol as a pint of cider while listening to the Wurzels, the Bristol Harbour festival is an absolute highlight for us. For the weekend the whole of the city centre is taken over for everyone to enjoy for free! Music, food, art, activities for everyone and all them boats makes this one of the best festivals in the South West!

Don’t forget to explore the areas away from the main hub this year as things have been moved about a bit.

The Balloon Fiesta 9th – 12th August

bristol balloons sky

Via. Jim Cossey

Another Europe’s biggest title for Bristol, this time the annual meeting of hot air balloons! The Balloon Fiesta has been a Bristol highlight for us since we were just nippers, as what’s more exciting than seeing a hot air balloon in the sky – and then multiplying that by 150!

This really is a site that you can only see in Bristol, plus it is free!

Cock & Bull – 10th – 12th August

cock and bull festival

“A party on a farm” is about one of the most West Country phrases a festival can adopt – and we love it. Not only is this a cracking little festival just an hours drive from Bristol, it is also raising money for a great cause, Jamie’s Farm. Jamie’s Farm help children from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom have never left the cities they were born in! They do this through farming, community and counselling.

Plus, their line up is punching some weight for a small festival, there’s the farmer Olympics, loads of free workshops and talks and general well-being. This is one for food lovers, music lovers, ravers and families – basically it’s got something for everyone and adult weekend tickets are under £100.

Redfest – 4th August

Redfest is back in St George park again! Yas! Redfest has always been one of our favourite free festivals in Bristol. From humble beginnings this has become one of Bristol’s biggest free festivals which was started to celebrate and bring together the culture of East Bristol.

The music is always amazing, the food is top notch and the sense of community spirit is proper Bristol! We’re so glad it’s back in it’s spiritual home, it wasn’t the same when it wasn’t in the park! Great for families and those looking to get their skank on!

The Downs Festival – 1st September

downs festival

Credit Chris Cooper

You’ll find us at the front of this one crying to Orbital! The Downs Festival, now in its third year, has pulled in some heavyweight acts and this year is no different. Orbital, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Paul Weller and Goldie to name but a few.

For everyone missing Glastonbury, this is nothing like that, however you can get your big hitting musical fix right here in Bristol. Plus, you get to go home at the end and have a hot bath and a cup of tea!

Simple Things – 20th October

simple things 2016

For festival lovers who don’t need a season to party, Simple Things is back this year with a scaled down, more intimate event. Simple Things is a multi-venue, city centre festival where music is definitely the star of the show. This is always a popular event and as it is smaller this year tickets will sell out faster than usual, they are already on pre-order so make sure you sign up!

Check out more Bristol stories from Sam Gillies.

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Sam Gillies, the founder and editor of Best of Bristol. Purveyor of numerous Bristol posts, lists, stories, videos and Bristol photos. Having spent years in Bath looking enviously at how good Bristol was, I moved to Bristol in 2011 and consider myself a convert to a Bristol obsessive. Most likely found attempting to find interesting street art across Bristol and other cities.

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