Bristol City Council has given BrisFest, Bristol’s community music festival, the green light to move the event to Ashton Court Estate later this year. The festival, which will take place on September 22nd and 23rd, has been running for four years on the harbourside, attracting 25,000 visitors in 2011.
This announcement marks the beginning of a new era of music festivals at Ashton Court. BrisFest began after the much loved Ashton Court Festival, which started in 1974, went bankrupt in 2007. A group of local volunteers felt it was vital for Bristol to retain an accessible, affordable music festival so the not-for-profit Bristol Festival Community Group was set up.
The Bristol Festival Community Group created BrisFest, a new festival with a unique mix of music, street art, theatre, comedy and circus, and a distinctly “Bristol” feel. The event showcases the best of the South West with something for everyone from toddlers to talent scouts.
As a not-for-profit festival BrisFest is almost entirely run by volunteers and all profits are reinvested back into the festival to make it bigger and better each year, year, supporting local artists and training volunteers in everything from stage management to recognised qualifications in health and safety.
Now in its fifth year, BrisFest’s rapidly increasing popularity means that is has outgrown its city centre site. The move to Ashton Court will increase the festival’s capacity to 40,000 over two days.
“Having started off on a smaller scale, we’ve built BrisFest from the ground up over the last four years,” said Poppy Stephenson. “We now have the people, the resources and the systems we need to bring us home to Ashton Court, our ‘spiritual home’!”
Tickets for BrisFest 2012 have been on sale since last year, when the public was asked to pledge its support for the festival’s move to Ashton Court by buying their tickets in advance.
“Ticket sales are going really well,” said Poppy Stephenson. “We’re well on our way to 10,000 and we expect a sell-out event.”“BrisFest 2012 at Ashton Court is going to be an extravaganza of music, street art, theatre, comedy and circus, the likes of which Bristol has never seen before. We’re going to give this great city a festival it can be proud of.”To mark the festival’s move to Ashton Court, a limited number of special “Swiftpass” tickets have been released available for those who purchase a ticket in the coming weeks. People holding these tickets, priced at £30 for the weekend (the same price as a normal ticket), will get special wrist bands which allow them to skip queues at the gate, bars and toilets all weekend. “Swiftpass” tickets are available on a first come, first served basis here for a limited time only.