The Bristol Evening Post is suggesting that Bristol could soon have its own international music festival. As someone mentions in the comments, we did have the festival at Ashton Court, organised and run by volunteers, but that floundered a couple of years ago… Almost literally floundered; it was make or break time for the festival and torrential rain on the last day meant that the punters simply didn’t turn up.
As the article says, Bristol has quite a diverse range of venues in the city itself – and they don’t mention smaller places like the Thunderbolt and Thekla – but what do people think… Would it be better to have a city-based festival with acts scattered around different venues, or should efforts be made to resurrect Ashton Court and have it all on the one site? If the aim is to attract people from outside the city to Bristol, are they more likely to want the (cheaper) camping experience or would they stay in city centre hotels? I’m assuming that the only way they’d get support from local businesses, as mentioned in the article, would be if it was genuinely city-based, with people spending money on hotels and in bars and restaurants, and indeed the council officer involved says “I’m talking about closing the city, opening the venues, using the spaces and having a mix of home-grown music and big names.” What do people think? Has the number of festivals in the UK now reached saturation point, or can Bristol stamp its mark on the scene next summer?
Oh, and it would be remiss of me not to give Brisfest a quick plug while I’m here – http://www.brisfest.co.uk/
PS I was plugging Brisfest because it’s coming up soon… we do of course have other events like Dot to Dot and We the People. But I think the council are envisaging something way bigger like, say, the Great Escape.