What’s On: Bristol in July
The whole year has been leading to this! The sun is shining, the beats are filtering through the open window and the group WhatsApp is lighting up. Summer is here. And you’re in one of the best cities in the UK. From film festivals and mind-altering gigs to day parties and art exhibitions; here’s a little round-up of what you could be doing this July in Bristol.
26 – 30 July 2023
Watershed’s annual festival returns giving new life to timeless classics and restorations on the big screen. Over 50 screenings and events over five days give you a chance to experience the magic of forgotten gems as restored films grace the silver screen once again. Many of the Cinema Rediscovered screenings are accompanied by pop-up events, talks or workshops so its a great even for a film buff.
June – September
Brooks’ evocative art explores themes of identity, community and social dynamics alongside trans and gender-nonconforming histories. At Spike Island, immerse yourself in these world-spanning, autobiographical works. Merging painting, collage, and fiction using fabric, lino and handmade objects, Brooks takes you on a journey.
Computer music pioneer Carl Stone graces The Cube for his 70th Year Tour. Carl dives deep into an impossible range of musical archives to create intricate, tripped-out sonic landscapes to get lost in. Expect an education in looping, distorting and sampling – Stone is known as the ‘Godfather of Sampling’. This will sell out.
Wander the walls of one of Bristol’s leading galleries and find inspiration in their Summer exhibition. Threads showcases the intersection of art and fashion, bringing together visionary designers and artists, and showing a vibrant display of wearable art, innovative fashion installations and thought-provoking discussions. A creativity boom.
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Joking. You’ve done that already with your visiting family. Several times.
Prepare for a mesmerising sonic experience as UK sculptor, bell-maker and musician Marcus Vergette brings his sell-out show (Barbican London, Dartington Great Hall) to Strange Brew. On the night his bells will also be played by Matthew Bourne, Copper Sounds, Coims and Sunny Joe Paradisos. Expect sonic soundscapes, ethereal melodies and musical innovation. Support comes from local heroes Copper Sounds and Dan Johnson.
Day party = sunshine, good vibes, and the potential of a hangover-free next day. Worm Disco Club always throw a good do and this time they’re starting things early at BS5’s Arbor Ales brewery. NTS Resident Cami Layé Okún will be gracing the decks bringing African and Caribbean beats with Latin soul. They’re promising tropical festival vibes, worldly grooves and Latin street food. Sounds good to us.
Yes, we know not strictly Bristol, but sometimes it’s good to get out of the city and breath in that fresh country air. Somerset’s Hauser and Wirth gallery is a mere one hour from the city yet it feels a lifetime away. The current exhibition ‘Gruppenausstellung’ sees 20 artists contribute to an entire site takeover sharing work in all five sites and through outdoor sculpture. Captivating.
Good old-fashioned fun for all the family at this food, drink and music festival on the banks of Chew Valley Lake. The views are banging, the lineup brings joy and there’s bound to be something for everyone. Some of Bristol’s favourite chefs are heading up the Feasts tent with Sonny Stores, Root and Casa bringing the menus. On the stage Soul II Soul, The Kooks and Banarama bring a very eclectic set of headliners for a guaranteed good time.
Guaranteed unforgettable. The UK’s most influential burlesque dancer (and Cardi-B approved) Cleopantha graces the stage of Old Market Assembly alongside Ru Paul favourite Hey, Babe. Circus, drag and burlesque combine into a memorable night of queer joy. Celebrate these incredible performers and their art with your dancing shoes on.
Fabio and Grooverider and the Outlook Orchestra, Sean Paul and the Hospitality crew. Bristol Amphitheatre is known for big events but this episode of Siren Bristol feels serious. Receive an education in drum and bass from Fabio and Grooverider and Hospitality and belt out all the classics alongside Sean Paul, all as the sun sets on Bristol harbour.
From countryside festivals to international gigs in independent cinemas, Bristol boasts a nonstop roster of events for all. Drop us a line if you head to any of these events and let us know if we’ve missed anything. Have a good one!