Bristol Harbour Festival 2012 | Friday 20th July – Sunday 22nd July

Editor July 10, 2012 0
Bristol Harbour Festival 2012 | Friday 20th July – Sunday 22nd July

All Aboard for Bristol Harbour Festival 2012

The renowned Bristol Harbour Festival is returning to the city’s picturesque waterfront, bringing together Bristol’s diverse communities for one big free celebration. The cultural event is taking place a week earlier than usual, from Friday July 20th to Sunday July 22nd.

Organisers have promised a packed three day event, across a two mile stretch of the city from Brunel’s ss Great Britain to M Shed, and from Queen Square to the city’s leafy Castle Park. Visitors will be entertained by a vibrant mix of live performance, artists, musicians, dancers, circus acts, markets and street stalls. On the water, hundreds of sailing vessels, from historic ships and boats to pleasure yachts and harbour ferries will provide a colourful backdrop to Bristol’s annual celebration of its maritime heritage.

Guy Poultney, Bristol City Council Cabinet Member for Communities talks in more detail about the festival;

“The Bristol Harbour Festival is a rich and diverse platform for the city’s wealth of creativity, from dance performers to circus acts and a variety of musical stages including walking bands, interactive theatre and so much more.

“The festival is one of the remaining free cultural celebrations in the UK and attracts over 200,000 visitors to the city each year, bringing in a growing amount of tourism revenue. It is also unique in its ability to bring together all of Bristol’s communities in one huge celebration of the city and its history.”

Highlights from the festival include;


The Dance Village will host another fantastic array of local and national dance acts to enjoy including Marks Set Go!, a live film and performance project. There will also be energetic dance and beatboxing by comperes Rannel Theatre Company.

This year there will be two special performances ‘We Set Sail by the Original Spinners’ and ‘Independence’ to celebrate the anniversary of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago’s independence.

Dance Village is co-produced by Swindon Dance and Katy Noakes of Re-Staged Productions and is supported by Arts Council England and Bristol City Council.

Castle Park

The Circus Stage returns and once again will be programmed by Cirque Bijou who bring with them circus, street theatre, comedy and larger-than-life characters from Bristol and beyond. Highlights include Belgian double act Bert and Fred, who present a Washington trapeze act that allows them to balance on their heads while swinging on a trapeze.

Queen Square

Programmed by Tony Benjamin and kicks off with the Friday night concert featuring a bhangra superstar, Latin-flavoured big band sounds West African rhythms and an appearance from local legend DJ Derek.

Highlights from the rest of the weekend include a performance by British reggae icons Black Roots, Emily Wright – fresh from her sell-out show at Brecon Festival, swingabilly, Balkan beats and so much more.

Cascade Steps

The festival’s longest-running stage will be programmed by Jelli Records. Find local singer-songwriters trying out everything from folk-rock to pop, a TV-starring gospel/ Motown choir Rock Choir, a jazz, latin and funk five-piece, Dave Betts Quintet and live drum and bass from Vibatronic.

ss Great Britain

Family fun, festival food, stalls and free live music will roll into Brunel Square for the weekend of Bristol Harbour Festival.

From 10am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday Brunel’s ss Great Britain will host storytelling, rocket building and launching workshops, as well as dressing up sessions from Flash, Bang Wallop. The incredible live music line up will be presented with BBC Radio Bristol; it will start at 12pm on Brunel’s ss Great Britain Stage and will include headliners Nick Harper and Jane Taylor. More information can be found at

Entry to the festival is free and many of the festival events and activities are also free.

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