Piano art trail set to hit Bristol’s streets this summer

Legendary Bristol artist Luke Jerram is planning to bring his world-famous street piano project to the streets of Bristol this summer.

The artwork, called Play Me I’m Yours is a musical trail of individually-decorated pianos installed in public spaces across a city, for everyone to play and enjoy.

To mark the 10th year of the project, Luke wants to bring the pianos back to his home city of Bristol and is calling on businesses, organisations and individual donors to help him fill the city with music this summer.

Around 20 pianos, decorated by local artists and community groups are set to be scattered round public spaces across Bristol and beyond during August, if the project gets the go-ahead.

For the first time, the project is being funded through sponsoring individual pianos and it has already received strong financial backing from a range of businesses, tourist destinations and arts organisations across the city, keen to adopt a piano. Now Luke is asking others to become sponsors and help make the project a reality.

“I’ve been very encouraged by the support we’ve already received from organisations across city, but we need a few more sponsors to come forward to make the project viable. We can only make this musical arts trail happen for the people of Bristol, if we get this critic support.”

“Bristol is famous for its strong cultural community which is why this project is so ideal for the city – the reason it has taken off around the world is because it provides a blank canvas for everybody else to share their creativity and talent with each other.

“I came up with the idea originally when I noticed when I was waiting for a bus or sitting in the laundrette that people tended not to talk to each other, so I put some pianos in these locations as a way of bringing people together.

“There are also lots of pianists out there who don’t actually have an instrument to play on and this is a way of giving them a chance to show what they can do. Whether it’s a classical virtuoso, a jazz combo or people rediscovering their favourite childhood tunes, there’s an element of surprise about the pianos project which is one of the reasons it has become so popular.”

Sponsors for the Bristol trail will get to have a say in how their piano is decorated and have their own events incorporated into the official trail, as well as determining at the end of the project what happens to their musical instrument, either deciding to keep it or donating it to a local community or charity.

The idea of bringing Play Me I’m Yours to Bristol this summer has already received the support of Bristol City Council and Destination Bristol.

Kathryn Davis, head of tourism at Destination Bristol, said: ““Trails are hugely popular in our city and are a brilliant way of encouraging Bristolians to explore some of the city’s fantastic attractions, as well as bringing new visitors from the UK and overseas. This one is different because it actively invites the local community to participate and showcase their talent. This project also offers a great opportunity for businesses to leave a legacy by donating a piano to a good cause.”

Any organisation interested in sponsoring a piano and helping to fill Bristol’s streets with music this summer should contact Sally Reay at [email protected]. Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #streetpianosbristol and engaging with the handle @streetpianos

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Sam Gillies, the founder and editor of Best of Bristol. Purveyor of numerous Bristol lists, guides & videos. Most likely found attempting to find interesting street art across Bristol and other cities.

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