Brisfest lands at Ashton Court
It has been five long years since the demise of the long running Ashton Court Festival back in 2007, so the decision to move Brisfest from it’s former home on the harbourside to the green pastures of the Ashton Court estate was long awaited. Now in it’s fifth year, Brisfest has grown into a festival that Bristolians can be truly proud of. The 20,000 available tickets sold out on Friday before the gates had even opened.
A dedicated team of volunteers work hard all year round to provide Bristol with a not-for-profit festival and support local talent and this hard work was evident as soon as you walked through the festival entrance. The perimeter wall was a nod to Bristol’s world famous street art heritage with a fantastic showcase of graffiti. The festival site was laid out so that the stages were flanked by grassy banks, meaning that everyone had a good view of the stages.
Brisfest 2012 boasted a wide range of entertainment including 11 music stages, theatre, comedy, a funfair and a kid’s area complete with the landmark helter skelter! Over 300 acts performed over the weekend and there was something for everyone.
Saturday’s glorious weather brought record crowds all determined to make the most of the entertainment on offer and many donned woodland animal outfits which was this year’s chosen fancy dress theme. Throughout the day local acts performed including the return of Laid Blak and Dub Mafia, both firm Bristol favorites. Into the evening there were performances on the main stage from 8 piece ska-hip hop band Babyhead, beat-box supremo Beardyman and DJ Jaguar Skills. To round off the Saturday evening was an incredible display from Arcadia Lords of Lightning who think nothing of playing with four million volts of raw electricity.
This year’s afterparty was hosted at the Ashton Court Mansion and boasted 3 rooms with DJ’s and light shows including Bristol’s own DJ Cheeba. Outside there were hot tubs, a chillout area and a bouncy castle. Brisfest definitely knows how to throw a good afterparty!
Sunday’s torrential rain made it a slow start to the day with few people braving the weather and most probably recovering from the Saturday but as the day went on the crowds started to arrive determined not to miss festival headliners Hawkwind and De La Soul. Despite the sea of waterproofs and wellies the atmosphere was electric, unlike Arcadia’s Lords of Lightning who’s sign read ‘Electricity + Rain = Death’. This we thought was quite reasonable.
Brisfest has proved yet again that they can create the perfect festival unique to Bristol and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for Brisfest 2013.