Sounds Like Bristol | Parlour Showrooms, Park Street

Editor August 29, 2012 0
Sounds Like Bristol | Parlour Showrooms, Park Street

Sounds Like Bristol celebrates the history of Ashton Court Festival

Sounds Like Bristol, an exhibition telling the story of Ashton Court Festival from 1974 to 2007, will open at the Parlour Showrooms on Park Street on Friday, August 31st. Curated by Brisfest and M-Shed the exhibition will include photos, archive material, memorabilia and a documentary featuring interviews with some of the people involved in Ashton Court Festival, incuding Adrian Utley of Portishead.

Sounds like Bristol

The story began in 1974 when a group of friends got together to stage a small music event at Ashton Court Estate. They wanted to create a platform for local musicians to entertain the local community. Over four successive weekends in July 1974 local bands played from the back of a flat bed truck to a small crowd of festival goers at Ashton Court. Bristol City Council donated £50.

Ashton Court Festival grew and evolved over the next forty years, becoming one of the most important annual events in Bristol, attended by tens of thousands of people. It delighted and inspired generations of Bristolians and provided a springboard to success for many local acts.

Unfortunately, the much loved festival came to an untimely end in 2007 when a series of unfortunate events forced it into bankruptcy, marking the end of an era for the people of Bristol.

Organisers of Ashton Court’s successor Brisfest, took the reigns in 2008 determined to ensure the survival of a not-for-profit music event in the city. This September the story will come full circle as Brisfest moves from the harbourside to Ashton Court Estate. Organisers promise a spectacular of music, comedy, circus, theatre and art with a line-up featuring over 300 acts including the legendary De La Soul.

“There’s no doubt that Ashton Court Festival held a very special place in everyone’s hearts, including those of us on the Brisfest organising committee” said Poppy Stephenson, Brisfest Director, “We wanted to capture everyone’s memories of the festival and relive the wonderful days of Ashton Court Festival whilst also marking the beginning of a new era for Brisfest as we move the festival to its “spiritual home” this September.”

Sounds Like Bristol will run from Saturday, September 1st until Friday, September 14th at the Parlour Showrooms on College Green. Open daily 8am – 6pm.

Brisfest takes place on September 22 and 23 at Ashton Court Estate. Tickets are priced at £31 plus booking fee for the weekend. Sunday family tickets are priced at £40 (two adults, two young people under 18, kids under 12 go free). For more information visit

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