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We are more than just a music festival… we are a registered charity helping people into work, building confidence and skills, providing free training and qualifications in everything from stage management to fork lift truck driving. We are also a showcase of the best of the South West; a one-stop-shop to hear the latest rising talent and future stars as we help them reach their potential. Investing in futures is an important ethos and we aim for BrisFest to be a celebration of this as the festival is a culmination of a year’s work by hundreds of local volunteers. As a registered charity we currently have a board of trustees and a further 90+ volunteer committee members responsible for planning the various festival elements. These committees are made up of local people and promoters from all backgrounds and open to new members at any time, see ‘Get Involved’. We are joined by over 300 volunteers, 2000 artists and a whole host of press, media and local businesses in order to bring the whole festival together for one weekend each September. All staff and performers work for free (except a small admin team) in order to keep the entry price as low as possible, and put in hundreds of hours each year. This ensures any money made goes back into the festival and volunteer development in order to build a fantastic event for the future which benefits people year round. Our Story The Bristol Festival Community Group was brought to life in October 2007 by a group of passionate local volunteers interested in ensuring the survival of a community festival for the city, after the sad demise of Ashton Court Festival which had been running for over thirty years. We all felt it vital that the city retained a not for profit event, offering high profile exposure to local talent as well as an accessible, affordable festival for all that would be an asset to the city. So the word was put out through previous volunteers and bucket shakers, to music forums and the internet, for individuals interested in putting in the hard work to revive a festival to come forward and meet. It was agreed that public participation was key to our aims, with involvement open to all including in the planning process. Multiple public consultations were held which were open to everyone and advertised with great support from local media. Idea-workshop events through up the name, logo and the plan to go back to the roots, starting small and reaching high, starting with a new location, the city centre, and September date. We committed to actively encourage public opinion throughout, inviting feedback and executing suggestions at the festival in order to remain truly publically led. We also felt it essential that the festival benefits local communities, both through performance and volunteering opportunities; aiming to bring together different cultural communities through the shared enjoyment of art, music, dance, and food. It became clear that offering music and events industry work experience and training throughout the year would be a key activity. This would benefit volunteers involved, providing that illusive entry level experience, contacts and professional qualifications needed for careers in this field. So… a committee of ten dedicated and somewhat crazy volunteers begun the daunting task of raising £100,000, setting up a charity and planning a large scale outdoor festival for up to 8,000 visitors a day…. And the rest is history. Why are we a Charity? The Bristol Festival Community Group is set up to support and promote Arts, Music and Culture in Bristol and the South West. We do this through staging a high profile annual community festival event, running year-round workshops, music and art events, and aiding personal development in these industries through work placements, skills swaps and training. Our work: •The planning of a high profile festival event to increase exposure for local artists across a spectrum of disciplines. This results in press coverage (such as reviews of acts in Venue Magazine and reports on BBC Radio Bristol Introducing show), helps them to gain more fans, sell records, get future bookings and enhance their careers. We also invite a large number of record label scouts and stage programmers from the UK’s biggest festivals (Glastonbury, Shambala, Boomtown fair etc) putting them up in hotels and offering a VIP ‘meet and greet’ service, to allow them to see the acts perform in order to help get them national and festival tours the following summer. •At the festival we stage music industry talks and demo panels where local musicians can bring their CDs to receive feedback and advice from industry professionals, as well as network. •We support artists year round in a variety of creative projects, staging gigs, club nights and free workshops throughout the year, offering access to materials, workshop space, office space, advice, and contacts. •We work closely with the Bristol Music Trust (Poppy Stephenson is also a trustee) and the Bristol Music Industry Forum, campaigning for better coverage of local artists and securing direct support for emerging and established local talent. •We offer industry work experience through our mentoring and skill swap programs and professional training to increase employment prospects of local volunteers. Many of the event’s areas are organised by previously inexperienced volunteers paired up with mentors, in order to gain real experience in the events and music industry, enhance their CV’s and make valuable contacts. We fund training leading to recognised qualifications such as Nebosh Certificates, Safety Passports, First Aiders, and Fork Lift Truck Driving Licenses, plus training in stage management, artist liaison, event production, event management, health and safety, volunteer management, and portfolio enhancing large-scale graphic design opportunities. So far we have been responsible for securing full time work for 22 people and have assisted in applications by providing references for over 180, as well as generating paid employment for our own staff team. •As well as the experience, training and learning opportunities, volunteering also aids many people in building confidence, friends and support networks locally. Nearly 80 volunteers meet up regularly to plan the event in teams and this has been a highly rewarding experience for all those involved each year. Many new residents of the city and students get involved as a way to meet people with similar interests and we’ve helped people find housemates, friendship groups and other projects to get involved in. We feel this helps increase a person’s sense of belonging, connection to the city and therefore retain valuable skilled people in the area. •We aim to promote the weekend showcase of local creativity on a national level, increasing the region’s tourism and business opportunities, thus also providing a boost to the local economy as well as helping to realise Bristol’s vision as being known as one of the most musical, creative and vibrant cities in the UK (Yellow Railroad report; Innovative, Unorthodox and Creative). •At the festival event we provide 16 hours of free workshops, classes and taster sessions in music, dance and art (e.g. life drawing classes, African drumming, vocal workshops, belly dancing, salsa etc) to the public to increase year-round participation in locally based groups. Typically local groups receive a number of free tickets for their members who provide a 5 minute performance, followed by their class leader delivering a 45 minute workshop for public participation. This is highly valuable to local groups in both recruiting new members and providing a confidence-building performance opportunity. •We work with disadvantaged members of the community at the festival (working with the Youth Offending Team and support oganisations for those with additional support needs), improving self confidence, and valuable life skills. •We engage local residents in the planning process, with regular public consultations, ideas workshops and votes as to the shape, style and content of the event, resulting in local pride and support for the festival. •We aim to bring different communities together through the shared enjoyment of music, dance and food (with many examples from a variety of different cultures e.g. Indian and Caribbean caterers, Bhangra dancing, African drumming, Balkan bands etc), whilst promoting a positive “can-do” attitude, empowering local residents to improve their communities through voluntary cultural activities. The sheer fact that local residents can stage their own inclusive festival celebration is highly rewarding and inspiring. •We support a number of other local charities working in education, art and music, helping to raise money, awareness and support through free publicity and pitches at the festival, or space for their members to perform. •We aim for the festival to be as inclusive as possible, ensuring there is something for everyone as much as we can, keeping the entry price as low as possible and offering almost unlimited volunteering opportunities (to cover all abilities) so that those that cannot afford entry can gain free tickets by getting involved. The Bristol Festival 2008 The first ‘Bristol Festival’ was held across two days 18th-19th September 2008 and was a resounding success with a brilliant weekend enjoyed by over 14,000 people, winning Venue magazine’s Top Event of 2008. The sun shone brilliantly over the Harbourside and the afterparty event Rave on Avon sold out all ten night clubs involved. Headliners included: Ashowka, Ben Westbeech, Bizali, Burly Chassis, CCQ, DJ Derek, DJ Die, Dr Meaker, Dreadzone Soundsystem, Dub FX, DJ Format, Gecko, John E Vistic, Joker, Krust, Kymatik, Laid Blak, Lets Tea Party, Mad Method, Mankala, Octopussy, Pinch, Queen Bee, Randall, Sicknote, Smerins Anti Social Club, Substatic, The Duckworths, The Equalisers, The Wonderfully Courteous Gentlemen, Vexkiddy, Vid Warren, Yes Sir Boss and many more! The Bristol Festival 2009 The 2009 festival held over three days 18-20th September, saw over 16,000 people attend and more than 2,000 artists involved. The new Friday night AV spectacular gained international attention as the world’s largest digital graffiti wall lit up the entire face of the Lloyds building. Interactive installations amazed alongside a popular stand up comedy line up, poetry in the beautiful secret garden and a weekend of live music and hilarious street theatre. Headliners included: Al Tourettes, Appleblim, Babel, Babyhead, Ben & Lex, Blackout, Central Spillz, Clayton Blizzard, Deepgroove, DJ Die, Dr Meaker, Dr Moody, Dynamo Rhythm Aces, Forsaken, Guido, Headhunter, Joker, Komonazmuk, Pete Roe, SJ Esau, TC & Jakes, The Black Bloc, The Black Sheep, The Blue Aeroplanes, The Hats, Turbowolf, Yes rebels,and many more! BrisFest 2010 With a changed name to create better distinction, the 2010 festival held over three days 24-26th September, saw over 19,000 people attend and more performances, workshops and entertainment than ever. The new site layout with a huge lawn area of real grass turf was massively popular and brought a touch of the countryside to the city center. The RFID Dome with 360 degree visuals and a thriving dance music line up, plus the impressive Lab Stage with quadraphonic Funktion1 sound-system provided by Audiofunktion were also huge hits and created a real top quality atmosphere all weekend. Headliners included: The Heavy, The Correspondents, Aquasky + Ragga Twins, Blackout JA, Dizraeli, Get the Blessing, Laid Blak, JFB, Wonderfully Courteous Gentlemen, True Valiance, Lady Nade, Itchy & Skratchy, Clayton Blizzard, Bizali, Scuba Roots, Kill it Kid, Hot D’Jour, The Naturals, The Rinky Dinks, Dub Boy, Dj Derek, Jakes, Syte and the Sound, Yes Sir Boss, The Carny-vilians, The Rhythm Pencils, Dreadlock Alien, Phaeleh, Daisy Chapman, KOAN Sound, Doctor Moody, Jody Wisternoff, Wonka, Stivs, Dr Meaker, First Degree Burns, The Wrongtourage, Al Tourettes, Vinyl Junkie & Robbie Dee, The Insiders, Monkey Chuckle, David Goo Variety Band, Stylatron, Lumen, Vapor, Jamileh Lee, G Tactix, World Government, Me-Unit, Ironside, Swiss FX, Great Western Chorus, Ilu Axe, Big in Lights, Big Boss Man and many more! BrisFest 2011 By far the most impressive festival yet, the tweaked site layout worked perfectly with the Gryphon tent hosting heavy bands, the Access to Music Marquee featuring talks and performances from young talent, and the Weapon of Choice stage blasting out the bass-heavy beats all weekend. The Wolfs stage, RFID Dome, garden stage, lawned areas and kids area remained popular as ever whilst Oxjam took over in Anchor Square. The showstopping finale over two nights was the new addition to Rave on Avon; an underground car park rave with three soundsystems and two bars a whole two stories underground in a never-before-used venue just outside the festival entrance. This sold out both nights, and the festival saw a whopping 25,000 people over the three days. Headliners included: Mr Motivator, Laid Blak, Dub Mafia, Zen Hussies, Congo Natty, Rodney P, Dub Pistols, Carny Villains, Phantom Limb, Cheeba, Pinch, Tomb Crew, Squire of Gothos, Komonazmuk, DJ Die, Drums of Death, Mumdance, Arkist, Engine Earz Experiment, Buggsy, The Anomalies, Run Tingz, Million Way, The Other Tribe, Somnus, Honour Your Pain, Massai, Adam Asbo, Octogen, October, Queen Bee, Lund Quartet and so many more. BrisFest 2012 – The Future…. BrisFest has now out-grown its city centre location and is expanding with a move hopefully to the beautiful Ashton Court estate for September 2012 (subject to licenses and permission form Bristol City Council). This will mean a capacity of 40,000 people over two days on grassland just 30 minutes walk from the city centre. This move has been greeted with much excitement from local residents and press as it marks a return of a not-for-profit large scale music festival to the estate, something which has been sorely missed from the calendar for five years. Press coverage and ticket sales have already begun and we’re now looking for partners to join us as we bring people of all backgrounds together for a celebration of music, art, dance and food, as well as the public to committ their support by getting their early bird tickets in advance. See here for more details. The Pledge…. if 10,000 people buy their tickets in advance we’ll bring BrisFest to Ashton Court! We need you!
More bands TBC
Bio: Behold HOTH! A 5 piece alternative metal band based in the south west of England. The original line up was formed years ago, under different names and certain members, but after Uni, Marriage, travelling and various other obstacles we are back and ready to gig. In 2008 Dave Bryant departed and th...See Full Bio